The texts, music and commentary on this website were prepared by the Metropolitan Cantor Institute of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.

Upcoming events

June 13, 2024 - MCI Office Hours: 8:30-9 PM and 10-10:30 PM Eastern time. Open chat, 9-10 PM Eastern time. (Zoom link)

Liturgical Calendar

June 2 is the second Sunday after Pentecost.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

June 9 is the third Sunday after Pentecost.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

June 16 is the fourth Sunday after Pentecost.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

June 23 is the fifth Sunday after Pentecost.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

June 24 is the feast of the birth of the holy prophet, fore-runner and baptist John.Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy

June 29 is the feast of the holy pre-eminent apostles Peter and Paul.Vespers - Matins (complete service) - Divine Liturgy

June 30 is the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, and the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles.Vespers - Divine Liturgy

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

June 23 - Nativity of John the Baptist

June 28 - Saints Peter and Paul

MCI Online registration is now open for 2024

The new year of online cantor classes begins this week, and there is time to enroll! Here is what is available.

Three introductory classes are FREE and open to all members of the Byzantine Catholic Church in the USA and Canada:

These are 8-week, entirely self-paced classes (Reading in Church is 4 weeks); the Church Singing and Reading classes include instructor feedback on recordings each student makes. They are easy and cover a lot of material that is helpful for cantors to know, and useful for clergy and faithful.  To enroll, just create an ID at https://mci.archpitt.org/online, take a look at the three introductory classes, choose one, and click on Enroll me in this course on the left side of the screen.

Anyone who has completed the three introductory classes can sign up for the Basic Cantor Course:

These classes are all self-paced (there are no set times for classes and you can take as long as you need). These classes have a registration fee, usually $60 for an 8 week class; there are discounts for each sequence of classes, for parishes with no resident cantor, and in cases of financial hardship. See the Classes page for registration forms.

Students who have completed the Basic Cantor Course can sign up for the Intermediate Cantor Course:

Students who have completed the Intermediate Cantor Course can sign up for the Advanced Cantor Course:

Students who complete these classes, and demonstrate their ability to learn the singing at the Divine Liturgy in their parish, will earn a cantor's certificate from the MCI.

The entire program can take as little as two years, and cost a total of $300 (less in the situations mentioned above).  Our church needs cantors, and this program can help you develop the knowledge and skills they need. Please check out the Classes page for more information, and registration forms.

MCI Office Hours, and new day/time for Cantor Chat

I have received several requests to have regular office hours for MCI classes, and it sounds like it may also be useful to have a time people can ask questions about upcoming services, particularly on the weekend.  So beginning this week, I will be hosting the following every Thursday on Zoom:

    8:30 - 9 PM (Eastern TIme)      Office hours (early)

    9:00 - 10 PM (Eastern)               Cantor chat / open discussion

    10 - 10:30 PM  (Eastern)            Office hours (late)   

This should make things more accessible and predictable for cantors in any of the North American time zones.  If you're taking an MCI class OR just have questions, you can stop in for help or answers, early or late, without having to make arrangements in advance.  To just chat with other cantors, stop in for the middle hour.  I hope you can make it!

The schedule and Zoom link will be posted here on the MCI home page, top right under Upcoming Events.  If I have to cancel office hours for any reason, that will be noted in the same place. Noe that this is a NEW Zoom meeting, so any old links can be discarded.

Annual Typikon now available for 2024

The 2024 Annual Typikon is now available from the Byzantine Seminary Press:

https://www.byzantineseminarypress.com/2024-typicon/

If you don't have a common of the Common Typikon already - AND your parish celebrates Vespers or Matins - you probably need the Common Typikon as well (unchanging from year to year):

https://www.byzantineseminarypress.com/revised-common-typicon/

For more about both these books, and how to use them, see the MCI Online course Introduction to the Typikon, which is enabled for guest access.  This information is also summarized at Setting the Services.

Organization for Cantors Formed!

It is my pleasure to announce that there is now an organization for the cantors of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church in the United States - all four eparchies.  Membership is open to those who regularly lead the singing at church services in one of our parishes or missions, as well as anyone who has in the past been a regular parish cantor for five years or more.

You can find a membership application and the new group's bylaws here:
ps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSddESX4SZYIjAYS27PnUrsI5F33HbxGVPik-U_13tJarQYFzg/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0

The officers of the new organization are president Steve Petach and secretary/treasurer Sandra Polocz.  You are invited to the weekly Tuesday Cantor Chat (link provided on the Cantors list below, or write me for more information) to find out more. 

Hymnal update

Based on input from Bishop Milan of Parma, and after consultation with a number of other contributors, I have decided to split the draft hymnal into two pieces - one with the traditional "core" hymns for the liturgical year, in English and original languages on opposite pages;  and one with the more recent hymns "for Sundays and feast-days."    I believe this will be easier to use overall, and simpler than seasonal hymnals with duplicated material in each one.

Here are the two volumes, which I will be sending to the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission for review and consideration:

Use  them as you like;  please send me any suggestions you may have!  Individual pages of both books can be printed from the Hymnal Project page, inserted into parish bulletins, etc.  I plan to make recordings of each hymn or tune, and also provide harmonizations, as soon as the Music Commission has finished its review!

Seminary library seeks cantor papers

The library of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary is assembling a collection of music and papers from our cantors and choir directors since the founding of our church in the United States. These collections are being indexed and preserved so that that they can be used for research by scholars, and also for fostering our church singing in the future.

If your parish or a retired cantor you know has music, memorabilia, or recordings which might have a place in this collection, please contact Deacon Jeffrey Mierzejewski (412 735-1676, mci@archpitt.org) or library director Sandra Collins (412 32-8383). We also invite donations of materials from family and friends of our cantors who have reposed; this collection will serve as a permanent memorial to their labors.

Mailing List for Cantors

We have migrated the old MCI mailing lists to single list, cantors@groups.io. This new list should be more reliable than the one we have been using, and does NOT require the creation of a Yahoo ID. It also has more options for collaboration, including a wiki and post tagging.

This list will be used for both announcements, and general (moderated) discussion. If you wish to receive email ONLY for announcements, you can set your subscription options to "Special Notices Only."

To subscribe to the list, just go to https://groups.io/g/cantors

Documenting the history of our church music - how you can help

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute is working with the Byzantine Catholic Seminary Library to put together material to document the history of the liturgical music of the Byzantine Catholic Church, both plain chant and choral music. Please consider contributing to these two efforts:

In early 2018, we will also be distributing images of particular pieces of music or other memorabilia we would like to find or identify.

What is the Metropolitan Cantor Institute?

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute exists to support and foster liturgical singing in the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh. At the direction of our bishops, and in cooperation with our clergy and experienced cantors, the Institute trains and certifies cantors for the service of the church, prepares music and educational materials, and provides workshops and seminars in church singing.

The mission of the Metropolitan Cantor Institute:

To ensure that each parish in the Byzantine Catholic Church has a cantor who can lead the liturgical singing of the parish well, to the glory of God and in support of the prayer of the faithful.

For more information, click on Cantor Institute in the left-hand navigation bar on this page.