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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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

November 10-12 - MCI weekend classes at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Albuquerque, NM.

January 8 - Next MCI Online class begins: Introduction to Church Singing.

Liturgical Calendar

December 6 is the feast of our holy father Nicholas the Wonder-worker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Moleben

December 8 is the feast of the Maternity of Holy Anna (the Conception of the Mother of God).
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 10 is the twenty-seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 12 is the feast of the Theotokos of Guadalupe.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

December 17 is the second Sunday before the Nativity, the Sunday of the Forefathers.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

December 22 is the vigil of Christmas (a fast day).
Royal Hours (adapted)

December 24 is the Sunday before Nativity, the Sunday of the Ancestors.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 25 is the feast of the NATIVITY of our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Vespers with Divine Liturgy (A - B) OR Vespers - Great Compline - Matins - Divine Liturgy

December 26 is the Synaxis of the Theotokos.
Divine Liturgy

December 27 is the feast of holy apostle and first martyr Stephen.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 31 is the Sunday after the Nativity, and also the leave-taking of the feast.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

December 6 - Saint Nicholas

December 8 - Maternity of Holy Anna

Vespers for the Feast of Saint Nicholas

Here is a complete recording of Vespers for the feast of our holy father Nicholas the Wonder-worker, archbishop of Myra in Lycia. The recording is by Chicago's Schola Cantorum of St. Peter, led by former MCI director J. Michael Thompson. A CD of the service is available from the Byzantine Seminary Press.

WQED Podcast for the Christmas Season

This podcast was originally broadcast in 2006 on WQED in Pittsburgh: The Feast of Saint Nicholas.

The Philippian (Nativity) Fast

Here is is a responsorial hymn for the Nativity Fast, from November 15 to December 24 (also called St. Philip's Fast, since it begins on the evening of November 14, the feast of the holy apostle Philip):

For more about this time of preparation, see The Christmas Fast.

Classes for 2018 Announced!

Beginning in January 2018:

This means that all the entire MCI cantor education program can be completed in as little as two years, and students can plan well in advance which courses they would like to take, and when. For more information, see the Cantor Education Roadmap and the current registration form.

2018 Typikon is now available

This annual liturgical guide for clergy and cantors, compiled and edited by Archpriest David M. Petras, from the Ruthenian Byzantine Eparchy of Parma, comes in two sections. The first part “The Common Typikon” ($16) is normally purchased once since the formats and general notes stay the same each year. The second part, the Annual Typikon (also $16) changes each year so that part most of us purchase annually.

Fr. David has just updated the Common Typikon for the first time in many years. It features expanded notes and formats. It would be a good idea to purchase BOTH parts this year. They may be ordered from:

http://www.byzantineseminarypress.com/liturgical-books/
Byzantine Seminary Press
3643 Perrysville Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15214

I recommend that all serving cantors have AT LEAST a copy of the annual typikon, and learn to use it.  Cantors in parishes that celebrate Vespers and (especially) Matins will need the Common Typikon,  which also has special summaries of the hymns sung at the Divine Liturgy under various circumstances.

New smartphone app has daily readings, hymns

The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma (Ohio) recently released a smartphone app for Apple iOS and Android that includes:

Quite a few cantors have asked for such a resource, and having tried it out, I highly recommend it.  To get the app:

For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bf.appd580cf&hl=en

For Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eparchy-of-parma/id1247012513?mt=8

Online musicianship for cantors

In preparation for our online classes, which begin in February, the Metropolitan Cantor Institute has acquired a site license for Theta Music Trainer, a website with computer- and smartphone-based games that teach pitch matching, recognition and singing of scales and intervals, and other important skills.

Complete access to this website is available to all cantors in the Byzantine Catholic Church, as well as students in the MCI Online program. For more information, see the Theta Music Trainer page.

There is also a new section in the left-hand navigation bar, Musicianship, to which articles will be added over the next two months.

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 2017, we will also be distributing images of particular pieces of music or other memorabilia we would like to find or identify.

New Molebens on the MCI website

Over the next several weeks, we will be adding a number of devotional services called Molebens to the MCI website, with current texts and music. These can also be found on the Publications page, which now includes BOTH official and unofficial publications (under separate headings), to make it easy to find everything that is available.

As always, you can add "_booklet" just before ".pdf" in your browser URL window to get a "camera ready" version for printing on 11 by 14 inch paper.

Parishes in Need of Cantors

The following parishes currently have no regular cantor. Cantors who have the time and willingness to serve regularly in one of these parishes should contact the pastor of the parish or the Cantor Institute for more information.

Pastors, if your parish needs a cantor, please write to the Cantor Institute at mci@archpitt.org.

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.

Mailing lists

A number of electronic mailing lists are available for Byzantine Catholic cantors and those interested in church music. Click on the name of the group to sign up.

mcinews Announcements of cantor education opportunities in the Byzantine Catholic Church
mcimusicfiles Monthly distribution of sheet music from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute

Please sign up for the lists of interest to you!