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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.

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Upcoming Events

October 29 - Cantor's Retreat, St. Elias Byzantine Catholic Church, 4200 Homestead Duquesne Rd, Munhall, PA, 9:00-3:00 PM.

Liturgical Calendar

December 4 is the twenty-ninth Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

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

December 8 is the feast of the maternity of Holy Anna (conception of the Theotokos).
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 11 is the Sunday of the Forefathers (Second Sunday before the Nativity).
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

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

December 18 is the Sunday of the Ancestors of Christ (Sunday before the Nativity).
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 23 is the Vigil Fast-day before the Nativity (transferred from Saturday).
Royal Hours (adapted)

December 24 is the Vigil of the Nativity.
Divine Liturgy (on Saturday morning)

December 25 is the NATIVITY of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Vespers - Christmas Eve service - Great Compline - Matins - Divine Liturgy

December 26 is the synaxis of the Mother of God, and the commemoration of the relatives of the Lord: Saints Joseph, James and David.
Divine Liturgy

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

December 31 is the leave-taking of the Nativity.

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

December 6 - Saint Nicholas

December 8 - Maternity of Anna

Cantor's Retreat on October 29

On Saturday, October 29, a one-day spiritual retreat for all cantors will be held at St. Elias Byzantine Catholic 4200 Homestead Duquesne Rd, Munhall, PA, led by Sr. Barbara Jean Mihalchik of the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great.  The theme for the day will be "Personal Prayer and the Cantor".  Every cantor should pray, apart  from the church services. But many do not know how to get started, or have lost the practice of it. Come learn how to start (or re-start) a personal prayer life.

There will be a Divine Liturgy for the health and needs of our cantors at 9:00 AM, and the retreat will run from 10 AM to 2 PM. Lunch will be provided.  At 2 PM, there will be a panachida for all our departed cantors.

There is a $10 fee for the retreat, payable at the door.  Please register by October 22 by calling (412) 735-1676 or sending e-mail to mci@archpitt.org.

October

October is the second month of the liturgical year in the Byzantine Rite. (more)

Hymn Sing!

The singing of hymns before and after the Liturgy itself is an important part of our musical tradition. Come to the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Munhal, PA on Sunday afternoon, October 2, from 1:30 to 3:30 PM to learn and sing traditional hymns to Christ, to His Mother, and to the saints. There will also be an update on the forthcoming hymnal project; bring your suggestions for what you would like to see it contain! For more information, contact MCI drector Jeffrey Mierzejewski (mci@archpitt.org) or call (412) 735-1676.

Epistle Readers' Classes in Pittsburgh and Parma

Two short courses for epistle readers will be held in September:

Both courses are free and open to new readers as well as experienced readers who want to improve their ability to read in church. Topics will include: the place of Scripture in our services; fundamentals of reading in church; the three basic melodies every reader must know; how to use the lectionary and calendar to determine the readings for a particular day; and how to prepare to read in church.

For more information about the classes in Pittsburgh, contact Deacon Jeffrey Mierzejewski at (412) 735-1676. For more information about the classes in Parma, contact Father Andrew Summerson.

Readings for the Liturgical Year

This website now features a lectionary, or complete list of Scripture readings for the liturgical year. You can also find it by looking just under Readings in the left-hand navigation on each page. My hope is that in the near future, this page will have "live" links to the readings themselves.

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.

First MCI Videos

One of our goals at the Metropolitan Cantor Institute has been to provide as much solid instructional material as possible, in a variety of formats. Here are the first videos from the MCI:

Please tell us what you think by adding comments to the videos! Complete materials for each class are on the MCI class page (click on the Cantor Institute link to the left).

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.

Vespers - with Sister Vassa

Cantors might be interested in several recent 10-minute videocasts by Sister Vassa Larin, a Russian Orthodox nun and liturgical scholar. (There are from the series Coffee with Sister Vassa, which usual begins with some chattiness before getting down to business. But the content is quite worthwhile for anyone interested in Vespers.)

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. Earlier this year, Metropolitan William put out a request to clergy to help in this effort.

Later this year, we will be posting a list of particular items we are looking for, as well as some scanned images that we could use help identifying.

We are also interested in recordings. Here is our working list current list of Greek Catholic plain chant and choral recordings done in the United States:

If you have additional information about any of the recordings in this list (or if you have access to copies of recordings that the seminary does not yet have), please contact us!

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!