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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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

March 5 - Next MCI Online classes begin: Introduction to the Divine Liturgy, The Divine Liturgy (full version), and Reading in Church. (register)

Liturgical Calendar

February 12 is Pure Monday, the first day of the Great Fast, which ends on March 23.
Daily Matins - Third and Sixth Hour - Great Compline

February 17 is the first Saturday of the Great Fast (commemoration of the miracle of St. Theodore).
Divine Liturgy

February 18 is the first Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of Orthodoxy.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday afternoon Vespers (saints)

February 24 is the feast of the Finding of the head of John the Baptist (which replaces the second All Souls Saturday).
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts - Divine Liturgy

February 25 is the second Sunday of the Great Fast, on which we also commemorate St. Gregory Palamas.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy (Palamas) - Sunday afternoon Vespers (saints)

March 3 is the third All-Souls Saturday (commemoration of the departed).
Divine Liturgy

March 4 is the third Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Moleben - Sunday afternoon Vespers (saints)

March 9 is the feast of the forty holy martyrs of Sebaste.
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

March 10 is the fourth All-Souls Saturday (commemoration of the departed).
Divine Liturgy

March 11 is the fourth Sunday of the Great Fast, on which we commemorate St. John Climacus (John of the Ladder).
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday afternoon Vespers (saints)

March 17 is the Saturday of the Akathist Hymn.
Akathist to the Theotokos

March 18 is the fifth Sunday of the Great Fast, on which we commemorate St. Mary of Egypt.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday afternoon Vespers (saints)

March 23 is the final day of the Great Fast.

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

February 2 - Meeting of the Lord

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

The Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is our principal weekday service during the Great Fast; it combines Vespers with a service of Holy Communion.

Our books for this service contain the propers for the first Monday in the Fast, and all Wednesdays and Fridays. The MCI has also prepared unofficial propers for the remaining Mondays in the Fast: Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4 - Week 5 - Week 6

For singing before Lenten services, you may also want to check out the Hymns for the Great Fast.

The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great

On Sundays in the Great Fast, we celebrate the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, which recounts the entire history of salvation in its anaphora, or Eucharistic prayer. (Think of this as our annual catechism refresher!) The music for this anaphora is more complicated that that of the Liturgy of Saint John Chysostom, and comes in two different settings. Here are some tutorials as a refresher:

The Great Fast

Some background on the holy Forty Days: The Great Fast.

Moleben for Vocations

We have received several requests for a moleben booklet with music for vocations. A Moleben for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life is now available; the service was prepared by Father Valerian Michlik of Pittsburgh.

For a complete list of molebens, see the Publications page. These services can be celebrated on any day, and can also be used in home or as reader services.

New Mailing List for Cantors!

We are migrating 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

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.

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 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.