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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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

February 12 - MCI Online class "Introduction to Liturgy" begins

February 12 - MCI Online class "Introduction to Church Singing" begins

Liturgical Calendar


January 15 is the 35th Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

January 22 is the 36th Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

January 29 is the 37th Sunday after Pentecost, and the Sunday of Zacchaeus.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

January 30 is the feast of the three holy hiearchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

February 2 is the feast of the Meeting of our Lord with Simeon and Anna.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy

February 5 is the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, and post-festive day of the Meeting.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy

February 12 is the Sunday of the Prodigcal Son.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy

February 18 is the first All-Souls Saturday (commemoration of the departed).
Divine Liturgy

February 19 is Meatfare Sunday, the Sunday of the Last Judgment.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy

February 25 is Cheesefare Saturday (commemoration of holy ascetics).
Divine Liturgy

February 26 is Cheesefare Sunday, the Sunday of Forgiveness.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers (saints only)

February 27 is the first day of the Great Fast.

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

January 30 - Three Holy Hierarchs

February 2 - Meeting of our Lord

First steps toward a new hymnal

At the request of the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission, the Metropolitan Cantor Institute is sponsoring initial work on a hymal - that is, a collection of paraliturgical hymns for singing before and after the Divine Liturgy, and on other church occasions as well.

On Saturday, October 2, 2016, we held a workshop on paraliturgical hymns at which we sang through a variety of our hymns, and discussed what might go into the proposed hymnal.  A complete recording of this workshop is now available, along with the handout that was distributed. Please take a listen, and if you have thoughts on the subject, or things you'd like to suggest go into the new collection, leave a comment!

2017 Classes Announced

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute will offer the following online courses in 2017:

Introduction to Liturgy – February 12 to April 7, 2017

Introduction to Church Singing – February 12 to April 7

Introduction to the Divine Liturgy – April 24 to June 16

Reading in Church – April 24 to May 19

Introduction to the Typikon – May 22 to June 16

Introduction to the Eight Tones – June 19 to August 11

The Liturgical Year – August 14 to October 6

Mastering the Eight Tones – August 14 to October 6

The Office of Vespers – October 16 to December 8

The Divine Liturgy – October 16 to December 8

Registration for the February course is now open. See this blog entry for details.

(We have also added new entries to the left hand navigation bar under Cantor Institute. Check them out!)

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.

Online courses at Byzantine Catholic Seminary

The Byzantine Online program at Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary has announced several online courses for the Spring 2017 semester. Any cantor who is interested in serious study of our Scripture, liturgy, and music should consider taking one of these course somes time.  For more information, or to register, go to online.bcs.edu.

Reader's Course Materials Available

Last September, reader's courses were held at our cathedrals in Munhall, PA and Parma, OH. Thanks for Fr. Andrew Summerson, the Parma classes were professionally recorded, and those reconow available along with the class handouts:

Video 1 (48 minutes)
Video 2 (82 minutes)

Web link: Lectionary
Handout: Introduction to Books of the Bible
Handout: Tones for Chanting Psalms and Readings
Handout: Tones for the Prokeimenon and Alleluia Verses
Handout: Text of Psalm 50
Handout: Practice readings

As always, materials from previous MCI courses can be found by clicking on the Cantor Institute link to the left.

Cantor's Retreat on October 29 - Follow-up

See the blog for a summary of our annual cantor's retreat.

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.

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.)

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!