Short Course: Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic
Our chant tradition came out of singing in Church Slavonic, and grew to include Hungarian, English, and other languages as well. While the Metropolitan Cantor Institute program focuses on singing in English, we have received numerous requests to provide SOME instructions for cantors in singing at least part of the Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic.
On December 15, 2012, a one-day course taught at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, in an attempt to meet this request. The course was taught by cantors Nicholas Nagrant and Jeff Mierzejewski. This page provides the course recordings and materials, in order to benefit those who could not attend.
The basic chant book for the course is Father Andrew Sokol's Plain Chant - a blue paperbound book which has been used for many years by cantors who chant in Slavonic. In includes only the hymns of the Divine Liturgy, and uses Latin letters rather than the Cyrillic script. This book can be purchased from the Byzantine Seminary Press, and is also available online as a PDF or viewable pages.
The Metropolitan Cantor Institute's Byzantine Catholic Hymnal was also distributed and used during the class; it provides a pronunciation guide, the text of the Divine Liturgy in parallel English and Slavonic, and a number of devotional hymns (with music) in both languages. The class moves back and forth between the two books.
The following recordings follow the class throughout the day.
If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Mierzejewski.
- We have a strong tradition of liturgical intelligibility. Traditional liturgical languages should not be used in a way that excludes the participation of the faithful.
- With that in mind, consider using Church Slavonic (or other non-English languages) for hymns that are repeated several times, such as the Trisagion ("Holy God") or Marian or other devotional hymns. Where possible, sing the hymn in English FIRST before singing it in another language.
- Before using any language in sung prayer, make sure your pronunciation and delivery are adequate to the task, and take extra time to practice BEFORE the service
Additional singing in Church Slavonic, including much of the Divine Liturgy and a variety of melodies, can be found on the Recorded Music page.