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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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

July 11 - MCI class: CANCELLED.

August 8 - MCI class, Byzantine Catholic Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA.

complete upcoming events

Liturgical Calendar

June 21 is the fourth Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

June 24 is the feast of the Nativity of John the Forerunner and Baptist.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

June 28 is the fifth Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

June 29 is the feast of the holy apostles Peter and Paul.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy

July 4 is Independence Day.
Divine Liturgy

July 5 is the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, and the feast of our venerable father Athanasius of Mount Athos.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

July 12 is the seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

July 19 is the Sunday of the Fathers of the first six Ecumenical Councils.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

July 26 is the ninth Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

August 1 is feast of the Procession of the Holy Cross. It is also the first day of the Dormition Fast, which lasts until August 14.
Lesser Blessing of Water - Paraklesis

August 2 is the tenth Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

August 6 is the feast of the TRANSFIGURATION of our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy

August 9 is the eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, a post-festive day of the Transfiguration, and the feast of the apostle Matthias.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

August 15 is the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

August 16 is the twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, a post-festive day of the Dormition, and the feast of the Icon of our Lord "Not made by human hands."
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

August 23 is the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and the leave-taking of the Dormition.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

August 29 is the feast of the beheading of the prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

August 30 is the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and post-festive day of the Beheading.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

complete liturgical calendar

July MCI session is cancelled

The Cantor Institute session scheduled for July 11 has been cancelled.

I am awaiting word on the possibility of new, improved funeral books from the Council of Hierarchs. Depending on if and when they become availability, the MCI classes scheduled for August and September will either cover the funeral services, or the Divine Liturgy. Please contact me at (412) 735-1676 if you have any questions.

Materials from June MCI online

A recorded lecture and handouts from the MCI class on the Sacramental Mysteries (June 13, 2015) are now on the MCI page (follow this link or click on Cantor Institute in the left-hand navigation bar).

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.


Two radio programs from 2006 by former MCI director J. Michael Thompson are now available for download and listening:

We would like to start a regular Cantor Institute podcast - what would you like to hear about? Write to mci@archpitt.org.

Table of Contents for the Divine Liturgies book

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute is happy to provide a complete table of contents for the The Divine Liturgies of our holy fathers John Chrysostom and Basil the Great. It can be printed on a single sheet of legal size paper. Cantor Robert Pipta of Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church, Anaheim, CA (whose work it is) suggests: "Fold in half, trim the edges and it fits into the pewbook. I carefully used a small drop of super glue to hold the TOC in place in the pew book between pages 2 and 3."

Table of contents - Table of contents for printing on legal size paper

Divine Liturgy book in Church Slavonic - with music

Also from Anaheim is a 40-page service book for the Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic, with music throughout, following the pattern of the English-language Divine Liturgies book, and including rubrics for the people in English. This book is ideal for cantors who celebrate some or all of the Divine Liturgy in Slavonic.

Like most service books from the MCI, this booklet is set up to print 2-up (that is, two pages per sheet, side by side) on legal size paper. If you want a version of the file that is already set up for printing on legal paper, open the file you want in a web browser, and add "_booklet" immediately before ".pdf" in the URL. This will take you to a "camera-ready" version.

Be sure to visit the Official Publications page to see all our contributed materials for use with the official Divine Liturgies book.

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.)

Identifying and Honoring our Cantors

In 1974, for its fiftieth anniversary, the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh honored all its cantors, current and retired, in the context of the St. Nicholas Dinner, at which the program booklet included photos and brief biographies of each cantor.

In 2015, we would like to honor the cantors of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh in a similar fashion, and encourage the other eparchies to do likewise. This has the potential to bear fruit for years to come in increased awareness of and respect for our church singing and its practitioners.  

The chancery will be contacting each parish in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh in order to compile a current list of our cantors.

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!