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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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 2, 2020 - Next MCI Online classes begin: Introduction to the Divine Liturgy; The Divine Liturgy; From Pascha to Pentecost (more info)

June 19-20 - Cantor's Workshop and Church Music Day, Parma OH (details forthcoming).

July 14-17 - Chant Class for Clergy, Pittsburgh, PA (flyer).

September 4 - Cantor Workshop, Uniontown, PA (details forthcoming).

Liturgical Calendar


February 24 is the first day of the Great Fast.
Sunday Evening Vespers - Daily Matins - Third and Sixth Hour - Great Compline

February 29 is the commemoration of the miracle of St. Theodore.
Divine Liturgy

March 1 is the first Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of the Holy Icons
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

 

March 7 is the second All Souls Saturday.
Divine Liturgy

March 8 is the second Sunday of the Great Fast.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy (Palamas) - Saturday evening Vespers

March 9 is the feast of the Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste, in Armenia.
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (on Monday evening)

March 7 is the third All Souls Saturday.
Divine Liturgy

March 15 is the third Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross..
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

March 21 is the fourth All Souls Saturday.
Divine Liturgy

March 22 is the fourth Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of St. John Climacus..
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

On March 24 we sing the Great Canon of Repentence of St. Andrew of Crete (moved from Thursday because of the Annunciation).
Matins of the Great Canon of Repentence

March 25 is the feast of the Annunciation.
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts - Great Compline - Matins - Vespers with Divine Liturgy (short)

March 28 is Akathistos Saturday.
Divine Liturgy - Akathist

March 29 is the fifth Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt..
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Life of St. Mary of Egypt - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

April 4 is Lazarus Saturday.
Divine Liturgy

Apil 5 is Palm Sunday.
Vespers - Matins - Blessing of Psalms - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers (complete)

April 6 is Great and Holy Monday.
Bridegroom Matins

April 7 is Great and Holy Tuesday.
Bridegroom Matins

April 8 is Great and Holy Wednesday.
Bridegroom Matins

April 9 is Great and Holy Thursday.
Matins - Vespers and Divine Liturgy of St. Basil (propers only)

April 10 is Great and Holy Friday.
Matins - Royal Hours (adapted) - Vespers

April 11 is Great and Holy Friday.
Matins - Royal Hours (adapted) - Vespers

April 12 is PASCHA, the feast of the Resurrection of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.
Midnight Office - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Paschal Hours - Vespers

April 13-19 is Bright Week.
Matins (Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday - Saturday) - Paschal Hours - Vespers

April 20 is Thomas Sunday, the second Sunday of Pascha.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy

April 23 is the feast of holy great-martyr George.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

April 27 is the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women, the third Sunday of Pascha.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

January 30 - Three Holy Bishops

The Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete

Because the feast of the Annunciation (March 25) falls on Wednesday in the fifth week of the Fast this year, with its post-festive day on Thursday, it displaces the service of Matins with the Great Canon of Repentence of Saint Andrew of Crete (8th century), one of the masterpieces of Byzantine hymn-writing, with its evocation of all the great penitents from the Old and New Testaments.

Here is a recording from the Schola Cantorum of Saint Peter:

Presanctified Book Available Online

At the request of Bishop Milan of Parma, I am posting a version of the complete people's book for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. It is not quite the same as the published one, since the page layout was changed, but it should help the faithful who participate in the Presancitifed from home via live-streaming.

People's book for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

The people's book for the Divine Liturgy is also available as a PDF:

People's book for the Divine Liturgy

Live-streamed Liturgical Services

The following is the best collection I have found of live-streamed Eastern Catholic liturgical services, so that you can participate in worship from home:

http://liveliturgy.com/

Resources for Prayer at Home

During the current viral outbreak, many churches have been forced to curtail services. Therefore, we would like to make available the following materials for use at home:

The Office of Typika for Home Use

Typika is a Byzantine monastic service which includes the readings of the day; it was originally a service for communion when monks could not attend church services. Anyone can pray this version of the service, individually or in a small group. For the appointed Scriptural readings, on Saturday and Sunday use the ones on the church calendar. On Lenten weekdays, use the readings on the church calendar for the day from Genesis and Proverbs, or read a portion of the Gospel of Saint Mark.

The regular version can be printed on ordinary letter-size paper; the booklet version is set up for printing on legal size (8.5 by 14 inch) paper.

The Moleben for the Sick

This service, from our Slavonic Trebnyk or "Book of Needs", is a prayer service for one or more people who are sick. It is from the Liturgical Commission's work on the service for the anointing of the sick, which has been submitted to the Council of Hierarchs for approval. Unlike the sacramental anointing of the sick, however, this service can be prayed by individuals and families on their own.

Both the regular version and booklet version are set up for printing on letter size (8.5 by 11 inch) paper.

The Great Fast

This forty-day preparation for Holy Week and Pascha is also our annual return to the Old Testament, and a chance for personal metanoia or transformation.

Learn more about the Great Fast here

On weekdays of the Great Fast, the Eucharist or Divine Liturgy is NOT celebrated; instead, we celebrate the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, generally on Wednesday and Friday.

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

Singing the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

You can find all this and more in the MCI Online Class, The Great Fast and Holy Week, which is available for guest access.

New Lenten Hymnal available online; printed copies of full hymnal also available for review

As part of the Church Music Day in Pittsburgh, we prepared a small Lenten hymnal for teaching purposes. Although the full hymnal is probably not ready for any kind of bulk printing (it still needs to be reviewed by the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission), some parishes may want to try this small (28 page) booklet out:

    New Lenten Hymnal  (booklet)

Also, approximately 25 copies of  the printed draft hymnal were left over; this 188-page, spiral bound book has all the traditional hymns from the DRAFT hymnal in English, Church Slavonic, and Hungarian (it does not include the "new" lectionary hymns, though they are listed in the table of contents). 

    Draft Hymnal - February version

Printed copies of the  188-page draft hymnal can be purchased from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute for $20 apiece, postpaid.  Please CONTACT ME first at mci@archpitt.org or (412) 735-1676 to reserve a  copy, since supplies are limited.

Read about the recent Church Music Day in Pittsburgh

Preliminary MCI schedule for 2020

In addition to the MCI Online program, a number of in-person classes and other events are planned for later this year:

For more information about any of these, contact Deacon Jeff Mierzejewski at mci@archpitt.org or (412) 735-1676.

From Bishop Milan of the Eparchy of Parma, Ohio:

"Cherish the beauty of our prostopinije, our liturgical chant. We constantly need to work on it. " - pastoral letter for the new Church year

Seminary library seeks cantor papers

The library of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary is assembling a collection of music and papers from our cantors and choir directors since the founding of our church in the United States. These collections are being indexed and preserved so that that they can be used for research by scholars, and also for fostering our church singing in the future.

If your parish or a retired cantor you know has music, memorabilia, or recordings which might have a place in this collection, please contact Deacon Jeffrey Mierzejewski (412 735-1676, mci@archpitt.org) or library director Sandra Collins (412 32-8383). We also invite donations of materials from family and friends of our cantors who have reposed; this collection will serve as a permanent memorial to their labors.

2020 Registration forms for MCI Online classes

With the completion of the Services for the Departed class (now available for guest access!), the entire 2-year MCI cantor education is now available!

What are "samohlasen" and "podoben" melodies?

See this blog post.

Typikon for 2020 is available

The Typikon for 2020 (which shows how to set up the services for each day of the year) can be ordered from the Byzantine Seminary Press:

http://www.byzantineseminarypress.com/2020-typicon/

The MCI Online program also has a free course on how to use the annual typikon to set up music and Sunday and weekday Divine Liturgies.

Clergy Book for Vespers

In the process of updating the MCI Vespers books, we determined that there was a real need for a separate book for priests and deacons, with the priest's silent prayers, and detailed rubrics and guidelines for celebration.  This (unofficial) book is now available:

This book is set up for printing in two colors, on letter (not legal) size paper.  If you have problems getting one printed for your own use, feel free to contact me for assistance. A similar book for Matins is in preparation, For background details, see this blog post - and leave you comments if  you like!

Mailing List for Cantors

We have migrated 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

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.