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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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 4, 2019 - Next MCI Online classes begin: Introduction to the Divine Liturgy; The Divine Liturgy (more info)

March 11, 2019 - MCI Online class begins: From Pascha to All Saints (more info)

Liturgical Calendar

March 2 is Cheesefare Saturday, the commemoration of all holy ascetics (monks and nuns).
Divine Liturgy

March 3 is Cheesefare Sunday (the Sunday of Forgiveness).
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

March 4 is the first day of the Great Fast, which ends on April 12. Sunday Evening Vespers - Daily Matins - Third and Sixth Hour - Great Compline

March 9 is the first Saturday in the Great Fast (commemoration of Saint Theodore), and the feast of the Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts - Divine Liturgy

March 10 is the first Sunday of the Great Fast. the Sunday of the Holy Icons.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

March 16 is the second All-Souls Saturday.
Divine Liturgy - Parastas

March 17 is the second Sunday of the Great Fast.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy (Palamas) - Sunday evening Vespers

March 23 is the third All-Souls Saturday.
Divine Liturgy - Parastas

March 24 is the third Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, and the pre-festive day of the Annunciation.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy

March 25 is the ANNUNCIATION of the angel Gabriel to the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Vespers with Divine Liturgy (short)

March 30 is the third All-Souls Saturday.
Divine Liturgy - Parastas

March 31 is the fourth Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of Saint John Climacus.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

March 25 - Annunciation (short)

Hymns for the Great Fast and Holy Week

We have been busy over on the Hymnal Project, and the collection for the Great Fast and Holy Week is now ready for review:

Please take a look and let me know what you think! Send your comments to, or post them on the blog.

Online course: The Great Fast and Holy Week

We are just finishing up the paid online class on the services of the Great Fast and Holy Week (with quizzes, learning exercises, and instructor feedback). But if you'd like to look over the material as a guest, just go to the Classes page and click on The Great Fast and Holy Week to log in as a guest. (You will need an MCI Online user ID, but they're free; just follow the instructions on the Classes page to get one).

This c lass covers:

  1. Lenten Sunday services
  2. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
  3. Special services of Holy Week

The following classes will be starting next week:

See the Classes page for details and registration forms.

New book for the Great Fast: Lenten Hours and Typika

The MCI has prepared a 60-page book with the texts and rubrics for the daytime Hours and the service of Typika on "days of Alleluia" (that is, on all weekdays of the Great Fast, and the aliturgical days of the minor fasts). This book uses translations from our Inter-Eparchial Liturgical Commission, and includes rubrics to allow for celebration without a priest.

Note that this booklet is set up for printing in two colors (red and black) on LETTER SIZE paper (8.5 by 11 inch). I hope to be able to make both this book and the "regular" Hours book available through the Byzantine Seminary Press. In the meantime, please let me know if you see any errors or omissions, or have suggestions for formatting!

New books for Lenten Sunday Vespers!

I am pleased to announce updates versions of two books from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute:

What's new about these books?

  1. They use more current translations of Vespers, matching the Divine Liturgies and Presanctified books wherever appropriate - both text and music.
  2. Music is provided for all psalm verses at the Lamp-lighting Psalms and aposticha, so there is no need for a second book, or large leaflets with this music.
  3. The formatting has been vastly improved, and I intend to use the same style (perhaps with further improvements) for the other MCI Vespers books as they are revised.
  4. Music has been smoothed out where necessary, and typos have been corrected.

For parishes that celebrate Sunday afternoon Vespers several times during the Great Fast, I recommend the larger book, while parishes that celebrate ONLY Forgiveness Vespers might want to stick to the smaller one.  Both books are intended for printing in booklet form on legal size paper.  Here the the prepared booklet versions:

One thing these books do not include is the text of the prayers said privately by the priest, such as the Prayers of Light, as well as detailed rubrics for celebration. For these, see below!

All questions, corrections, and suggestions should go to Thank you!

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!

Typikon for 2019

The Typikon for 2019 (which shows how to set up the services for each day of the year) can be ordered from the Byzantine Seminary Press:

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.

New on the MCI Blog!

The Month of February

As part of the MCI Online class, The Liturgical Year, we prepared a series of articles on the feasts of the year, month by month.

The Liturgical Year (8 week online course) is offered every January and July. With a free MCI Online ID, you can also view the course materials as a guest. See the classes page for details.

Registration forms for 2019 MCI Online classes

Mailing List for Cantors

We have migrated the old MCI mailing lists to single list, 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

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.