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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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

May 6, 2019 - Next MCI Online classes begin: Introduction to the Eight Tones; The Office of Vespers; Mastering the Eight Tones; Services for the Living (more info)

Liturgical Calendar

April 13 is Lazarus Saturday.
Divine Liturgy

April 14 is Palm (or Flowery) Sunday.
Vespers - Matins - Blessing of Palms - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

April 15 is Great and Holy Monday.
Bridegroom Matins

April 16 is Great and Holy Tuesday.
Bridegroom Matins

April 17 is Great and Holy Wednesday.
Bridegroom Matins - Anointing (troparia)

April 18 is Great and Holy Thursday.
Matins - Vespers with Divine Liturgy

April 19 is Great and Holy Friday.
Matins - Royal Hours (adapted) - Vespers

April 20 is Great and Holy Saturday.
Matins - Vespers with Divine Liturgy

April 21 is PASCHA, the feast of the Resurrection of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.
Midnight Office - Paschal Matins (text) - Divine Liturgy - Paschal Hours - Sunday afternoon Vespers

April 22 is Bright Monday.
Matins - Vespers

April 23 is Bright Tuesday, and the feast of the holy great-martyr George.
Matins - Divine Liturgy - Vespers

April 24 is Bright Wednesday.
Matins - Vespers

April 25 is Bright Thursday.
Matins - Vespers

April 26 is Bright Friday.
Matins - Vespers

April 27 is Bright Saturday.
Matins - Vespers

April 28 is the Thomas Sunday, the second Sunday of Pascha.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

March 25 - Annunciation (short)

New book for Great and Holy Friday

We have just published a complete text for the office of the Royal Hours on Great and Holy Friday. At one time, this service was celebrated early on the morning (the Typikon prescribes 8 AM), but since it can be served as four short (20-30) minute services, it makes an ideal celebration for the early afternoon on Holy Friday - e.g. at noon, 1 PM, 2 PM, and 3 PM.

Note that this book provides text and rubrics only; a music supplement will be prepared for next year, and for now you can use the music in the Office of Readings book.

MCI Online Class: From Pascha to All Saints

All material for the current MCI Online advanced class, From Paschal to All Saints, is now up. Although I can only provide feedback to students who sign up the for class (it runs through March and April), anyone can log in to MCI Online and view the course materials as a guest:

To enroll, simply request an MCI Online user ID and password (if you don't already have one) by pointing a web browser to http://mci.archpitt.org/online. Click on Log in (in the upper right), then on Create new account. Once you have your ID and password, log in to Moodle at http://mci.archpitt.org/online and click on the class you wish to view as a guest. To take a course for credit, gain access to quizzes and forums, and receive feedback on your singing, see the registration forms on the Classes page.

Music for April

Since some things are changing this year and some are not, I wanted to provide a summary here of what to look out for in April.

Palm Sunday

The leaflet for the Blessing of Palms has been updated with revised versions of the hymns, O Son of David and Rejoice today, from the Hymnal Project, along with a newer translation of the blessing prayer.

The leaflet for the Divine Liturgy has been updated with revised versions of the hymns O Son of David and Rejoice today as well.

The book for Vespers on the afternoon / evening of Palm Sunday has been updated to reflect the same changes that were made in the Lenten Sunday Afternoon Vespers book:

Holy Week

The Inter-Eparchial Music Commission has completed its work on books for Vespers with Divine Liturgy on Great and Holy Thursday and Vespers with Procession on Great and Holy Friday, but the bishops have not yet approved these for publication. In general, these books are quite good, and I think you will like them when they are generally available. But since they are no TOO different from the current MCI books, I have decided not to update the MCI books at all this year. If you do note any problems, though, please send them to me at mci@archpitt.org!

Pascha and Bright Week

Here there WILL be some changes, but not this year. As part of work on the funeral in Bright Week, the Inter-Eparchial Liturgical and Music Commissions assenbled new translations and music for the Paschal Canon, as well as some of the other hymns of Pascha, and these are QUITE different from what we have used in the past. (This translation was briefly used in MCI publications in 2008 and 2009, but at that time I decided to go back to cleaned-up versions of the older translation). If the past translation is any guide, an experimental period may be required before the new Paschal Canon is complete (we did that in 1974 for the 1976 editions), and so for this year I am not making any changes to the service books for Pascha and Bright Week.

Still in preparation

These will all be announced here and on the cantors mailing list when complete.

I am on the fence about updating the MCI Vespers for Sundays in the Paschal Season.

If there is anything else you need, please let me know as soon as possible!

Choral settings of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

Several years ago, the MCI prepared two harmonizations of the ordinary parts of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, one for men's voices (TTB) and one for mixed voices (SATB).

The SATB setting for mixed choir and the TTB setting for men's voices have both been revised to fix some mistakes, and to add the B version of the Hymn of Thanksgiving. Both are set up for printing on letter size (8.5 by 11 inch paper)

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:

    http://www.byzantineseminarypress.com/2019-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.

Registration forms for 2019 MCI Online classes

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.