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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.

Typika for Home Use

November 26 - Thanksgiving Day

November 29 - Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Liturgical Calendar

On September 21. we begin the continuous reading of the Gospel of Saint Luke at the  Divine Liturgy, which will continue until the Great Fast.  As a result, this year there is a one-week discrepancy, so the Gospel read on September 27 is for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost. 

November 14 - December 24 is the Nativitu Fast, or Fast of St. Philip.
Emmanuel Moleben (supplement)

November 15 is the twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

November 21 is the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary into the Temple in Jerusalem.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy

November 22 is the twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost, and a post-festive day of the Entrance.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

November 26 is Thanksgiving Day (in the United States).Divine Liturgy - Moleben

November 29 is the twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

November 8 - Archangel Michael

November 21 - Entrance of the Theotokos

Hymnal update!

Based on input from Bishop Milan of Parma, and after consultation with a number of other contributors, I have decided to split the draft hymnal into two pieces - one with the traditional "core" hymns for the liturgical year, in English and original languages on opposite pages;  and one with the more recent hymns "for Sundays and feast-days."    I believe this will be easier to use overall, and simpler than seasonal hymnals with duplicated material in each one.

Here are the two volumes, which I will be sending to the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission for review and consideration:

I have also excerpted the traditional Christmas hymns into a smaller booklet suitable for caroling. Like the full traditional hymnal, it includes music (and in some cases Slavonic texts) for the traditional "English" carols sung in our churches:

Use  them as you like;  please send me any suggestions you may have!  Individual pages of both books can be printed from the Hymnal Project page, inserted into parish bulletins, etc.  I plan to make recordings of each hymn or tune, and also provide harmonizations, as soon as the Music Commission has finished its review!

The Christmas Fast (St. Philip's Fast)

The Christmas Fast, in preparation for the feast of the Nativity on December 25, is one of the minor fasts of the Church. This fast of forty days was introduced in the 12th century. Counting back 40 days from the feast of the Nativity, the fast begins on the evening of November 14 - the feast of the holy apostle Philip. As a result, it is traditionally called Philip's Fast or the Philipian Fast (in Slavonic, Filipovka).

To find out more about this liturgical season, see this article.

Emmanuel Moleben as a reader service

For several years now, our church has been using a special service for the Nativity Fast, originally composed by Fr. Conrad Dachuk (possibly based on a Slavonic original), set to prostopinije by Prof. J. Michael Thompson, and distributed through the MCI:

All of our services, with the exception of the three Divine Liturgies and the holy Mysteries, can be celebrated without a priest, following the rules for reader services.  Father Deacon Basil Balke has prepared a reader service version of the Emmanuel Moleben, which you can also use at home:

Many thanks to Deacon Basil for doing this work!

Prayer in time of coronavirus

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in Your ineffable goodness, look down upon Your people gathered in Your name.  Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction.  You know our weakness.  You hear our cry of repentance and contrition of heart.  O Lord who lovest mankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the Coronavirus.  Send Your Angel to watch over us and protect us.  Grant health and recovery to those suffering  from this virus.  Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve you in peace and glorify Your most honorable and majestic Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

(Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, MD, Orthodox Church in America)

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.

From St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church in Whiting, Indiana:

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 viewed online or 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.

Reading Scripture

You can find the Scripture readings (chapter and verses) for each of these services on your church calendar, or in the Lectionary.

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/

You can use the following books to take part in the Divine Liturgy:

People's book for the Divine Liturgy

Read about the recent Church Music Day in Pittsburgh

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.

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.