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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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

January 6, 2020 - Next MCI Online classes begin: Reading in Church; The Liturgical Year; Services of the Great Fast and Holy Week (more info)

Liturgical Calendar

November 15
is the beginning of pre-Christmas Fast, or St. Philip's Fast, which continues through December 24.Emmanuel Moleben (supplement)

December 1 is the twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

December 6 is the feast of our holy father Nicholas the Wonder-worker, archbishop of Myra in Lycia.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Moleben

December 8 is the twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost, and the feast of the Maternity of Holy Anna.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 12 is the feast of the Theotokos of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

December 15 is the second Sunday before the Nativity, the Sunday of the holy Forefathers.
Vespers - Divine Liturgy

December 22 is the Sunday before the Nativity, the Sunday of the holy ancestors of Christ.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 24 is the vigil of the Nativity.
Royal Hours (adapted)

December 25 is the feast of the NATIVITY of our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Vespers with Divine Liturgy - Great Compline (short) - Matins - Divine Liturgy

December 26 is the synaxis of the Theotokos.
Divine Liturgy

December 27 is the feast of the holy apostle and first martyr Stephen.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy - Moleben

December 29 is the Sunday after the Nativity, on which we commemorate the relatives of the Lord.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 31 is the leave-taking of the Nativity.
Moleben of Thanksgiving

complete liturgical calendar

liturgical calendar for 2020

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

December 6 - Holy father Nicholas

December 8 - Maternity of Anna

December 12- Theotokos of Guadalupe

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, 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!

Draft hymnal is complete

The draft version of the new hymnal is complete (for now) and has been sent to the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission for their review and improvement.

Here is the version that was submitted:

Hymnal - draft - 2019-11

Formatting will be cleaned up a bit more before publication. In the meantime, if you find any errors or infelicities, please let me know and I will make sure they are fixed in the final version.

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:

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, 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.