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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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

February 8 - Texas Cantor School, Irving TX.

February 22 - Church Music Day, Pittsburgh, PA (flyer).

March 3, 2020 - Next MCI Online classes begin: Introduction to the Divine Liturgy; The Divine Liturgy; From Pascha to Pentecost (more info)

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

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

Liturgical Calendar

February 15 is the first All Souls Saturday.
Divine Liturgy - Parastas

February 16 is the Meatfare Sunday, the Sunday of the Last Judgment.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy

February 23 is Cheesefare Sunday, the Sunday of Forgiveness, and the feast of the 2nd and 3rd Findings of the head of the holy prophet, forerunner, and baptist John.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

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

March 8 is the second Sunday of the Great Fast.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Saturday afternoon Vespers

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

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

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

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

January 1 - Circumcision / Basil the Great

January 30 - Three Holy Bishops

Hymnal updated; please submit comments by January 31!

I have made some updates to the draft hymnal:

The draft hymnal (all 320 pages of it!) can be found here. I would encourage everyone to look it over and send any suggestions or corrections you have, by January 31, since I plan to distribute copies at the church music day in Pittsburgh on Cheesefare Saturday, February 22.

Preliminary MCI schedule for 2020

In addition to the MCI Online program, a number of in-person classes and other events are planned for next year, and more are in the works.

Several of these sessions are intended specifically for clergy, cantors, and faithful of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, but the Byzantine Catholic bishops of Passaic, Parma, and Phoenix have been contacted about the possibility of offering similar classes in those eparchies. Dates will be announced here when available.

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.