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 They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.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

February 14 - Cheesefare Sunday

Liturgical Calendar

February 6 is the first All Souls Saturday (commemoration of the departed).
Divine Liturgy - Parastas

February 7 is Meatfare Sunday, the Sunday of the Last Judgment.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy

February 13 is Cheesefare Saturday (commemoration of all holy ascetics).
Divine Liturgy

February 14 is Cheesefare Sunday, the Sunday of Forgiveness.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

February 15 is beginng of the Great Fast, which continues through March 26.
Sunday Evening Vespers - Daily Matins - Third and Sixth Hour - Great Compline - THESE ARE BEING REVISED

February 20 is the commemoration of the miracle of St. Theodore.
Divine Liturgy

February 21 is the first Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of Orthodoxy.
Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Sunday evening Vespers

February 27 is the second All Souls Saturday (commemoration of the departed).
Divine Liturgy - Parastas

February 28 is the second Sunday of the Great Fast.
Vespers - Matins - Divine Liturgy (Palamas) - Sunday evening Vespers

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

February 2 - Meeting of the Lord

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in Electronic Form!

When the 2010 books for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts was published, the chairman of the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission reformatted the draft provided by the MCI for a different page size and internal layout. Unfortunately, this was done in a way that would have made the PDF file quite large, and (probably as a result) I was never able to obtain a full electronic copy.

However, given the ongoing pandemic - and the fact that some are attending services from home, while parishes are often avoiding the passing out of printed materials - I am posting the final draft version of the MCI people's book, with music, for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. It may differ in a SMALL number of places from the printed book, but I hope you find it helpful during this year's Great Fast:

MCI book for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

We also have harmonizations of the ordinary (unchanging) parts of the service:

There is also a tutorial article, Singing the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

I am working on a setting of the traditional (ornate) music for the priest to sing at the Presanctified, and hope to release that shortly.

MCI Online registrations open for 2021

In the coming year, we will continue the the MCI Online program pretty much unchanged:

For complete information and registration forms, click on Classes at the top of any page on this site!

The Great Fast

Look here for an explanation of the Great Fast, and here for the month of February in the Byzantine Rite!

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!

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:

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, 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, 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.