A Book of Hours for our church

For our round of daily liturgical prayer, there are a lot of possible needs: books for clergy and people, church and home, with or without music. Until now, it’s taken a LOT of work to find pray-able editions of these books, especially ones that use our translations and music.

Earlier this year, the Seminary Press asked me to prepare new editions of the MCI Sunday Matins and Vespers books, and perhaps add new books for daily services.  Instead, I’ve submitted a proposal for a full set of books for the Divine Praises – one which I think will meet quite a few different needs.

Here is the proposal as it stands.  I hope to begin working on it later this month.

1. Service book for Vespers (done): clergy texts, complete rubrics, with details for Sunday evenings in Lent, Great and Holy Friday, and Vespers with Divine Liturgy.

2. Service book for Matins: clergy texts, complete rubrics, with details for Paschal Matins

3. Horologion, Vol. 1: The Greater Hours: Vespers and Matins for church or home, ordinary + octoechos (partial for Matins) + commons of saints – basically enough to do SOME sort of Vespers and Matins on any ordinary day

4. Horologion, Vol 2: The Lesser Hours: Hours and Compline for church or home – ordinary + troparia/kontakia  for the year – enough to do Hours and Compline on almost any day of the year.

5. Horologion, Vol 3 (maybe): Midnight Office, with octoechos

6. Musical supplements for Vespers, Matins, and Hours: one book each (the previous books are WITHOUT music, except for a very few things like O Joyful Light; instead, texts are pointed for chanting) – Vespers, Matins, Hours and Compline on any ordinary Sunday or weekday could be sung using just one supplement

7. Liturgical Psalter

8. Prayer book (material from the Horologion not included above: morning and evening prayers, Akathists, Paraklis, Molebens, preparation for Confession and Communion, explanation of the Jesus Prayer)

What do you think?

Draft hymnal is done!

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?

If you look at the liturgical calendar on the MCI website, you will sometimes seen two sets of music for Vespers, with one of them labelled “samohlasen.” What does this mean, and which  set of music should you choose?

Continue reading “What are “samohlasen” and “podoben” melodies?”

First draft of hymnal is available!

After a year of work on the Hymnal Project, and a great deal of input from cantors (thank you all!), the first formatted draft of the new hymnal is available:

Hymnal – draft – 2019-09

I think you will be happy with the results;  there  are some new additions, many old favorites, and I THINK we have corrected most most of the places where the music seemed a bit off. I have incorporated all comments i have  received to date, including some very valuable feedback from the annual Labor Day pilgrimage to Mount Saint Macrina.

If you are interested in our paraliturgical hymns and spiritual songs, I would greatly appreciate it if you could:

  • Download the draft hymnal
  • Look it over and see if:
    • anything is missing that should be there
    • you find any typos or obvious mistakes.

Initial versions of all entries are pretty much settled EXCEPT for an alternate, somewhat more complicated version of Rejoice,  O purest Queen (Radujsja Carice), which was requested by cantor Joseph Ferenchick, it can be found in English and Slavonic after page 59 (and if we use it, several other hymns like O Father Nicholas would likely change to the more intricate version).

In three weeks, I plan to send the hymnal to the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission for their review and any changes, so please let me know what you find before then!  Also, if you have questions about anything in the draft hymnal, please leave them in a comment below.

New Marian Hymnal UPDATED!

Several cantors have reported single-note errors in the following hymns

All the faithful come before you
Christijane, proslavl’ajme

Sing with joy and pray together
Palomniki Uniontowns’ki

Virgin Mother, Intercessor
D’ivo Mati zastupaj nas

which have been corrected in an updated version of the “New Marian Hymnal” on the MCI website:

https://mci.archpitt.org/sheetmusic/New_Marian_Hymnal.pdf

The corrected version has a date on the title page of August 31, 2019;  if you find errors in your copy, please check the updated version to see if they are already fixed!

A New Marian Hymnal

The 1984 Marian Hymnal marked an important milestone in our church’s music; it was the first major collection of these hymns, with music, in English. As part of the work on the forthcoming hymnal, the MCI has prepared a “new” Marian hymnal for experimental use:

New Marian Hymnal
New Marian Hymnal (camera-ready booklet)

See the Discuss links on the Hymnal Project page if you have any questions about particular hymns – and if you have suggestions for improvement, or hymns that should be added, please comment below!

(Note that the formatting, and even some words and music, may very well change when the Music Commission goes over the draft hymnal; for example, with English and Slavonic side-by-side, there is really no need to include both titles on each page.  In the meantime, please do not use the music publicly, or at large gatherings such as pilgrimages, unless  you have made sure that everyone has access to the “new” versions, and had had time to learn them!)

Where our Mother reigns in heaven

The text for Tam hde v nebi,  the Slavonic original of this hymn, was printed in 1974 in a small booklet from the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great, Uniontown, PA, titled Pisňi vo čest’ Materi Božoj Neustajuščoj Pomošči – in other words, hymns for services to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

One verse was printed (with an English translation) by Fr. William Levkulic in 1978. This hymn was NOT included in the 1985 Marian Hymnal, so I have had to rely on an unattributed manuscript for music.

Continue reading “Where our Mother reigns in heaven”