Byzantine Catholic Church in America: News of the East

Archeparchial Cantors' School Completes Year, Looks to Future

PITTSBURGH -- (BCW 7/25/1999) -- The Archeparchial Cantors' School, an idea promoted by Metropolitan Judson, became a reality on June 22, 1998 when His Eminence met at the Pittsburgh Chancery Msgr. Alexis Mihalik, Archpriest John Petro and Fathers Richard Lambert, Elias O'Brien, Joseph Raptosh and Donald Valasek.

After discussing the needs of the archeparchy in this area, it was decided that four sessions would be offered throughout the following year. The dates selected were Saturdays: September 19,1998; October 31, 1998; February 13, 1999; and March 20, 1999.

A schedule was prepared at that first meeting. The classes would take place at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh. Each session would begin with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and conclude with the celebration of Vespers. The curriculum for all sessions included liturgical singing sessions, interactive input sessions and discussions of Eastern spirituality and liturgy.

Some resident members of the seminary faculty, namely Father Jack Custer and Father David Petras, were among those who gave presentations.

The liturgical singing session included: the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Parastas and Funeral Liturgy, the Octoechos (Eight Tones), Vespers, special music and hymns for Christmas and Pascha, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, Lenten and Holy Week Services and Resurrection Matins.

Input sessions took place on various topics, among which were: the Divine Liturgy, Funeral Services, the Menaion, the Eight Tones, character of the Lenten Liturgy, the liturgical year, introduction to the Triodion, structure of the Hours, Sacred Scripture in the Liturgy, introduction to the Typikon, the Psalter and prayer. Presentations were also given on the "Vocation of a Cantor" and "The Order and Ministry of the Reader in the Church."

Over 100 individuals attended the sessions. These ranged from experienced cantors of various parishes to those interested in learning more about chant. Through the kindness of Mr. John James and the staff of WEDO radio in McKeesport, PA, member of the staff - Fathers Lambert, O’Brien, Raptosh and Valasek - taped some of the liturgical music which was covered in the classes. Cassette tapes were provided for those who attended the sessions. Metropolitan Judson and the staff are meeting in July to review the response of the participants and to plan the future steps to be taken for the School.


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Last Modified on 08/12/1999.