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Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday Message from Paul Jabara

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

This Sunday marks a very special day for us. It is Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday. Anyone who attends an Orthodox service is immediately lifted by the sheer beauty of the music. If it weren’t for the tireless efforts of our chanters, choir members and conductors, congregations would not be elevated by the stunning hymnography of the Church, but by words alone. 

Dedicating one’s musical gift to God is truly a labor of love. Not only are singers needed at just about every service, each of those services comes with prior rehearsal and planning. Church singers devote many hours each week learning new music and reviewing old, working on their technique so they can sound better for those in prayerful attendance. The more beautiful the music, after all, the more beautiful the prayer.

This Sunday, as we thank our singers and directors for all they do, we should also reflect on the words of our beloved Metropolitan Joseph, shared at the July 2015 Sacred Music Institute. 

“Liturgical music does not have ethnic borders. It does not have ethnic characteristic. It is not Greek, Arabic or Russian. The church fathers did not create ethnic borders for worship. If music lifts you up; if it is a vehicle for prayer, not Western, Eastern, Arabic Greek, Russian or Byzantine, it is Church Music.”

So this Sunday, when you see a choir member, chanter or director, pause for a second and say “thank you”, and maybe give them a special hug too!

Glory be to God!

Paul Jabara
Chairman, Department of Sacred Music

 

 

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Choir Chanter Appreciation 2016 Letter, Paul Jabara (PDF)105.71 KB