Advertisements



Fun things from the Synaxarion…

From yesterday’s Synaxarion reading:

As Bishop of Antioch, Ignatius governed the Church of God as a good shepherd and was the first to introduce antiphonal chanting in the Church, in which two choirs alternate the chanting. This manner of chanting was revealed to St. Ignatius by the angels in heaven.

My hope is to eventually have antiphonal choirs at my parish. I keep being told “Nobody does that,” but there seems to be a vehemence to that insistence, so that it comes across as though it actually means, “That’s too much trouble, so don’t even talk about it.” I can point out places in our rubrics where a left choir and right choir are assumed, and I certainly saw plenty of counterexamples in Greece, so it’s not that “nobody” does it, it’s that by and large it isn’t done here. Well, why not? Because the Orthodox Christians who came here weren’t exactly overflowing with psaltai and that was a way they could consolidate, and so when converts started coming, that particular tradition just wasn’t there to pass on anymore? I don’t know, but that seems like a possibility.

Anyway, what I find fascinating is that there was at least a time when antiphonal choirs were such a distinctive part of Christian liturgy that it was important that it be acknowledged within the Liturgy itself whence it came. (And yes, I’m aware that there are a handful of saints credited with its implementation, which is also fascinating.) The next time somebody tells me, “Nobody does that,” I’m going to pull out the Prologue and show them the reading for 20 December.

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Fun things from the Synaxarion…”


  1. 1 Fr. Andrew 21 December 2009 at 11:44 am

    It’s done here and there, though mainly just with two small cadres of chanters.

    St. Nektarios in Charlotte actually has two choirs that sing antiphonally, one of women and the other of men. (More here.)

    • 2 Richard Barrett 23 December 2009 at 10:32 pm

      Yes, well, they also have Fr. Seraphim Dedes.

      Women and men singing as the left and right choirs is what makes the most sense to me, and is what I would likely try to do.

  2. 3 Anna 21 December 2009 at 11:52 am

    When you move in to a new apartment and you don’t have much money, you furnish your new home with pieces that were cheap or second-hand. A few years down the road, those pieces that were meant to be there “temporarily” are still there…

  3. 4 mellehcimb 28 January 2010 at 1:42 am

    They used to have two choirs at St Vladimir’s Seminary. They stopped when the new choir director got hired. (Let’s just say she’s no David Drillock, and no Dn Kevin Smith either–and leave it at that.) I dearly hope they will return to antiphonal singing there–it’s simply not the same without it.

    I love your blog–keep up the good work.

    • 5 Richard Barrett 28 January 2010 at 5:14 am

      You’re too kind!

      I met the current person a couple of summers ago. She seemed nice enough, but what I heard from the broadcast of their contribution to the EP’s visit didn’t exactly inspire me. I will admit to having liked Dn. Kevin very much, however, even if we didn’t agree on everything musically, so she has big shoes to fill in my estimation anyway. That she’s eliminated antiphonal singing doesn’t make me happy — it was nice to be able to point to a more-or-less-mainstream Orthodox institution and say, “See? They do it!”

  4. 6 Paul Roufail 14 November 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Antiphonal chanting has been used and still being used in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, particularly during the doxologies of midnight praises. I beleive it is attested to by St. Jerome when visited the monasteries of Egypt during the fifth century.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Advertisements

Richard’s Twitter

adventures in writing alexander lingas all saints bloomington all saints orthodox church american orthodox architecture american orthodox music american orthodoxy Antiochian Archdiocese Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America Antiochians books byzantine chant cappella romana chant church architecture ecclesiastical chant ethnomusicologists ethnomusicology fellowship of ss. alban and sergius Greece Greek greek food greekness hazards of church music international travel tips ioannis arvanitis joe mckamey john michael boyer kurt sander Latin liturgical adventures liturgical architecture liturgical music liturgical texts and translation liturgy liturgy and life lycourgos angelopoulos medieval byzantine chant Metropolitan PHILIP militant americanist orthodoxy modern byzantine architecture modern greek music music as iconography my kids will latin and greek when they're newborns my kids will learn latin and greek when they're newborns orthodox architecture orthodox architecture is bloody expensive Orthodox choir schools Orthodox Ecclesiology orthodox outreach orthodox travel pascha at the singing school Patriarchate of Antioch Patriarch IGNATIUS IV Patriarch of Antioch publishing random acts of chant richard barrett in greece richard toensing rod dreher sacred music st. vlads st john of damascus society Syriac the Bishop MARK fan club the convert dilemma the dark knight The Episcopacy The Episcopate the only good language is a dead language this american church life travel we need more american saints why do we need beautiful music in churches?

Blog Stats

  • 213,834 hits

Flickr Photos

IMG_3558





More Photos

%d bloggers like this: