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"Golden mouths" of Orthodox choirs

Front cover
Front cover

In order to experience the Orthodox service in its fullness, it is best to visit the churches during the Sunday Liturgy when the choir performs the Eucharistic Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (“golden-mouthed” in Greek). The singing varies, from the most elaborate and elegant to monotonous and rather chanting. Regardless of the established musical practice of any given church, Orthodox singing achieves the main goal to lead the soul of believer into the world of prayer and allows the faithful to concentrate on spiritual context rather than the vocal performance itself.

During Great Lent, there is a rare, once-a-year, opportunity to listen to a very different Great Penitential Canon of St. Andrew of Crete read only Monday through Thursday at the first week of Lent (i.e. February 15-18, 2010) and then briefly repeated on either Wednesday or Thursday of the fifth week of Lent. St. Andrew’s canon is the longest canon ever composed and is very solemn and ascetic both in sound and composition.

St. Gregory of Nyssa Church in Columbus has a very hard-working and talented team as its choir which has a variety of ancient and modern liturgical music in their arsenal. The choir’s repertoire is being constantly updated, modified and perfected. The choir has recently compiled its own CD of major liturgical and festal singing available for sale through St. Gregory’s (see the slideshow below). For further information about this CD, please leave comment at the church’s website or email your local Orthodoxy Examiner at

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