On Saturday, 28 July, the Commission on Liturgical Music (Diocese of New York & New Jersey) sponsored a conference & workshop exploring the spiritual and historical structure of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Held at Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego NY, the program featured opening comments by Bishop Michael and sessions lead by the guest facilitator, Aleksei V. Shipovalnikov (director of “The Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir” and music director of Saints Peter & Paul Church in Jersey City NJ). Professor Shipovalnikov presented insightful, essential pointers about leading the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy from a choir director's point of view. He also shared his expertise accumulated through a wealth of experiences leading liturgical singing in Russia and elsewhere.
“The workshop was great!” said Bonnie Maye-Schwarz of Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY. She continued, “Bishop Michael set the context with his comments about the fullness of the church being manifested when the people, priest, and bishop come together to serve the Liturgy. Professor Shipovalnikov led us through the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy step-by-step, covering the communication and planning that must take place beforehand, the rubrics of the service, considerations for choosing music settings, length of time that various actions take, cues for when to start (and stop!) singing, possible surprises to be prepared for, and common mistakes to avoid. We were able to share in the 3rd and 6th Hour services with the sisters of Holy Myrrhbearers in their beautiful chapel. It was a wonderful day of instruction, inspiration, and fellowship!”
The Sisterhood of the Monastery sponsored a delicious luncheon for all in attendance.
For current information regarding liturgical music and an impressive offering of resources, please visit the website of the Commission on Liturgical Music.