On the fifth Sunday of Great Lent, 29 March 2015, Archpriest Peter Olsen and the faithful of Saint Basil Church in Watervliet NY eagerly welcomed the Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary “Mission Choir” and the seminary’s Dean, Archpriest Steven Voytovich. These dedicated seminarians visited both Saturday and Sunday, beautifully singing the evening Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy the following day. The voices of the six young men, under the direction of the very talented Benedict Sheehan, filled the church, enriched the services, and uplifted the faithful.
Patrons of a local restaurant, “The Purple Pub” (owned by parishioners Greg and Diane Rentz) were also treated to a taste of this talented choir when they sang the prayer before and after the meal on Saturday evening. Those dining in the restaurant were silent in attention as the choir sang “Many Years” to Greg and Diane Rentz, and then everyone responded with a round of applause!
A pot luck lunch was enjoyed after the Sunday Divine Liturgy and provided time for parishioners and friends to interact with the choir members and shop at the traveling seminary bookstore. Several families enjoyed an added blessing by offering hospitality to one or more seminarians overnight. Their stay not only provided the community with beautiful voices singing the services, but also the opportunity to share stories and learn of their experience at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary.
The choir’s webpage describes the Mission Choir as a group “dedicated to God through the Church’s primary evangelistic and teaching tool: Her Liturgical worship; striving to bring life, invigoration and inspiration to the parishes.”
To learn more about the Mission Choir and ways to support them, you may visit: