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By Christopher Holwey, Department of Sacred Music Chairman
On December 8th, the second Sunday of the month, our Antiochian Archdiocese will be celebrating Choir/Chanter Appreciation Sunday. While we appreciate our choir and chanters many other times throughout the year, for all the liturgical services they beautify and make possible with their singing and chanting, this is one Sunday that we especially acknowledge them particularly throughout the Archdiocese, and thank them for their ministry in the parish.
I’ve often been asked: What could we do for them on that Sunday? Well, you could have the parish sing “Many years” to them this time. You could have a special coffee hour in their honor; or invite one of them to offer the sermon, or short talk, that day on music in the Church; or use it as a time to focus on music as a ministry, inviting others to join the choir, or learn how to be a chanter if they are able to sing, and feel the calling to do so.
I’ve often been asked what we can for them on that Sunday? Here’s some suggestions:
You could also remind them that we have a Department of Sacred Music in the Archdiocese that offers many opportunities to grow in our understanding of sacred music through our Sacred Music Institutes held each at the Village and out west, or through our yearly workshops in our dioceses and parishes and conferences; that we have music available for small and large choirs, chanters, children and teens; and that we have a Sacred Music Coordinator in each of our dioceses who is willing and able to help with all of this.
So, thank you for whatever you might do for your choir and chanters on that Sunday, and however you wish to honor them. If you need any further information, or help at any time, please do not hesitate to contact me, or one of our Diocesan Coordinators. Also, please remember that our next Sacred Music Institute will be held at St. Mark Orthodox Church, Irvine, CA, from February 20-23, 2014.