Benefactor Donates Complete Menaion to Seminary Chapel

02 March  2012 • On-campus Event

An anonymous benefactor has Our Byzantine Chapel Choir: (top, from left) Dn. David Wooten, Basil Fritts, Sdn. Scott Miller; (second row, from left) Seminarians George Katrib, Timothy Dooley, Richard Ajalat; (first row, from left) Seminarians Sarah Bracey-Johnson and Ashley LearOur Byzantine Chapel Choir: (top, from left) Dn. David Wooten, Basil Fritts, Sdn. Scott Miller; (second row, from left) Seminarians George Katrib, Timothy Dooley, Richard Ajalat; (first row, from left) Seminarians Sarah Bracey-Johnson and Ashley Leardonated a complete English-language Menaion to the seminary for use in the seminary chapel. Up until this point, the seminary choirs and readers have shared copies of the Menaion from the library with other students who also need the Menaion for various class assignments. The twelve-volume set of variable texts used in the services was published by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline, Massachusetts, and costs around $1,200. The Menaion is a welcome addition to the collection of texts, music, and service books used in our Three Hierarchs' Chapel.

Priest Alexander Rentel, seminary ecclesiarch, points out that this gift serves to further the pan-Orthodox mission of the seminary. "While we've long had our own internal music files that we've worked on and developed over the years," he said, "the Menaion published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery has been prepared especially for Byzantine chant choirs. Our Byzantine Choir will make great use of these volumes."

The St. Vladimir's Seminary Byzantine Choir is made of seminarians, primarily from the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, but includes students from other jurisdictions who are interested in the tradition of Byzantine chant. Typically, the choir sings the responses to the services on a regular basis, alternating with the regular seminary choir. In the past, the Byzantine Choir was overseen by Priest Elias Bitar, longtime and much loved instructor of Byzantine chant, and directed in the chapel by different seminarians. This year it is under the capable oversight of seminarians Ashley Lear and Scott Miller, who do a great job setting the music, rehearsing the music, and directing the choir.

The entire seminary community wishes to thank the benefactor for such a wonderful and generous gift! The seminary also wishes to thank all those seminarians over the years who have led and participated in the Byzantine Choir, including the current members of the choir, for their valued service and pan-Orthodox ministry.