Rev. Dn John El Massih ordained to the priesthood

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) faculty member Dn. John (Rassem) El Massih was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Sunday, August 30 by the hand of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA). The ordination took place during a hierarchical Divine Liturgy served at Ss. Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Potomac, MD.

“May I serve every Divine Liturgy as if it is my first with humility and fear. Hopefully I will never take it for granted,” said Fr. John at the conclusion of his ordination. He has been assigned as an "attached" priest to Ss. Peter & Paul. He will continue to teach Byzantine liturgical music at SVOTS, the Sacred Music Institute, and the Antiochian House of Studies and continue his music composition for AOCANA’s Department of Sacred Music.

Father John was born and raised in Anfeh, Lebanon, where he studied Byzantine Chant under the tutelage of the renowned teacher Fr. Nicholas Malek. After immigrating to the United States in 2001, Fr. John enrolled in Hellenic College in Brookline, MA, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. He later continued on to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, where he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. He served as the Protopsalti of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Boston until his assignment in summer of 2013 as an assistant and chanter for His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory.

In 2009, Fr. John directed a CD project entitled The Voice of the Lord: Selected Hymns from the Feast of Theophany. On December 8, 2017, his second CD, Sun of Justice: Byzantine Chant for Christmas in Arabic, Greek, and English, was released.

The community of St. Vladimir’s Seminary wishes the newly ordained Fr. John and his family many years!