Bp. Tikhon did indeed write that. He has also
written, in the diocesan newsletter (I don't have the
time to hunt down the quotation, but it is probably
on-line), approvingly of having reading done by
properly tonsured readers. So put that in the mix.
What this passage seems to point most firmly to is
that having a man read poorly is hardly preferable to
having a woman read well. And with that, it is very
hard to disagree.
In our parish, we have a number of men, tonsured and
untonsured, who read very well indeed -- their voices
are clear and penetrating, their voices fill every
corner of the church, and their enunciation is
excellent. It also happens that the most qualified
and willing person to direct the choir is a man.
Parishes like that are probably not at all the norm,
and most parishes are heavily dependent on the
abilities and willingness to serve of women in order
to keep the liturgical life going.
I would point out, though, that a parish in which men
entirely abdicate the kliros work to women tends not
to be as healthy as it would be with active male
involvement. I work hard to recruit and cultivate men
who I think would be good readers and chanters. I
basically make them stay with me on kliros and learn
to sing sing the melodies (no, I don't really make
them, but sometimes encouragement is very much
necessary), and it is remarkable what can be
accomplished with a little training and experience.
The Russian emphasis on part-singing often makes the
lack of male singers a self-fulfilling prophecy, since
in order to fit in to the choir, they must be able to
read music and learn parts other than the melody.
I've got two excellent male chanters who couldn't sing
in parts to save their lives, but who do a beautiful
job of memorizing melodic patterns and can chant the
basic stock melodies, including some podobny, with me
in unison at weekday services.
A final practical note: most Orthodox parishes have a
lot of elderly people, and elderly frequently means
high-frequency hearing loss. Under those conditions,
a clear low-frequency male voice is generally better
understood than is a high-frequency female voice, and
in many cases, a clear male solo chanter (or small
number of male chanters singing in unison) is often
better understood than is a choir -- particularly a
choir singing in parts. I've had a number of elderly
folks in my parish tell me that the services that I
chant solo are the ones they enjoy the most because of
how clearly they can hear the words.
Just a few random thoughts.
--- stephen_r1937 <stephen_r1937@...
> Dear Rebecca,http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit1.html
> --- In email@example.com, Maria I Armstrong
> <aaron-maria@j...> wrote:
> > Hi Rebecca,
> > I am not Stephen,
> This is true, fortunately. Maria is much better
> looking and speaks
> Dutch, so it would be hard to confuse us for one
> >but you can find this on www.ocadow.org, I think
> > the link liturgics and then notes for readers.
> This is right, but it's a bit hard to find if you
> are looking for his
> comments on women readers, because it comes in a set
> of instructions
> for services in cathedrals of the diocese.
> Specifically, look at the
> last paragraph of :
> BTW, I should have some Dogmatika for you shortly.
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around