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Re: A Reader in the Orthodox Church

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  • James
    You make some good points here, especially in your second paragraph, on choosing the reciting notes. Problem arises (as I have experienced!) with
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 26, 2011
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      You make some good points here, especially in your second paragraph, on choosing the reciting notes. Problem arises (as I have experienced!) with tone-challanged clergy who land on whatever pitch is handy, regardless of what choir is singing! Can get almost anarchic at times. But shrug and go onward and upward!

      Also, might help if choir rehearses with priest and vice versa, from time to time...Personally I've found that that helps a lot.

      Rdr. James

      --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mshorthose" <treacleshouse@...> wrote:
      >
      > As a reader-designate in our convert parish, I find that our Priest "interferes" very little in reader/choir matters and I will only bother him about an issue if I really have doubt.
      > Moderation in everything is key I think - pare down your ideas of melody as much as possible unless a specific melody is called for, such as the 'special melody' for the reading of 'Dry Bones'.
      > Have a search on the interweb for such melodies as many will have been shared.
      >
      > I am also choir leader and I find that in this capacity as well as that of reader it is good assist the Priest as much as possible - especially if they are perhaps less musical.
      > Thus, choose a reciting note which is comfortable for the reader as well as the Priest.
      > If, for example, the Trisagion Prayers at Vespers are pitched too high, the Priest might struggle to match the reader at the end of the Lord's Prayer. He might pitch in a totally abstract key as a result and completely baffle the choir who are searching for a chord for the Amen.
      > This is developed over time but as it is the Reader's responsibility to serve the Priest, he should be the one who fits in with the Priest's lead.
      > It is quite satisfying if it all works!
      >
      > I think to record oneself in action and listen back critically is a good idea.
      > Maybe hide a video camera under the choir desk for this purpose and listen at home afterwards.
      > In this way I determined that my reading of prayers was too fast.
      > While it was perfectly understandable, it sounded rushed and I really wasn't aware of this and the Priest had made no comment.
      >
      > Finally, as has already been said.
      > Prepare, prepare, prepare.
      > Read through everything - you never know when some weird name is going to take you by surprise at the very least.
      >
      > In Christ,
      > The inadequate and sinful reader,
      > Martin
    • James
      PS As to speed in reading things, one might ask various members of the congregation if they are comprehending what you are reading, particularly things like
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 26, 2011
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        PS As to speed in reading things, one might ask various members of the congregation if they are comprehending what you are reading, particularly things like the six psalms and the epistle.

        Rdr. James morgan

        --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mshorthose" <treacleshouse@...> wrote:

        > ......I think to record oneself in action and listen back critically is a good idea.
        > Maybe hide a video camera under the choir desk for this purpose and listen at home afterwards.
        > In this way I determined that my reading of prayers was too fast.
        > While it was perfectly understandable, it sounded rushed and I really wasn't aware of this and the Priest had made no comment.
        >
        > Finally, as has already been said.
        > Prepare, prepare, prepare.
        > Read through everything - you never know when some weird name is going to take you by surprise at the very least.
        >
        > In Christ,
        > The inadequate and sinful reader,
        > Martin
      • Alex Langley
        Remember, brothers, we know that our church reading and church singing are not a performance. As readers, we are co-servants with the other clergy and the
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 27, 2011
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          Remember, brothers, we know that our church reading and church singing
          are not a performance.

          As readers, we are co-servants with the other clergy and the choir of
          that parish to HELP PEOPLE PRAY and prepare to receive the Eucharist.

          Some people just don't have the talent to tone-match. Musicians will
          have to decide how much to let this be a bother.

          One could certainly decide that tone-challenged clergy is not a big
          issue in the grand scheme of things. God will sooner hear that which
          is prayed with humility of heart than that which is proudly intoned
          beautifully according to human ears.

          Sometimes charity means "putting up" with clergy whose voices are less
          than lovely....to us. For clergy, charity might mean putting up with
          a reader who thinks he knows better.

          When I have directed choirs, there have been times when I'ved tuned
          the choir up or down to match the clergy. I find that causes less
          frustration for those who find such dissonance frustrating. This
          generally is during litanies, the conversational parts, and as a
          musician, it's easy for me to do.

          As for seeking feedback when reading, that's a good idea. I would
          start with my priest, then choir director or other reader or clergy,
          and friends. If all that seems to be unhelpful or the clergy seem to
          lack knowledge or interest, then this group is a good resource, but we
          are not here to learn something so that we can change the priest and
          make him the priest we would like him to be.

          God gives us the priest and parish we have, warts and all.

          Serve all faithfully the best you can.

          Rdr. Alexander


          You make some good points here, especially in your second paragraph,
          on choosing the reciting notes. Problem arises (as I have
          experienced!) with tone-challanged clergy who land on whatever pitch
          is handy, regardless of what choir is singing! Can get almost anarchic
          at times. But shrug and go onward and upward!

          Also, might help if choir rehearses with priest and vice versa, from
          time to time...Personally I've found that that helps a lot.

          Rdr. James
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