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26253RE: Short Antiphons, simple! Music for prison liturgies

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  • stephen_r1937
    Feb 7, 2014
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      Dear /Fr Seraphim,


      In this sort of situation either prostopinije or Galician chant will serve well. The melodies are intended for congregational singing and can be rendered in one, two, three, or four parts depending on the abilities of the singers.


      As for the Russian / Greek contrast, I presume you mean the choice of typical psalms + beatitudes or the old cathedral antiphons. Beyond that, your “whistle-stop” characterization of the Greek option suggests that you have in mind the common abridgment that omits the psalm verses and sings only the refrains three times. In many Greek parishes (mine included) this has been corrected and verses are sung again; if this is done, the first two antiphons at least take about the same time as the abridged versions of the typical psalms sung in most parishes.


      However, there are three possible selections of verses for the cathedral antiphons:


      1.      Verses from Pss 92, 92, & 94, the enarxis psalms of the old Cathedral rite for Sundays and weekdays alike (only a few major feasts had their own special antiphons);

      2.      Verses from Pss. 65, 66, & 94; the first two taken from the Paschal Liturgy, to bring out the resurrection motif of Sunday and distinguish it from weekdays; this is the traditional practice of western and southwestern Rus’;

      3.      Verses from Pss 102 and 145,and 95, the first two from the Typical Psalms, a bow to their use with the beatitudes in the “other” option.


      If the Typical Psalms and Beatitudes are chosen, in the restricted circumstances of your celebrations it would be practical to sing the original refrain of the beatitudes, “Remember me, O Lord, when you come in your kingdom,” rather than whatever triparia of the canon of the day may be appointed.   


      The anaphora chants etc .of the Galician and Carpatho-Rusyn traditions should also be useful in the conditions of these celebrations.



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