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Re: [ustav] Re: Women reading

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  • bradley anderson
    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
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 10 5:00 PM
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      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@...> wrote:

      > Dear Rebecca,
      >
      > --- In ustav@yahoogroups.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
      > another.
      >
      > >but you can find this on www.ocadow.org, I think
      > under
      > > 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 :
      >
      http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit1.html
      >
      >
      > BTW, I should have some Dogmatika for you shortly.
      >
      > Stephen
      >
      >
      >
      >


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