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"Let all the earth worship Thee and chant unto Thee,
  let them chant unto Thy name, O Most High!"

The foundation of the Orthodox service is the singing of hymns. It is this singing - particularly of ancient chants - which vests in a form that is easily comprehensible to us the character of each service: the prayerful restraint of regular services, the triumphant celebration of feast days, the slow gentleness and penitent sorrow of lenten chants, the fast and joyous singing of the paschal cycle.

Church hymns are a precious attribute of the Orthodox service and embody its spiritual beauty, and are also conducive to the main purpose of church services - the teaching of faith and the nurturing of it. The melodic execution of the sticheras (canticles) composed specifically for festive days and in commemoration of sacred events from the history of Christianity constitutes the spiritual treasure of the Church. From church singing the faithful derive instruction in the major dogmas of the Christian Church.

Simultaneously, ancient chants are an expression of the spirit of the peoples who have been nurtured within the Church and have spiritually grown under her maternal influence. These melodies reflect the depth and the power of the religious feelings and the general spiritual qualities of the Orthodox peoples, who by means of such melodies introduce their innate talents into the bosom of the Orthodox Church.


Yuri Bogatkevich,
Alexander Renko,
Father Rostislav Sheniloff,
Natalia Sheniloff.

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