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The Holy Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
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Byzantine music in english performed by the choir of the School of Ecclesiastic Music - Mount Lebanon with the participation of R.F. Pandeleimon (Farah)

Unlike most of the world's different major religions, the Christian Orthodox Church does not have a tradition of a sacred language. Since times of immemorial, Orthodox Christians have carefully translated their liturgies, services and religious texts to their native spoken languages. Understanding their corpus of ritual knowledge, meditation, and inellectual involvement in prayer are of great importance in Orthodoxy. Apart from being a musical tradition of exceptional beauty, the byzantine chant has always provided a vehicle for the sacred text. It is a means of interpretation and of depending one's experience and understanding of the text. As there are many Orthodox Christians today whose mother tongue is English, it is important, and keeing with church tradigin, to chant in English. In an effort to fultill these aims, the actual recording features church hymns beautifully rendered in English by the Mount Lebanon choir, while maintaining traditional style, or ephos, of the Byzantine chant of the church of Antioch.

Our success story

This was the first recording we compose and perform in other then Arabic. As a matter of fact, our audience exceeded the Lebanese territory so we were asked to record the English Liturgy.

We had exceptional time constraints, so we composed the music, rehearsed, and recorded the whole project in 3 days at Saint George’s church (Jdeide – Lebanon). God’s blessing was with us because he knew that we were achieving an important project.

The recording and editing of this CD was made by Dr. Costy Kheir a chanter from the choir. This was the first professional recording we do with our own means. We became professionals in recording.

This CD changed the whole concept of Byzantine Chant in English. It proved that byzantine Music is suitable for the English language in both composition and performance.

The recording was distributed all over the world thanks to the special efforts to Daecon Karim El Far.

It was broadcasted daily in the morning for more then a year on a US radio station.

We heard that in England, persons became Orthodox after listening to this recording because they felt the profound spirituality of the Orthodox Church.

The Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople sent to us his appreciation for this important achievement.

Read the full story...

1. The Great Litany - Anonymous ancient melody from the Byzantine tradition. 4th plagal diatonic mode. (05:40)
2,3,4. First and Second Antiphons - Inspired by an anonymous ancient melody from Byzantine tradition. 2nd chromatic mode. (04:54)
5,6. The Little Entrance Chants - Including the 1st mode Troparion of the Resurrection. The 1st mode troparion is arranged by Joseph Yazbeck and Sub Deacon Karim El Far and inspired by its arabic melody composed by first chanter Mitri El Murr. (05:38)
7. The Trisagion Hymn - Inspired by an anonymous ancient melody from the Byzantine tradition. 2nd chromatic mode. (03:43)
8,9. Reading of the Epistle and Gospel - Improvisation melodies accoding to the traditional recitative style in the 4th plagal diatonic mode. (07:42)
10. The Cherubic Hymn - English arrangement from its greek melody composed by the first chanter Athanasios Karamanis. 1st diatonic mode. (08:20)
11. The Litany of the Pothesis - Original melody by the composer in the 1st plagal enharmonic minor mode. This mode is basically due tot a Turkish musical makam influence on Byzantine music in the XVIIIth century. (04:54)
12,13. The Anaphora - Original greek melody by Kanellidy, arranged into arabic by Andraos Moaikel, the first chanter at St. George Church in Beirut, then arranged and by the composer into English in the 1st plagal enharmonic minor mode. (07:39)
14,15. The Megalinarion - "It is truly meet and right". Original melody by the composer in the 1st plagal enharmonic minor mode. (03:46)
16. The Litany Before the Lord's Prayer - Composed by the first chanter Kamaradou in greek in the 4th plagal, 1st plagal, 1st makam saba, 2nd plagal and Baris modes. Only the first 2 modes have been interpreted by the choir in this recording. (03:47)
17. Communion Hymn - Arrangement from the original greek melody composed by the monks of Simonos Petras Monastery in the 4th plagal prolonged melody. (01:59)
18. Receive Me Today - Composed in arabic by RF. Nicolas Malek and arranged into english by Sub Deacon Karim El Far in the 4th plagal mode. (05:43)
19,20,21. The Dismissal - (05:11)

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