"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Col. 3:16).
The mission of a Greek Orthodox Church choir is to come before God’s presence in liturgical worship, singing to the Lord with praise and thanksgiving. The following is an excerpt from a seminar given by His Grace Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America of the Antiochian Christian Archdiocese of North America reprinted from MEFGOX’s Byzantine Echo, June 2005 issue: "Are We Singing with the Angels?":
There are few ministries of the Church that require the devotion and dedication that Church singing does. You who lead the singing and as well as you who follow the leader are as important as the Holy Table itself. As there can be no Divine Liturgy without the Holy Table, there can be no Divine Liturgy without you. This is not to compliment you or to increase your pride, but rather to put a little fear and awe in you, so you will know what your responsibilities are.
Church singing is not a hobby and being a choir director is not something one does for personal fulfillment. It is first and foremost a duty, a duty of those to whom God has given musical talents. It is sinful, in my opinion, for someone not to sing who has been given the gift to sing. Sinful! You join the angels and do that which the angels do perpetually. That’s not an interest, avocation, nor a hobby; it is a duty. Angels were created to serve and to praise, and you have been given voices for the same purpose. I love to remind our church singers that we jump into that which goes on perpetually. We jump in and join the angels for a couple of hours, and then we jump back out. The Divine Liturgy does not begin with Blessed is the Kingdom and your Amen, and it doesn’t end with Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers and your Amen. Those phrases only define the time that we participate in the Divine Liturgy which goes on perpetually before the Throne of God.
We should give thanks that God has been pleased to call us who are created from the dust of this Earth to participate in the Heavenly Liturgy and to offer up praises with His holy angels to join in the perpetual hymn of “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Pat Ladas and Helen Innis Lutz (Organists)
Martha Roldan and Rich Micheil (Chanters)
Kimon Kotos (Choir Director)
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