Over the weekend of January 26-27, a large and energetic group of cantors, choir directors, and singers gathered at St. Stephen the Protomartyr parish in Calgary for a two-day singing workshop. People of all ages were present, from 12 year-olds to those who recall the days when the Liturgy was sung in Church Slavonic. Participants hailed from St. Stephen and Assumption parishes in Calgary, Ss. Peter and Paul in Lethbridge, and other parishes, as well as from various Roman Catholic parishes.

The seminars focused on several important topics: the resurrectional tones (troparia and kontakia), the psalm verses sung during the Divine Liturgy (the prokeimena), and special melodies and hymns from the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. The instructors focussed on improved performance, harmonization, and ways to encourage congregational singing – for example, by announcing the prokeimenon to facilitate broader participation. Attendees also prayed together during Vespers on Friday evening and Matins and Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning, and several people commented on how moving the services were. They also shared several delicious meals prepared by the kitchen staff at St. Stephen, and a birthday cake for one of the youngest participants!

Our thanks to the workshop organizers and instructors: Deacon Cyril Kennedy, Fr. Michael Bombak (pastor of St. Stephen), and Namisha Greening. We also thank Fr. Roman Planchak (pastor of Assumption parish) and the staff and volunteers at St. Stephen for their part in making this weekend a great success.

To inquire about future workshops, contact liturgy@eeparchy.com.