Friday, March 15, 2013

School of Liturgical Chant launched in Chicago

(Holy Resurrection Cathedral) - Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago is set to launch a School of Liturgical Chant drawing from the Serbian Octoechos (Osmoglasnik) and hymnography of the Zbornik - an Anthology of Church hymns, the Cathedral clergy announced today. The School will be open to all interested parishioners with classes and practices to be held on Mondays at 7PM starting on March 18th.

“Participating in church life bears gifts several times over and one of these is the gift of chanting,” explains Jovan Anicic, the Cathedral cantor who will be leading the School. “St. John Chrysostom emphasizes the beauty of the human voice in glorifying the Lord and, according to him, there is no musical instrument whose sound can even be compared to the human voice.”

“Above all liturgical chant has an educational character,” Anicic continues, “as the Apostle says: let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Col 3:16).”

Orthodox Christian divine services are meant to be dynamic and participatory prayerful offerings, a true concelebration of the ordained clergy and gathered people, and basic training in liturgical chant and the Octoechos cycle will enhance the ability of parishioners to experience the depth and beauty of these services which are central to the Faith handed down to our community from our ancestors, the Church Fathers and Apostles.

“While singing experience isn’t necessary, it is helpful along with the ability to recognize European notations and Church Slavonic,” says Anicic explaining some basic prerequisites for liturgical chanting, adding that “the vocal abilities of the lay people interested in church singing are highly important.”

Father Darko Spasojevic, Cathedral dean, welcomed the establishment of the chanting school and beginning of classes. “Teaching people to actively participate in divine services through praise and song is an excellent undertaking and something that most parishes lack,” he said.

Born in Zadar, Dalmatia, Jovan Anicic stems from a priestly family and completed his theological formation at the Saint Sava Seminary and the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade, in addition to completing the Josip Slavenski Music School prior to obtaining his Master’s degree at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, Italy. Anicic is currently completing his doctoral studies at the University of Thessaloniki, and is a faculty member at the St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, after spending time as a researcher at Notre Dame University in Indiana. He is married to Milica Anicic from our Cathedral community who serves as director of the Junior Brankies Children’s Choir at Holy Resurrection Cathedral.

For more information about the School of Liturgical Chanting, please contact Jovan Anicic at or 312-659-4723.

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