December 11, 2017


A newly issued poster intended to be disseminated to all parishes and choirs of the Ukrainian Catholic Church throughout the world is an amazingly simple, yet powerful reminder of what the vocation of singers in the Church is all about. The Poster is given below, but here is an unofficial translation of the 10 points presented in the poster....

(*The numeration of the Psalms is taken from the poster - it may vary in other versions of Sacred Scripture)



"I will tell of Thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise Thee" (Psalm 21:23)

1. A church singer preaches by his/her singing. The singing of liturgical texts is a manifestation of one's personal faith in God and a preaching of the faith of the Church.

"O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together!" (Psalm 33:4)

2. By his/her singing, a church singer prays and, by it, he/she joins to the prayer of the liturgical community. His/her singing is a service to God.

"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!" (Ps 56:8)

3. A church singer always takes every church service very seriously, and thus properly prepares for it - by becoming familiar with the order of the particular service, and by pre-reading the propers and pre-reading the Biblical texts (i.e. Epistle, Old Testament readings).

"Sing to the LORD a new song!" (Ps 149:1)

4. The church singer experiences liturgical song ever anew! He/she is always discovering a new meaning and a new spiritual dimension within the song.

"So I have looked upon Thee in the sanctuary, beholding Thy power and glory." (Ps 62:3)

5. A church singer is "present in his/her singing". He/she is focused and attentive throughout the service.

"I cry with my voice to the LORD, with my voice I make supplication to the LORD." (Ps 141:1)

6. A church singer sings with his/her natural voice. He/she does not force it or exhibit it for show. He/she serves with his/her voice.

"O Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise." (Ps 50:17)

7. The church singer expresses the words of the liturgical texts clearly and audibly. Since the melody of the music is inseparable from the words, a church singer is able to harmoniously link the melody and the text.

"Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for He is gracious, and a song of praise is seemly." (Ps 146:1)

8. The church singer is attentive to the accents in the words and appropriately builds and intones the phrases of the liturgical texts.

"I will open my mouth and it is filled with the Spirit" (Irmos of the 1st song of the festal Theotokion canon)

9. The Spirit of God inspires the church singer to sing. The singer does not allow hurriedness or negligence to affect the singing, but, at the same time, he/she sings actively and lively, without sluggishness.

"With open mouth I pant, because I long for Thy commandments" (Ps 118:131)

10. The church singer sings according to his/her breathing, appropriately taking breaths while singing and making logical pauses within the phrases of the text.

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