March 13, 2018

February 8, 2018  Reflection    

By Harrison Russin, Ph.D. candidate in Musicology, Duke University;
Dean’s Fellow and Lecturer in Liturgical Music, St. Vladimir’s Seminary

On Saturday, February 10, 2018, at 6:30 p.m., the seminary Chorale will commence its “Orthodox Masterpieces” series by singing Great Vespers in Three Hierarchs Chapel, featuring select compositions by Archpriest Sergei Glagolev. Father Sergei is noted for his pioneering work in introducing English-language musical compositions into Orthodox Christian church services—inspired hymnography with a uniquely American sound. Following the liturgical service...

May 6, 2016

A few months ago, a fascinating article was shared via npr.org on Facebook entitled, “When Choirs Sing, Many Hearts Beat as One.” It was an interesting research study done at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden on the heart rates of high school students as they sang together in a choir. The study findings confirmed that choir music has a calming effect on the heart.

 

In one of the responses, Frederica Matthewes-Green commented, “When people sing together, their heartbeats slow down and synchronize almost immediately. It's obvious, but I never thought about it: singing is a form of guided breathing; we inhale and exhale together, and o...

November 17, 2015

The use of sung hymns to open our hearts to God is as ancient as the people of God themselves.  In fact, the Book of Psalms is frequently referred to as the hymn book of the church and instructs us to “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;” (Ps 33:1a) and to “Praise in the assembly of his faithful people” (Ps 149:1b). The Psalms even teach us that creation itself praises God for His wonders, “The heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints” (Ps 89:5).

 

We Bless You from the House of the Lord

But the psalmist isn’t suggesting that we praise God, instead the Psalms identify prai...

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