Parishes across the Archdiocese will be observing National Church Music Sunday on Sunday, October 4, 2020. This day is an annual Archdiocese-wide commemoration occurring on the first Sunday in October following the Feast of St. Romanos the Melodist, the patron saint of church musicians.
On National Church Music Sunday, we honor the contributions that clergy, choir directors, choir members, organists, psaltai, and Church School/Greek School music educators make to their parishes. In addition, it is a day when the work of the eight Metropolitan Church Music Federations and the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians is recognized. Many local parishes hold special recognition events on National Church Music Sunday for their church musicians.
As a gift to each parish, the National Forum recently mailed a custom-designed poster to commemorate National Church Music Sunday 2020 to each parish priest and choirmaster in the Archdiocese. The full-color poster was designed by George Theodossiou of Annunciation Church in Brockton, MA. This year’s poster depicts the Synaxis of the Hymnographers: St. John of Damascus, St. John Koukouzelis, St. Gregory the Choirmaster, St. Joseph the Hymnographer, St. Cosmas the Poet, and St. Romanos the Melodist. The texts on the poster highlight passages from their signature works.
Dr. Vicki Pappas, National Chairman of the Church Musicians Forum, commented on National Church Music Sunday. She urged all parishes to recognize their local church musicians, even in this time of the COVID-19 virus, for their dedicated service to their parishes through its hymnography: “2020 will be a year for unusual celebrations given the restrictions we are still facing regarding church attendance and the participation of our choirs and some of our chanters. However, we hope our parishes will find some creative ways to pay special tribute to their church musicians − choir directors and singers, organists, chanters, youth choir leaders, and church school music teachers. All play vital roles in the liturgical life of our Church, deepening the worship and participation of local congregations.”
She also encouraged parishes to use National Church Music Sunday “to support the work of the Church Music Federations of their Metropolis and to be generous in their contributions to the National Forum’s Church Music Ministries Fund to support much-needed national liturgical music training programs and educational materials. All these commemorative activities during the month of October enhance and support further development of the liturgical music ministry of our Archdiocese.” Ideas for ways local parishes can observe this day, even during the pandemic, can be found by clicking here.
Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America