Author Archives: Rdr. John

About Rdr. John

I'm a musician: I teach piano and am a professional Accompanist (University of Portland). I'm also a music director. I direct the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church choir (Portland, OR), the Francis Street Singers (Community Music Center) as well as for Mock's Crest Productions, which puts on an operetta at the U of P each June. I care deeply about the music and worship in the Orthodox liturgy, and most of my postings will be concerned with that.

A Guide to Orthodox Hymnographers

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Liturgical Dynamics, part V

I want to offer a few more thoughts on Orthodox liturgical life being ordered. For some reason I don’t feel I’ve expressed yet what I really want to say, what it is I sense that needs to be brought out. … Continue reading

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Liturgical Dynamics, part IV

I want to follow up a bit on my last posting. I’m a musician.  I deal in written and printed and published music every day.  I teach it, I sing it, I play it, I coach others in performing it.  … Continue reading

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Liturgical Dynamics, part III

Part of the purpose of this blog is to publish bits of a class series I did some time ago titled “Liturgical Dynamics.” An introduction to this topic is given in one of the early blogs, so I won’t repeat … Continue reading

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ANGELS AND HYMNS, part 2

While on the subject of angels in hymns of western Christianity, I want to look at a hymn that I don’t think gained a large amount of popularity. I certainly didn’t grow up singing it, though that doesn’t reveal very … Continue reading

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ANGELS & HYMNS

Just this morning I was listening to a brief podcast on Ancient Faith Radio concerning angels. The host was interviewing an author who has just published a book on the Orthodox belief about and experience with angels. It got me … Continue reading

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ODES & LINKS, part III

A major part of Orthodox liturgical worship is found in the center of Matins, which is the primary morning office of prayer. Matins begins with a night vigil and ends with praise for the new dawn, moving from repentance in … Continue reading

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ODES & LINKS, part II

When delving into biblical – Hebrew – poetry, one primary characteristic makes itself immediately clear, and that is the ubiquitous couplet structure.  I’m sure – I know – there is a lot that can be said about Hebrew poetry, and … Continue reading

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ODES & LINKS, part I

In Orthodox hymnody, the psalms and biblical canticles have pride of place.  Even when they aren’t explicit – which is only a choice on the part of the local community since they are always appointed – they are implicit.  Orthodox … Continue reading

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LITURGICAL DYNAMICS, part II

I’d like to explore in this posting two terms that key off of one another. They are both integral to understanding Orthodox worship and the role that hymnography plays in it. The first term is communal. As a product of … Continue reading

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