Commissioning Service

National Church Music Sunday

Commissioning Service
Today, our parish observes National Church Music Sunday. It occurs each year on the first Sunday after the feast day of Saint Romanos the Melodist, October 1st. This year, it is today, October 4th.
On this day, we recognize women and men who have heard and responded to the Lord's invitation to be church musicians, that is, parish chanters and choir singers. As church musicians, they represent the laity in the liturgical dialogue of our worship services. Their commitment to learning the hymns of our Orthodox faith, understanding the sequence of our liturgical worship, and actively offering their prayers in song, is done to enhance the beauty of our worship - in glory to God, the Holy Trinity.
We ask each of them, and our congregation as well, to be more mindful of the special ministry they fulfill in singing the hymns of our faith. As faithful Orthodox Christians, each of us needs to better understand the prayers found in our hymns.

Prayer
In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
O Heavenly Father, on this day proclaimed National Church Music Sunday by our Archdiocese, our [church name] recognizes the women and men in our parish who give their time and musical talent in service to You, our Lord, and to Your Church.
Bless them, O Lord, as they sing praises to You, and glorify Your Name. Let their music be a witness to Your majesty and love, and remind us all of Your presence in our lives.

A dialogue between Priest and Church Musicians

Priest: My brothers and sisters in Christ, you have been called upon to become music ministers among our people. Do you promise to bring the Word of God to our parish family through your music, through chant and hymn singing?

Musicians: I will.

Priest: Are you prepared to fulfill all the responsibilities this ministry requires of you: giving your time and talents to learn the hymns of our faith, teaching others these musical prayers, actively participating in the dialogue of our worship, and striving to enhance the beauty of our liturgical life?

Musicians: I will.

Priest: Jesus said to His disciples, "Go into the world and preach the Gospel to all nations." Will you continue to grow as disciples of the Lord by making every effort to hear the Word of God, integrate His teachings into your lives, and sharing it with others through your music?

Musicians: I will.

Priest: Then, on behalf of our parish, I accept your commitment to participate in and to support the Church music ministry of our parish. Let us pray.

All: Kyrie eleison.

Priest: Master, Lord our God, You commanded that everything be done for Your glory. By Your blessing, stretch forth Your hand to these Your servants who sing hymns of praise for Your glory. Grant them the wisdom and ability to sing our Orthodox prayers. Grant them good health, a happy life, and bless their good efforts. For You are a gracious God and to You we give glory, together with Your Father who is eternal and Your All Holy Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and forevermore.

All: Amen.

Prepared by the Rev. Aristotle Damaskos, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Toledo OH, October 2004