What is the National Forum?
The National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians is the Archdiocesan ministry responsible for liturgical music activities and the development, support, and recognition of church musicians. Chartered in 1976 as an official auxiliary of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the National Forum serves as the liaison among local church musicians, metropolis church music federations, and the Archdiocese. It also serves as the gathering place for church musicians to discuss issues related to liturgical music and to formulate needed responses.
The National Forum has four major areas of focus:
- Support for CHOIRS, providing resources and activities to improve the quality of choirs and the availability of choral music in the church
- Support for CHANTERS and the preservation of BYZANTINE CHANT
- Support for YOUTH CHURCH MUSIC PROGRAMS, including hymnology and junior choirs
- Support for CLERGY, including parish music ministries, and support for clergy
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Apolytikion for the Dormition of the Theotokos
Composed by Kevin Lawrence
October 1, 2023 is National Church Music Sunday!
For over 40 years, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has designated the first Sunday of October as National Church Music Sunday! On this day we honor and celebrate the contributions of Church Musicians from throughout the parishes of our Archdiocese.
2023 Liturgical Guidebook
The 2023 Liturgical Guidebook is available for ordering.
The cost of this year’s Guidebook remains at $40. This year’s edition has been expanded to include all Festal antiphonal verses for the year in addition to the regular Sunday antiphons. New page number references for the antiphonal verses appear on the top right of each service page in the Guidebook.
As in past years, the Guidebook also provides you with:
- QR codes along with links to other liturgical resources found on the Forum’s website, such as guides to special services and hierarchical liturgies, news events, awards, publications, and position papers.
- Charts outlining the liturgical changes and readings for all the Divine Liturgies for Sundays and major feast days
- Charts for all four of the Saturday of the Souls services
- An additional chart outlining the service changes for a hierarchical liturgy
- The ordinary antiphon verses
- Hymn titles in English, plus their titles by function (e.g., Kontakion, Meghalinarion, etc.)
- A suggested Pronunciation Guide
- A copy of the Forum’s position statement on the choral and chant traditions in our Archdiocese
- Information about the Modes of the Hymns, and
- Planning calendars, among other resources.
There is now just one way to order the Guidebook – using the online Orthodox Marketplace:
- Go to https://orthodoxmarketplace.com/2023-liturgical-guidebook/
- In the Search Box, add: 2023 Liturgical Guidebook, or the product number: FL607-23.
- Continue with your specific order and provide your mailing and payment information.
Calling in your order to the Department of Religious Education is no longer possible. They are referring all customers to use the Orthodox Marketplace.
We hope you find the 2023 Guidebook useful and informative.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of us as below:
John A. Cramer
2023 Liturgical Guidebook Editor
National Forum Chairman
Now is a great time to become a STEWARD of the National Forum or to renew your membership!
Please help to support the vital mission of the National Forum in providing resources and guidance to all our Church Musicians! With the support of its stewards, the National Forum can continue to accomplish the many projects that strengthen and perpetuate our sacred Orthodox hymnology. Here are some of the projects that stewardship contributions have supported recently.
- Researched, prepared, published the Annual Liturgical Guidebook each year.
- Completed A Guide for Greek Orthodox Church Music Directors.
- Distributed Church Music Sunday materials to each parish of our Archdiocese including a complimentary National Church Music Sunday poster.
- Co-sponsored Church Music Institutes with Church Music Federations in several Metropolises (via Zoom during the pandemic).
- Created and distributed a new brochure with up-to-date information about the National Forum.
- Provided research and resources regarding ways to return to singing/chanting safely.
Listed below are some key plans for 2022-2023.
- Reviewing and updating The Companion Guide to the “Liturgical Guidebook"
- Setting the Anastassiou liturgies to the official English translation.
- Developing a new ONLINE Youth Music Program for our Sunday Church Schools
- Planning a Composers Symposium in conjunction with our annual meeting in July
- Creating a national youth church music festival similar to the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival
- Offering financial assistance to Metropolis Federations to hold Church Music Institutes
Hymn-Singing Resources for Young People
Please visit our Hymns for Kids resource page, a collection of sites which offer listening and singing experiences with Greek Orthodox hymns especially for youth. Compiled for use at home, Church School, and during youth activities by the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians. Click here to visit the page
Hierarchical Guidelines - UPDATED
The guidelines for Hierarchical visits have been updated for the first time since 2009. Please download and review this document prior to a Hierarchical Liturgy and remember to check with the senior-ranking priest and/or the Hierarch's deacon.
Archbishop Elpidophoros speaks about National Church Music Sunday!
Choral Settings Using the New Standard English Translation available through the National Forum
KEVIN LAWRENCE: A four-part setting of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom that serves as a companion to the new Greek Orthodox Hymnal being distributed by the Department of Religious Education. This is the only work that uses the same melodies as the Hymnal, in Greek and English, so it is suitable for parishes that wish to have their choirs and congregations use the same melodies. The work also includes two settings of the Doxology, all festal substitutions for the second Antiphon (Soson Imas), the eight Resurrectional Apolytikia, four settings of the Trisaghion as well as its festal substitutions, six settings of the Cherubic Hymn, three settings of the Anaphora, psalms for use during Communion, Memorial Service hymns, and the Hierarchical service. Available spiral-bound for $28 or three-hole punched binder-ready for $25, plus shipping and handling. Please specify when ordering.
NICHOLAS ROUBANIS: Selections from the 5th edition of Roubanis’ arrangement of the Divine Liturgy, including all the basic hymns for both regular and hierarchical Divine Liturgies, have been re-typeset and adapted for the new official English translation. The book includes both the original Roubanis Greek melodies and his melodies adapted, as needed, to fit the English words. The cost is $15 per book plus shipping and handling. It is three-hole punched binder-ready.
Both settings can be ordered through the Publications office of the National Forum by contacting Lucy Pappadakis, Publications Chairman at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Have you submitted your 2021 National Forum Stewardship yet?
- Check out and LIKE our National Forum and Youth Music Facebook Pages