What is the National Forum?


Church Musicians  

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


The National Forum is Proud to Host New Byzantium Publications
New Byzantium Publications is the go-to resource for Church Hymns organized in feast days and calendar for common and obscure hymns, most in both western notation and Byzantine neumes.

New Byzantium Publications

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National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Music · 24th Biennial Clergy Laity Congress

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Apolytikion for the Dormition of the Theotokos

Composed by Kevin Lawrence

National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Music · Apolytikion Of The Dormition
National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Music · Apolytikion Of The Dormition

What’s New!


2024 Annual Meeting of the National Forum

The 48th Annual Meeting of the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians was held in conjuction with the 2024 Clergy Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in San Diego, CA from June 29 through July 3, 2024.

October 6, 2024 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 Musicians Sunday! It is a time to honor and celebrate the contributions of Church Musicians from throughout the parishes of our Archdiocese.

Click here for more resources and ways in which you can honor your Church Musicians!

Introducing the 2024 Liturgical Guidebook

Based on the top requests from our valued customers in a recent customer satisfaction survey conducted last May, we are thrilled to introduce the all-new 2024 Liturgical Guidebook in printed and digital formats. Get ready to elevate your music worship experience with fresh features and enhancements carefully crafted to make your church music life more seamless and enjoyable than ever!

What's New?

  1. Digital PDF Edition: Say hello to the future! Dive into this brand-new experience as you discover the seamless navigation, powerful search capabilities, and interactive features to enhance your exploration. The 2024 Liturgical Guidebook – Digital Edition offers rich content and innovative features such as quick jumps to specific dates and pages, bookmarking, seamless hyperlinks to resources, and powerful search and print functions. It is everything you love about the print edition, but now conveniently accessible on electronic devices right at your fingertips.
  2. Enhancements to the Guidebook:
    1. Greek Transliteration: Can't read Greek? No problem. Say goodbye to decoding the Greek names of the hymns with the new addition of Greek transliteration found between the Greek name and the English translation. For example, "Ἐν Ἰορδάνη / En Iordhani (When in the Jordan)." It's your bridge to understanding and accessing the special hymns in your music library, no matter in which language they are cataloged.
    2. Streamlined Sections: We've reorganized and grouped sections, making it easier than ever to find what you need. Quick reference links to the National Forum website are now conveniently located on the front inside cover, and all Guidebook resources have been thoughtfully compiled in one dedicated section.
    3. Antiphonal Psalm Verses: You'll experience seamless flow with antiphonal psalm verses that now follow the Sunday and feast day service charts. Say goodbye to flipping through the psalm verses to get to the service chart!
    4. Additional Resource Section: We've brought together National Forum publications, contact information, and church musician award recipients in one easily accessible section at the back of the book.
    5. Voice Your Thoughts: We've made it easier than ever for you to send us your feedback. Share your comments or suggestions via QR code in the print edition or click a button in the digital PDF version. Your voice matters, and we'll be there to listen!
  3. Sales Ordering and Pricing:
    1. Sales Launch: Thanks to your feedback, we pushed up our launch date, addressing the concerns of those who didn't like having to wait until mid-January last time to order the Guidebook. We are ready to receive orders and can't wait to share this incredible Guidebook.
    2. Online Ordering: You can order both the spiral and digital editions of the 2024 Liturgical Guidebook directly online at our new National Forum Marketplace at https://national-forum-marketplace.square.site/.
    3. Pricing: The 2024 Liturgical Guidebook – Spiral Edition, offering that tactile experience, can be yours for the same price as last year, only $40, plus shipping and handling. The 2024 Liturgical Guidebook – Digital Edition is available for $30. And, as a bonus, we're offering a $5 discount when you purchase the bundle of the digital edition with the spiral edition.

Don't miss out on the chance to order the 2024 Liturgical Guidebook. With new features and enhanced organization, ensuring you're fully prepared with the right hymns and readings for celebrating the Divine Liturgy will be much easier.

John A. Cramer
2024 Liturgical Guidebook Editor
(832) 788-6483                                           

Nicholas Chimitris
National Forum Chairman
(219) 741-3997

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

Download the Stewardship Form

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.

Click this link to download your copy

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 lucy_38@hotmail.com 

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