Orthodox worship is sung worship. Holy Scripture is chanted in an elevated style distinct from ordinary speech. Prayers and petitions are chanted by the clergy; the faithful, led by the choir, sing in response. The choir sings without instrumental accompaniment as Church tradition teaches us that the human voice alone is capable of uttering rational praise. It also teaches us that our voices, when united in the liturgical worship of the Holy Trinity, represent, as an icon, the unity of the Holy Orthodox faith – its teaching about who Jesus Christ has revealed Himself to be and who we are called by Him to become.
Church music is carefully ordered by liturgical cycles that govern what is properly sung at each hour of the day, on each day of the year, and throughout each season of the Church's liturgical year. In addition, hymnody is organized according to the system of Eight Church Tones (Octoechos) which have been used for centuries in all the various Orthodox worship traditions. At St. Seraphim Cathedral, worship is conducted in English with a majority of Church singing done according to the Russian-style practice, although hymnody from other traditions (including contemporary American) is sung.
The choir is led by Reader Nicholas Paraskevas, who has been a member of the parish since 1980. Other Choir members who lead services include Mat. Inga Kroll, Rdr. Chrysostom Arthur, Olga Reyes, and Lydia Paraskevas.
The choir rehearses every Sunday at 8:30am in preparation for the morning's Divine Liturgy and at 4:30pm in preparation of Saturday evening Resurrection Vigil. Other special rehearsals are scheduled on a few evenings several times throughout the year: before Nativity and Theophany, before Holy Week, during the summer.
We welcome new singers. We ask, however, that new singers first discuss their participation with the St Seraphim clergy. We also ask all singers to commit to regular participation in the Divine Services, to punctual participation in rehearsals, and to a faithful effort to improve their skills as time and talent will allow. Those interested in singing should contact Nicholas Paraskevas.