Akathist to the Kursk Root icon

Monks from the Holy Cross Monastery (ROCOR)   in Setauket, New York  with guest chanters,  pose with the orig­i­nal Kursk Root Icon

It was a bless­ing to join the monks of Holy Cross Monastery singing the Akathist to the Holy Theotokos and ven­er­at­ing the Kursk Root icon as it vis­ited local parishes in the New York area.  Here Fr. Max­i­mos, rec­tor of the monastery holds the famed 900 year old mirac­u­lous icon of the ‘Kursk Root’.   Vis­it­ing choir mem­bers of other parishes were wel­comed to par­tic­i­pate in the Akathist ser­vice which drew hun­dreds of faith­ful to the monastery to ven­er­ate the aged icon.  Robert Sirico, Choir Direc­tor of the St. John the The­olo­gian Litur­gi­cal Choir  (right, front row) was among those invited to sing the sacred service.   

ORIENT: Sacred Song and Image, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Chorale Sings in Concert

Dear Friends of the OCMP,

I am hon­ored to sup­port in prayer and action the St. Vladimir Sem­i­nary Chorale con­ducted by Mat’ Robin Free­man. I am encour­ag­ing you to attend this con­cert and to be enriched by the sacred music and images on this pro­gram. I am also excited to have a por­tion of my Parak­le­sis ser­vice music (Ode 9) included in the evenings musi­cal showcase! 

 I encour­age you to donate gen­er­ously to the music pro­gram at St. Vladimir’s Ortho­dox Sem­i­nary. Fol­low the link above to pur­chase your tick­ets and to offer a sup­ple­men­tary gift in thanks­giv­ing for the tal­ent of these fine musi­cians. Please help them con­tinue to develop the music depart­ment of the sem­i­nary as they sing the praises to Our Lord Jesus Christ, and intro­duce many to the ancient mys­ter­ies of Ortho­dox Christianity. 

Yours in Christ,
Robert Sirico
Founder, Ortho­dox Chris­t­ian Music Project


Newly Formed St. Vladimir’s Seminary Chorale Sings Newly Composed Music by Robert Sirico

The newly formed chorale with Fr. Bene­dict Churchill (cen­ter), who presided at the ser­vice. The chorale was con­ducted by Mat. Robin Free­man (left of Fr. Bene­dict) and com­posed by Robert Sirico (right of Fr. Benedict).

This past Sat­ur­day, the St. Vladimir’s Sem­i­nary com­mu­nity marked two “firsts” in Three Hier­ar­chs Chapel on its cam­pus. One was the singing of my new musi­cal com­po­si­tion, and the other was the pre­miere of their newly formed musi­cal ensem­ble. The new com­po­si­tion was a musi­cal set­ting in Zna­menny chant of the “Small Canon to the Mother of God,” also known as the Par­a­cle­sis to the Theotokos; and the new ensem­ble was “St. Vladimir’s Sem­i­nary Chorale”.  

I had the priv­i­lege of being at the Mas­ter Class and choir rehearsal led by Matushka Robin Free­man on the pre­vi­ous night before the Par­a­cle­sis was offered. I was moved to my core by the amaz­ing tal­ent of the St. Vladimir’s Sem­i­nary Chorale. Heav­enly beauty pro­jected through their angelic voices, and I couldn’t even imag­ine how beau­ti­ful the actual ser­vice would be the next day. When I heard the music in its proper litur­gi­cal con­text, I felt like the psalmist who said, ‘Let my prayer arise in Thy sight as incense’. What an extra­or­di­nary expe­ri­ence it was to hear my music, for which I labored nearly a full year to com­plete, Matushka Robin Free­man con­ducts the St. Vladimir’s Sem­i­nary Chorale offered in the full glory of the Par­a­cle­sis ser­vice! I left deeply edi­fied, and I pray that oth­ers were sim­i­larly moved. This music is my gift of love to the Theotokos and to her Son’s holy Church.