AKATHIST TO THE MOTHER OF GOD: HEALER OF CANCER
Service Music by Robert Sirico
This Musical Offering of the Akathist, ‘Healer of Cancer’ is dedicated to the Blessed Memory of my late-Wife, Lisa Sirico, who after nearly four years of fighting for her life, fell asleep in the Lord on Pascha 2009. While it may seem to the survivors that she lost her battle, she was eternally cured as she entered into her eternal rest in a place of refreshment where sorrow and sighing have fled away. “And he that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” Rev 21:5 May the Blessed Memory of the Servant of the Lord, Lisa, Beloved Wife and Mother, be Eternal †
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12
The Sacred Service of Prayer for those Affected by Cancer
The Orthodox Christian Music Project is pleased to collaborate with the highly talented musicians of the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral Choir (OCA) and the Russian Orthodox Synodal Choir (ROCOR) under the expert direction of Peter Fekula. The CD features the original Akathist service music setting composed by OCMP founder Robert Sirico during the Summer of 2010, as well as traditional hymns of the Russian Orthodox Church sung in English.
The events of the night included the Cancer Prayer Service con-celebrated by Bishop Michael (OCA) and Bishop Jerome (ROCOR), as well as a moving presentation (not recorded here) by Dr. Steven Sugarman, Director of Oncological Research Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital, NYC following the service. This stunning live recording was digitally captured and mastered by recording Engineer Seraphim Huling, and processed to the finest standards for commercial release. The sound quality on the CD is so clear, that the listener will feel as if she or he is really present in the cathedral with the hundreds of faithful who came to pray and sing for themselves and their loved ones affected by cancer.
A Personal Note from the Composer
The inspiration for the new musical setting of the ‘Healer of Cancer’ Akathist comes from a personal connection of frequent private devotion throughout the nearly four years that my late-wife Lisa battled metastatic breast cancer. One of the highlights of the sacred text is how the prayer of the Orthodox Church responds to the needs of the suffering servant as well as all those concerned with the modern treatment and care of the afflicted from the disease of Cancer in its multiplicity of types. While praying through this text, one will undoubtedly identify with at least one of those mentioned in the petitions, and come to know that this prayer was composed ‘about’ us and ‘for’ us all: that the tenderness and compassion of the Mother of God is extended to all who ask that She heal our infirmities by Her grace.
The Orthodox Christian Music Project gratefully acknowledges and thanks the Rev. Abbess Michaila of the St. Paisius Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Safford Arizona for her support, encouragement, and blessing for the completion of a new musical setting of the Akathist to the Mother of God, “Healer of Cancer”. The St. Paisius monastic community publishes selected service texts and ‘puts the jewel of faith into the hands of the people’ so that the layman can offer private devotion. It is my hope that those who listen will be moved by this music and find in it comfort and peace.
Composer & Founder OCMP