“Each year in the month of December we remember our choirs and chanters. This sacred ministry of the Church is essential to the beauty of our divine services. Oftentimes, a person’s first experience of our Holy Orthodox Church is witnessing one of our beautiful services. This experience can either be enhanced by a beautiful and well-prepared choir, or diminished by an unprepared one. We are grateful to all of our choir directors, chanters and singers for their dedication, effort and commitment to making the divine services in their respective parishes beautiful to both God and the faithful.”
–His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph
Glorifying Christ through song, in concert with the congregation, is part of the mission of the St. Elijah Choir. Choir director Al Mamary says that “through the liturgical music of the Orthodox faith, the congregation gets help in prayer during the service”. The St. Elijah Choir offers hymns at all Divine Liturgy services including Holy Week. They also sing the responses for weddings and funerals upon request.
In addition to the services, members need to commit to two rehearsals each month. They are usually on the first and third Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the church. Director Mamary stresses that attendance is important for anyone who wants to sing with the choir. He also would like potential members to be able to hear a pitch and repeat it but if you are uncertain of your ability, stop Director Mamary after church and visit with him.
One of the benefits of being a choir member is that you learn the services backwards and forwards after only a short time. Choir members also experience an intensity of prayer that has been described as extremely emotional. For many members of the St. Elijah Choir, Holy Week is the best time of year. The music and prayer have an increased intensity and emotion for them.
Please visit with Director Mamary if you are at all interested in joining the choir. You will find the other choir members encouraging and welcoming.