Language in American Orthodox Music: Liturgical and Pastoral Perspectives

Please join us for this webinar hosted by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center and presented in co-operation with Cappella Romana.

It has often been asserted that it is the tradition of the Orthodox Church to worship in the local language.  Yet the historical reality has been far more complex, with Armenian, Coptic, ecclesiastical Greek, Syriac, and Church Slavonic often having been maintained as liturgical languages distinct from contemporary local vernaculars. Although the audible portions of Eastern Christian public worship are devoted almost entirely to singing, the role that music plays in the linguistic inculturation of Orthodoxy has received relatively little attention.

Alexander Lingas (Musical Director, Cappella Romana) will introduce moderator Richard Barrett (AGES Initiatives and the St. John of Damascus Society).

Mr. Barrett will then lead a discussion of how music affects changing relationships between heritage and local languages in the Orthodox churches of America conducted by three leading scholars and practitioners: Fr. John Rassem El Massih (Antiochian Archdiocese and St. Vladimir’s Seminary), and Professors Vitaly Permiakov( St. Vladimir’s), and Jessica Suchy-Pilalis (SUNY Potsdam).

Let My Prayer Arise! Music in the Experience of African American Orthodox Christians

With Fr. Turbo Qualls, Nun Katherine Weston (Fellowship of St. Moses the Black), and Dr. Shawn Wallace (Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at the Ohio State University and Orthodox Christian), and Dr. Peter Bouteneff, Dr. Rob Saler, and Dr. Alexander Lingas.

Musical Style and Tradition in American Orthodox Churches: Chant and Polyphony

Panel discussion cosponsored by Cappella Romana and the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University.

With panelists: Dorothy (Dorothea) Berry (Houghton Library, Harvard), Kevin Lawrence( University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival), Benedict Sheehan (St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary and The Saint Tikhon Choir), and moderated by Alexander Lingas.


Hymns of KassianíCelebrating Cappella Romana’s release of Hymns of Kassianí, the earliest music we have by a female composer.

Susan Ashbrook Harvey (Brown Univ.) and Cappella Romana music director Alexander Lingas host a discussion with Photini Downie Robinson (Cappella Romana), Sevi Mazera-Mamali (ADOUSAI Byzantine Women’s Choir, Volos, Greece), and Anna Song (In Mulieribus). In collaboration with City, University of London. LEARN MORE.


A Time For Life takes you on a journey from the glory of creation to the perils of our current situation and finally to a hopeful future in which humanity serves as a unified steward of the earth. LEARN MORE