A distinct feature of Greek Orthodox worship is the music of Byzantine chant . The Cathedral's chanters (ψάλτης) execute this component of our liturgical worship, primarily during the Sunday morning service of Matins (also known as Orthros or morning prayer.) They also chant the funeral services and memorial prayers for the departed, as well as most baptisms and weddings.
Unlike the scales of Western music, which are organized in whole and half-tones (the "piano tuned scale"), Byzantine chant is built around scales constructed in microtones. This results in the mystical sound familiar to worshippers in a Greek Orthodox liturgical service. Although Byzantine music is traditionally associated with Greece and Greek culture, this style of ecclesiastical music has a much larger footprint in the world. Byzantine chant is the primary liturgical music of Orthodox Christians in the Middle East (e.g., Syria, Lebanon, Palestine) and in Romania. It is heard alongside other styles of music in Serbia and Bulgaria, and has influenced Russian music via the ancient style of Znamenny Chant.
Serving as a Byzantine chanter is a particular privilege. Not everyone is called to this ministry. In order to serve as a chanter, the candidate must have the blessing of the bishop or parish priest, must have a pleasing voice, and must undergo training in the theory and execution of the eight tones of Byzantine chant.
Annunciation Cathedral is unusual in that virtually all of the church services are rendered in a mix of the Greek and English languages. Our chanters have diverse backgrounds and many years between them in learning and executing hymns of the Orthodox Christian Church
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
3511 Yoakum Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006
Office: (713) 526-5377
Fax: (713) 526-1048