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A History of Music in the Antiochian Archdiocese



Although the Department of Sacred Music had its official beginning 35 years ago, in  1968, with the appointment by His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip Saliba of it’s first  Chairman, Father James C. Meena (later Archpriest), it had its root beginning as early as 1906 with the publishing in English, of the Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church, by Isabel Hapgood, which provided the first, standardized text in English of the major church services, and laid the groundwork for transliterated, translated, and composed music in the English language and allowed the priests and chanters, for the first time, to chant the service in English. 



In general, the original and present translations of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese in North America were derived from two early 20th century translations of the church services into English: the 1906 Hapgood book, which relied heavily on the language of the then current Anglican Book of Common Prayer; and the 1939 Service Book by Seraphim Nassar, a translation of services from throughout the church year.

Both of these books are still in print, the Hapgood book in its 1996, 7th edition, and are available from the Archdiocesan bookstore.

Read the full history here.

sacred_music_dept_history_rev_2008.pdf28.28 KB