CHARLOTTE, North Carolina. In preparation for one of the most joyful days of the Orthodox church, the feast of the Birth of Jesus Christ, two chanters are using their voices and an ancient tradition to tell the story of the Nativity.
The Christmas album, “Byzantine Ark- Nativity of God Incarnate,” is a compilation of hymns from the Orthodox Church, produced by Demetri Petropoulos and Nathan Speir.
“We want to preserve and promote the true essence of Byzantine music- especially here in the south, most people don’t know what Byzantine ecclesial music is,” Petropoulos said.
Ecclesiastical music is a form of prayer, and was developed in the Byzantine Empire from the establishment of its capital, Constantinople in 330.
The music was cultivated with great caution by inspired composers and spiritual leaders of the Church, and expresses the religious sentiments of thanksgiving, hope and love toward God.
“Byzantine Ark- Nativity of God Incarnate,” is available for download on December 1, via major streaming sites including iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.
Hymns on the 30-minute long album include: Prepare O Bethlehem, On This Day the Virgin, and Christ is Born; Glorify Him.
Petropoulos is organizing a Byzantine choir at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Charlotte.
He and Speir plan to record hymns in English, after completing a second album on The Feast of the Theophany, or baptism of Christ.
“Eventually we’d like to chant the Paraklasis for newer saints, like Saint Porphyrios and Saint Paisios,” Petropoulos said.
To hear a preview of the album, click here.
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. Our blog, The Sounding, supports the well-being of our readers by providing well-written, positive, and thought-provoking Orthodox content and fostering discussion of its application to life.
$20,000 MATCHING CHALLENGE FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners. Anonymous donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary! For every $1 you give, $2 will be donated! You can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website.
Your gift during our annual End of the Year Appeal will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, theological media.
Be on the lookout for our new mobile app, “Spark”, to be launched in the near future. The app will raise awareness of Christian persecution worldwide and provide you and millions of Orthodox with different ways to act.