Saint Lawrence Orthodox Church Liturgical Music
Liturgical Singing: Beautiful, Participatory and Evangelical
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (Psalm 29:2)
Sing praises with understanding (Psalm 47:7)
I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. (1 Corinthians 14: 15)
A Psalm forms friendships, unites those separated, conciliates those at enmity. Who indeed, can still consider as an enemy him with whom he has uttered the same prayer to God? So that psalmody, bringing about choral singing, a bond, as it were, toward unity, and joining the people into a harmonious union of one choir, produces also the greatest of blessings, charity. (St. Basil the Great)*
Here at St. Lawrence, we believe that the singing of the liturgical services is a corporate act of prayer, led by the choir and chanters. The structure of the liturgy provides opportunities for the assembled faithful to join in the singing at various times, and we strive to provide musical settings that enable this active participation: music that is beautiful, meaningful, melodic, and easy to sing.
As conductors, singers, composers, arrangers, and editors we make every effort to make the texts of the liturgical hymns understandable for both the singers and the faithful.
We believe in giving God our best effort and want the liturgical services to reflect that in our singing. It is our desire and prayer that the faithful and any guests experience the beauty of God as reflected in our worship and are drawn into relationship with Him.
We have many talented musicians at St. Lawrence that lead our weekly and festal services in beautiful singing.
Our mixed choir is led by Anne Schoepp, who is a trained choral director, singer and teacher. The choir is 20 - 30 strong, depending on the season. Recordings made by these singers can be found on the Seraphim Six Productions website. Seraphim Six is a partnership between Alice Hughes and Anne Schoepp dedicated to making quality recordings of Orthodox liturgical music in English and to advancing the development of liturgical singing through publishing and training as well. Please visit www.seraphim6.com The website also contains downloadable files of liturgical music for a nominal fee.
The choir participates in various performances and choral groups around the Bay Area such as the Annual Festival of Russian Choral Music among others.
The men's chanter group is sing our regular services during the week and Saturday night Vespers, as well as some midweek Divine Liturgies.
The St. Lawrence Chorale is a mixed group of about 10 of our best singers, who sing the Festal and Sunday Matins services.
Our Youth Choir, directed by Anne Schoepp, involves over 25 parish children who sing for our mid-week Festal liturgies and other school and community occasions.
We invite you to join in our praise to God!
* St. Basil the Great, Exegetic Homilies. Homily 10 (1, 2). B# CUA Vol. 46, pp. 151-154, cited by Johanna Manley, Grace for Grace: The Psalter and the Holy Fathers (Menlo Park, California: Monastery Books), p. 2.