Based on Byzantine Chant & Composed by Fr. Ivan Moody
Dear Reverend Fathers, Colleagues, and Friends! As we go through this period of isolation, I would like to share with you a joyful memory of a Divine Liturgy celebrated on the Feast of St. Romanos the Melodist–Patron Saint of church musicians. Please join me in thanking Fr. Ivan for bringing this gift of beauty into the world. Please say a prayer of gratitude for him and all the musicians of the Church who sing and compose to the Glory of God. Dr. Peter Jermihov
Composer's Notes to the "Greek Liturgy"
Greek Liturgy was written at the request of Dr. Peter Jermihov to a commission from the Society of St Romanos, in memory of Archon John Bartholomew (1926-2013). I eagerly accepted the challenge, and thought in great depth about how to undertake it. Part of my answer is to be found in the title; I deliberately avoided the word “Byzantine”, since, though the music is based on chant throughout, it is, of course, harmonized and in general treated in a way that removes it from the corpus of what we now call Byzantine chant. But the music's origins in chant are fundamental to its character and shape, as they are to my liturgical music in general, whether its basis be Byzantine, Serbian or Znamenny.
It is my conviction that the contemporary composer of liturgical music for the Orthodox Church must strive to find a way to make his own creative gifts align in some way with the traditions that the Church has given us, and I have both followed this path in my music and written a great deal about this question over the past few years. If we treat the Church's chant traditions as a life-giving spring, we can find the courage to work with them, to become co-creators; they are not there to imprison us or to be endlessly reproduced with no understanding. And in finding that courage we can become contributors to the rich and varied beauty of liturgical art, aiming always to the glorification of God.
Protopresbyter Ivan MoodyEstoril, 27 September 2016