Music is an integral and indispensable part of the the Mass and the Daily Office of the Church. It lifts the soul closer to God, provides beauty and solemnity to the liturgy, and allows all people, regardless of age, financial standing, education, or any other number of factors, to experience the treasures of the Church. It is precious to us. So instead of using contemporary rock styles, and electric instruments, we use the instrument of the voice in Gregorian Chant and traditional hymnody, and another instrument that also breathes: the organ.
At Emmanuel Church, you will notice that we follow the traditional Roman Rite, translated into ecclesiastical English, and so we also use the treasures of the Western Church: settings of the Mass in Gregorian Chant, polyphonic hymns, and instrumental organ music. Many of the hymns will be familiar to those who grew up in Roman Catholic or Protestant churches, as those things not contrary to the Orthodox faith are used in the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church. We joyfully embrace a tradition that is living and beautiful, and graft that tradition back into Orthodoxy.
If you are interested in joining us in song, please contact our organist and choir director, Sbdn. Ian Abodeely.
Music at Services
To arrange musical selections for special masses (weddings, funerals, etc.) please contact the parish office to arrange an appointment with the music director.
The services of the Orthodox Church are guided by tradition, and the music heard and sung during Mass is no exception. There are some pieces of music and hymns that are simply not appropriate for worship. However, there are an almost inexhaustible wealth of beautiful and appropriate music available for selection.
The Organ at Emmanuel Church
The organ at Emmanuel Church was built in 1875 by the Steer & Turner Company of West Springfield, MA. It is an entirely mechanical action tracker instrument, the only electronic component being a motorized blower in the basement of the church. It is unknown when the original bellows were removed, or what, if any, alterations to the instrument were made over its lifetime. The reeds of the organ were cleaned and restored in 1992.
The organ is currently playable, but in need of restoration. We hope to someday raise the funds to restore this historic instrument to its original glory so that it can continue providing beautiful music at services for another 142 years.
Click here for the specification of the organ.