In keeping with the Byzantine tradition, all liturgical celebrations are sung without the use of any musical instrument accompaniment. Following a centuries old Carpathian tradition, we, both clergy and people — the entire congregation (assisted by the important ministry of the cantors) — "lift up our hearts" to God in predominantly sung worship.
The Music sung during our Divine Liturgy is a rich and integral part of the service. Word and melody are united as the highest form of sung prayer.
It is not certain how old the chant tradition is, but by 1700 it had already taken shape, having been diligently kept alive through oral tradition. The Ruthenian people brought with them this tradition of congregational signing from Eastern Europe. Led by a cantor, the people fully engage in a sung dialogue between themselves and the priest.
Many people are notably moved by the extraordinary reverence and devotion of the congregation as we worship the Lord through the sung chants. "May our mouth be filled with Your praise, O Lord," is sung at the close of the Divine Liturgy. Indeed our mouths and our hearts have praised the Lord during this most festive and sacred hour of the entire week. "Blessed is our God always, now and ever and forever. Amen!"