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Cross Planting to Inaugurate a New Era for Chapel

Chapel Group Photo for 2014-06 TrisagionArchbishop Melchisedek will devote a significant portion of his upcoming visit to our community promoting the Chapel of the Holy Spirit and its building campaign. On Saturday, June 7, at 9 a.m., His Eminence will celebrate the Memorial Divine Liturgy of Pentecost at the building site (weather permitting) and plant a cross, officially dedicating the project to God in advance of the groundbreaking that is expected later this summer.

Following a lunch reception for all in attendance, His Eminence will host an informal question-and-answer session at the Smith home to demonstrate that the Archdiocese is firmly committed to underwriting the Chapel’s construction costs, and that the only issue remaining is the terms of financing.

Related: Special Parish Meeting Information—Sunday, June 22

The bishop’s busy weekend with us will not end there in Beavertown. Returning to State College that same evening, His Eminence will pray the Pentecost Vigil with us beginning at the special time at 5 p.m. Moving Matins to Saturday night and starting an hour earlier allows the celebration to end at the same time and will give more people an opportunity to greet our hierarch on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. in advance of the Divine Liturgy and “Kneeling” Vespers. Both day’s celebrations will end with food and fellowship: on Saturday night there will be a light dinner reception in the Parish Hall, on Sunday, the annual parish picnic at Holmes-Foster Park (hamburgers, hot dogs, and drinks will be provided, bring a side or dessert to share).

Related: Full June 2014 Calendar — electronic version | print version 

On Monday at 8 a.m., His Eminence will celebrate another liturgy with us. This is an opportunity to gather around our bishop one last time, offering prayers that God would send down His Holy Spirit upon us and the Chapel on its patronal feast day.

Was Lent Worth It?

by Dn. Mark Oleynik

Now what? It’s the week after Pascha, the Feast of Feasts, and after working all day I find myself sitting at my desk and day-dreaming. Although full of joy I find myself thinking about the “good old days” of Lent. Yes, back in those days there was so much to do and so much to pre-pare. There was focus and intensity. The schedule was liturgically full. Certainly, the days and evenings in the coming weeks will be filled with things to do (no problem with that in my family) but it just won’t be the same “good” busy that became so familiar and comforting in the past seven weeks. And then I wonder, was the struggle and sacrifice really worth it?

There are two ways in which the question may be addressed. It can be asked from the standpoint of pleasure. The one who asks it in this manner has seen the summer of pleasure suddenly turn to winter. Dis-appointed and amazed, he feels that life has deceived him. In this way, the question is hardly worth asking because the answer is easy: No.

“Was Lent worth it?,” also can be asked from the standpoint of duty. In this sense, it is asked from a perspective of living and working for the highest things in life, from resisting evil, embracing the good, worshipping God and trying to do good for others. Asked in this manner, the question is very important and well worth asking.

To this question, St. Paul has a great answer. The answer comes at the end of one of the most beautiful passages of the Bible, where Paul climbs to the stars of inspiration, unfolding the glorious destiny of redeem-ed mankind. We are familiar with St. John Chrysostom quoting Paul in his Paschal sermon, “O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?” But just two verses later, Paul has a far greater conclusion than that: “Because of what I have told you about life to come and the triumph of good over evil, therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15)

With that statement Paul provides two reasons of great assurance for the purpose of our struggle—our personal immortality in Christ, and the ultimate victory of the Kingdom of Christ.

First, because Christ is risen, and because we rise with Him, and live forever, life is not a vain or an empty thing. Death was the final and most dangerous enemy, but since death is conquered and we now live forever, life is baptized with sacred and glorious meaning and value.

You can feel the power of Paul’s argument if you try to imagine him giving the troubled Corinthians worldly advice. Suppose he had said this: “My friends, you will die and disappear forever, all of you; but remember the human race goes on, the generations of men come and go like the leaves on the tree every season; the tree remains, and so the human race remains: The stream of humanity flows forever on.”

Imagine the troubled and grieving Christians of that day in Corinth, or anyone today, getting strength or satisfaction or hope out of such assertions. St. Paul challenges this notion, arguing that if death is the end of all, then we might as well forget all about virtue, truth and honor (for these virtues have meaning only in the light of immortality) and take for ourselves the motto, “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Instead of that, Paul says Christ is risen and has become the first fruits of them that slept: We shall live as He lives, with the glorious body of the resurrection, assured of the final triumph of right and truth, and the ultimate victory of good over evil.

Sometimes our hearts grow sad at the condition of affairs in the world. Sometimes we grow heavy-hearted thinking we have made only a little impress-ion in the world. All our efforts seem like bailing the ocean with a cup, and we come to believe that evil might indeed triumph over good, or that there will forever be a perpetual recurrence of what we now see—a ceaseless conflict between right and wrong. This casts a serious doubt on the meaning of life for us, for the heart of man longs for the victory of truth, the complete conquest of evil.

What, then, is it that saves us from doubt and pessimism and despair? What is the ground for our faith and our courage? This is the same thing that Paul gave to the Corinthians, who feared that their best labors in the Lord might prove in vain. Paul did not speak about the evolution of human society or the disappearance of old systems of evil and iniquities in the past. No, he told them to look through the struggles and behold Christ their King, victorious, reigning until every enemy is put under His feet, when He shall deliver the kingdom over to God. Then the sun will rise but never set. Then none shall say, “I am sick.” Then no aggressor shall oppress and persecute the weak. Then there shall be no more night, and no more curses, and no more separating death, and no more tears and justice and peace and mercy shall flow down like a river, and God shall be all and in all.

No one ever spoke, or lived, or fought, or died for truth in vain. Not the labor of a single hour, not a single blow struck for the right, not a single choice of good as against evil, not one deed of mercy, not one sigh of anguish or pity shall be in vain if done in the Name of Christ.

Is it worth it? The answer is easy: Yes! Be of good courage and lift up your hearts. Be faithful in the work and place appointed to you. Be steadfast, unmovable, against all the tides and storms of evil. Your life counts forever because you labor in the Lord.

Chapel Approved for Building Financing

Special Parish Meeting Called for Sunday, May 18

Chapel of the Holy Spirit Proposed Design

A proposed profile of a new building for the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Beavertown. Featuring an ascending nave and a large narthex that doubles as a fellowship area, it is roughly based off traditional Alaskan Orthodox designs.

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP — At its spring 2014 meeting here at the Chancery, the Diocesan Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing a loan for the construction of a church building in Beavertown. According to the financing plan terms, the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh will offer the Chapel of the Holy Spirit $160,000 amortized over a 20-year term.

If approved by the May 18 special parish assembly called by the Parish Council, the financing agreement calls for a zero or negligible annual percentage rate during the first five years, calculated such that the Archdiocese breaks even on the loan servicing (but not to exceed 3%), making the Chapel’s monthly payments in the $600-800 range. After that time, a 2% and 4% surcharge will be added to the APR for years 5-10 and 10-20, respectively. The diocese can require full repayment only after the tenth or fif-teenth year,  provided the council and diocesan bishop concur. The Archdiocese will have a lien on the already-purchased lot and any structure built upon it. The Chapel will make a down payment of $40,000 from reserves and fundraising to be determined, to meet the estimated project cost of $200,000.

The sole item on the assembly’s agenda will be to authorize this loan to the parish corporation. A super-majority of two-thirds of the parish’s members is required for quorum. Should the quorum not be met, the meeting will be postponed until the following Sunday, at which the members that attend shall con-stitute a quorum. Parishioners in good standing that were registered with the parish as members last year and who have fulfilled their Lenten 2014 obligations of Confession and Communion may attend and vote. Balloting will occur at both Holy Trinity and the Chapel immediately following Liturgy.

Should you have any questions, please contact Frs. John or Basil, or Council President Chuck Beechan. Or, attend the next regular meeting of the Parish Council on Wednesday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Children are the Church’s Present

by Joelle Rush and Jesse Torbic

Joelle Rush (left) and Jesse Torbic (behind her to the left) participate in the March for Life in Washington DC.

Sunday School students and article authors Joelle Rush (left) and Jesse Torbic (behind her and to the left) participate in the March for Life in Washington DC.

Last December, middle school students left Holy Trinity for a middle school retreat at Antiochian Village. At the retreat we had a great time, but also learned about our faith as Orthodox Christians. We also met other middle school aged Orthodox Christians as well as Bishop Thomas.

One idea that we looked at on this retreat was “Children are the Present of the Church”, not just the future. This means that we are a part of the church from baptism and we should live in the presence of God. Another thing we talked about at the retreat was not only how to be a Christian inside the Church, but also outside the Church. We discussed how the Church isn’t only a building; it is a world we live in, and that we have a toolbox that God has provided us with. In it are things such as faith, the Church, the Bible, and saints.

Another topic we discussed is how we dedicate ourselves to Christ. The kids were split into six different groups. We were all assigned a saint to learn about. An example of one of these saints was the Theotokos. She gave her life to Christ at about the age of 14. Other examples were Faith, Hope, and Love, who in a time of trouble, always believed in their faith. They gave their lives to Christ at about the ages of 9, 12, and 14. A third topic that was discussed was that we should love ourselves, but not be in love with ourselves. We should love ourselves because we are God’s creation.

Alongside of having discussions, we did many other activities including sledding and playing in the snow, playing four-square, having a bonfire, singing Christmas carols, making cinnamon flavored apples, assembling hygiene kits for charity, and other team building activities that required us to interact with other people outside of our church parish.

Along with spending time with others, Bishop Thomas was there as well. He talked to us about always following God and not making excuses to skip church and church activities; that church is a feast we should take advantage of. In the sermon on Sunday, he talked about being in time-out, which means that we need to take a break and look at our faith.

On the drive back from the retreat we asked everyone what their favorite part was and what they took out of this weekend. Nick McFarland quoted, “It was fun to hang out with my friends and make more friends.” “I learned you have to be yourself all the time,” said Nicholas Siewers. “I learned you have to believe in your faith,” stated Anna Abashidze. “The church isn’t only a building,” Lauren Torbic said. “My favorite part was sledding and making a ramp for the sleds,” said Ben Oleynik.

An Interview with Choir Intern Zach Mandell

Last month we sat down to catch up with Zach Mandell, who is serving as Holy Trinity’s Choir Director as part of a two-semester internship. Here are some excerpts.

Zach Mandell

What have you enjoyed most?
On one hand, getting to know people a little bit better… we do have a large parish so it’s been nice to get to know people better. It’s been really fun working musically with people… There is a varying level of musical training and musical knowledge so it’s been enjoyable to teach and learn how to teach… [I’ve also enjoyed] just being a part of the service [as director] and being engaged… To be at the heart of everything, of the prayers, of the Psalms—it’s just been a real blessing…That is one thing I really love about this parish. So many people in the congregation sing. They are very engaged and that is very encouraging and I think that is very important for one’s spiritual growth.

What are some of your objectives for Lent?
One thing is to work with the choir so we can conserve our voices and use our voices properly. It will be a combination of things like musical technique so that when we have all these services we make sure we aren’t overdoing things. [To help with this] I may break things up a little bit and have smaller groups do services at times. Also, this semester I really want to reach out to the congregation to get more people involved in the choir, especially when [we are entering] a time when there are so many services. I want to take this opportunity to extend a hand to the people who might be interested but haven’t come forward for whatever reason.

Why is rehearsing so important?
When you are singing, you aren’t just performing, it is a sacred office so you need to know what you are doing and be committed to what you are doing… We want to sing to the glory of God, not for entertainment… What is the center is the Eucharist and the service itself. The choir is there to lead but not be the focus of everyone’s attention. You are a part of a much larger thing happening. If you (prepare), knowing what you are doing is prayer, you are able to garner the spiritual benefits.

What is the best way to join the choir?
If you have any interest whatsoever, talk to me, talk to Deacon Alex, talk to Father John—if you have  any interest in the slightest, you are welcome. All you have to do is ask and I’ll be there. We will also have a social at the rectory on Meatfare Sunday (February 23) at 6 p.m. for all current and prospective singers.

This internship is an experiment for the parish. Would you recommend the parish doing this again in the future?
It’s been very good for me and my perception is that it has been good for the choir. When you have an internship you know you are going to do things differently than they used to be, and if you do it again, that person is also going to do things differently. I think that is an important thing for a choir as well. A little bit of change is a good thing within context.

Related: Read a transcript of the full interview with Zach Mandell.

Pre-Lent 2014: Preparing for True Renewal

by Fr. Basil Biberdorf

February 2 marks a confluence of special events this year: the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, Groundhog Day, and Super Bowl Sunday. This particular year brings with it the surprise—and perhaps the disappointment—of hearing the reading of the Gospel telling us about that short tax collector, Zacchaeus, and his climbing of the tree. The very next Sunday will begin the three pre-Lenten weeks.

The problem with pre-Lent for most of us is that it makes us think of Great Lent itself, and particularly of the deprivations of the season. As a result, a common attitude toward the pre-Lenten weeks is one of “indulge now, for tomorrow we can’t.”

The Orthodox Lenten journey officially starts several weeks before "Clean Monday" with the Publican and Pharisee parable found in the Gospel of St. Luke. The Pharisee, who looked down on the Publican, felt justified because of he kept the law and external religious observances, but it was the Publican's humility and repentance which led to his salvation. Repentance is the door through which Orthodox enter the lenten season. (image courtesy of

The Orthodox Lenten journey officially starts several weeks before “Clean Monday” with the Publican and Pharisee parable found in the Gospel of St. Luke. The pharisee, who looked down on the publican, felt justified because of he kept the law and external religious observances, but it was the publican’s humility and repentance which  led to his salvation. Repentance is the door through which Orthodox enter the lenten season (image courtesy of

And, so, during the fast-free week of the Publican and the Pharisee (February 9-15), the temptation is to eat as much as we can, gratifying each desire for food, whether steaks, burgers, desserts, eggs, or cheeses. The fast-free Wednesday and Friday provide merely more opportunities to enjoy. The week of the Prodigal Son (February 16-22) brings us back to a regular schedule, with abstinence from meat and dairy on Wednesday and Friday, and our desire to make full use of the non-fasting days therein.

The undercurrent in all of these perspectives is that Lent is a time of deprivation, and, therefore, we must indulge our desires, satiate our bellies, and, indeed, distract ourselves from the difficult reality we need to face. This is a reality that is being held up before our faces in these pre-Lenten Sundays.

We have the image of the Publican and the Pharisee, which gives us the picture of forgiveness of the repentant sinner, and the failure of the attempt to become self-righteous before God. We have the Prodigal Son, which shows us not just the value of repentance, but indeed the expanse of the Father’s love and forgiveness toward the one who did not deserve it. We have the Last Judgment, which reminds us of our callousness, along with the fact that our insensitivity to those who bear Christ’s image will result in God’s denial of us at the Judgment. We have Forgiveness Sunday, and the recollection that without forgiveness, we will not be forgiven.

Our perspective changes if we think carefully about these pre-Lenten themes. If we contemplate these days, our thoughts move away from the idea that we must indulge as a defense against deprivation. Rather, we come to learn that we prepare in these pre-Lenten weeks for an arduous task. We develop the sincere desire that our hardened hearts not receive what they so clearly deserve: separation from God, and the torment of hell.

Lent in such a view comes to be not a time of deprivation, but an entire season of renewal and even comfort. In those transitional weeks between Zacchaeus and Forgiveness Vespers, we have the opportunity to cultivate our minds in the desire for God and a love for our brethren that is not conditioned on what they can give us in return. We  have the opportunity to clean house by removing the temptation to the rich food and general laziness that too often distracts us from the tragic state of our souls. We can use these pre-Lenten weeks to guide ourselves in prayer, so that when the Lenten effort (and Lenten blessings!) begin, we are ready to participate fully, having set aside all earthly cares.

If our time in the pre-Lenten weeks is spent thinking upon what we’ll miss in the season to come, we will find ourselves burdened unnecessarily. Let us think instead upon Christ, and the Cross that awaits him, and embark on that journey, eager to receive every word he gives, never balking when those words interfere with our own plans for our lives. Let us turn instead to the prayer he gives us: “Thy will be done.”

May these weeks of preparation be filled with joy (and even food) at the prospect of growing in love for Christ and the salvation that exists only in him.

Two Outdoor Blessings Scheduled for January 12

On the Eve of Theophany at the Great Blessing of Water, we gather and the priest, wearing full vestments, calls down God’s blessing upon the water and plunges into it the Cross to recall Christ sanctifying the Jordan. The service concludes with the blessing of the entire church and all the people by sprinkling the water, while all come and partake of this newly prepared Holy Water. This event also marks the beginning of the annual blessing of homes of the faithful.

However, there is a second blessing of water often served at Theophany. This blessing is that of a body of clean water—a river, spring, creek, or even a lake. It is conducted in the exact same way as the “inside” blessing of water, but includes a procession to the water, with the faithful led by the Cross, the Gospel, banners, and torches. The Cross is once again immersed in the water, sometimes by throwing, marking the sanctification of the water by Christ, its Creator. If the Cross is thrown, it is often retrieved with a cord, or, in more adventurous circumstances, by swimmers diving for it. (This is just fun in coastal Florida, but the thought of diving into the icy waters of a Russian lake in winter makes me turn blue simply thinking about it!)

The Chapel of the Holy Spirit has served the outdoor blessing of water for the past couple of years in Beaver Springs, sanctifying the waters of a creek that flows through the area. Doing so has not only edified our Chapel faithful, but also the surrounding community. Last year’s blessing also resulted in newspaper coverage, along with a follow-up article on the Sunday of the Cross two months later.

Encouraged by the positive reception of the outdoor blessing of water at the Chapel, Holy Trinity will also hold this outdoor blessing this upcoming Theophany. The faithful are invited to Spring Creek Park on Sunday, January 12, following the Liturgy, for a short procession and the service of sanctification. At the same time we will bless the waters in Beaver Springs, bringing the two communities of the parish together in common worship and celebration. (Spring Creek is an excellent choice, as rehabilitation efforts have resulted in a clean, thriving stream, which flows through a large portion of Centre County, from five miles east of State College to Milesburg.  That the Holy Spirit would be called down upon this creek for the sanctification of the world is fitting.)

Mark your calendars now for this special event on Sunday, January 12, and plan to celebrate our Lord’s Baptism, and the sanctification of the waters, with us at the Chapel in Snyder County or at Holy Trinity in State College.

Looking Back on 2014

by Dn. Mark Oleynik

1435612_52925733During the last school year my daughter was assigned to list three significant events for each year of her life. Reflecting back on the last year I was reminded of this assignment and decided to refresh my memory of the events of 2013. I proceeded to sit down in front of my personal computer and entered the search phrase, “looking back at 2014.” I immediately realized my error but was surprised that there were more than 17,000 hits that looked back “at the future.” I briefly glanced at a few of the articles in curiosity but mostly it gave me pause to think: if we could look back now at our lives during 2014, what would we find?

With such advanced knowledge of our lives this year we would surely avoid the pitfalls, circumstances, and situations which would cause us pain and grief, wouldn’t we? Certainly, we would choose only those things that would profit us, our children, and our friends both now and hereafter. Although we might still experience sadness and failure during the upcoming year we would be prepared for it. When something would come up, we could make the wise decision.

That’s it: making wise decisions. For some, decision making can be an ordeal. Although something deep within us shouts that life is a series of decisions (moments in truth), we like to put things off; and if there is any way by which we can delay a decision (“I’ll do that when the kids get older”, “I don’t have time”, “that’s too difficult”), or push the responsibility of the decision on to somebody else, we probably wouldn’t hesitate to do so. That is the way many live; dwelling in the valley of indecision. The prophet Joel speaks that, “the day of the Lord is at hand in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14). Although we may be indecisive, let us not be confused—God will make His decision.

We often begin the new year with the good intent-ions of changing things (lose ten pounds, exercise, more prayer, travel, etc.) but we often lose our enthusiasm and interest after a short while. Nobody ever likes to look back and realize nothing much changed year to year and most especially in their relationship with God. That’s a most sad and sobering thought, but perhaps you can decide now to become God-centered in all you do and really make this year different from years past.

Be grateful for the gifts you have at this very moment. Don’t moan or groan over what you haven’t got. You are alive. You love and you are loved by God. You may be surrounded by dear friends and family who care for you. It is better to want what you have than to have what you want. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His Name” (Psalm 100:4).

Something else you can do is to learn to master your thoughts. Remember the saying, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Start each day with Metropolitan Philaret’s prayer especially asking God to guide you in all your “thoughts and feelings.” Stop the thought wrestling and see Christ in the person you meet at the checkout line, at coffee hour, or in the driver who just cut you off in traffic. Don’t let your thoughts push you around, but rather take the initiative and push your thoughts to where they result in goodness.

Another good thing is to do something (or something more) for others regardless of your age. The self-centered person is usually miserable. Invest something of yourself in others every day. Our parish has many ministries dedicated to helping others in some way. If you don’t find something here then reach out into our community (take to heart our mission to “Build up the Church beyond our Parish”). Scripture tells us that, “For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister” (Mark 10:45). Follow Jesus’ example.

Finally, place your trust in God. Stop and consider your place: do you make yourself big and God small? Faith and trust is betting your life that God lives and that He loves each one of us with a love that can never fail. We simply need to remember our Lord’s trust in the Father as He gave up His spirit. At the end, there was the utmost assurance that the One who had been with Him from eternity would not desert Him.

Of course, we can’t look into the future but what we can do now, with the help of our Lord, is to make wiser decisions that will bring profit to our souls. May your decisions this year bring you a penitent, praying, pure, obedient, and a very happy heart. And when you look back at 2014 may it be with joy.

Advent 2013: Preparing for God to Come

by Fr. Basil Biberdorf

June 14, 2012And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” This is from God’s condemnation of the serpent at the Fall (Genesis 3:15), and is commonly known as the protoevangelium, the “first Gospel.”

Thus, from the beginning, the coming of Christ is anticipated. A descendant of the fallen man and woman would be the undoing of the one who tempted them. (And, oddly, the woman thinks she has birthed this savior herself—“I have acquired a man from the Lord”—although this child turns out to be not the savior, but rather the first murderer.) This One who would bruise the serpent’s heel would be awaited by all of God’s people (Gen. 4:1). It is this sense of anticipation that characterizes the entirety of the Nativity Fast. We think on the expectant people of God, characterized so well by the mournful Western hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” We think on the Virgin who bears the Creator of all in her very womb, and the One who will finally appear to us in the flesh.

We can consider the mystery of how a young woman, a “girl” in our own time, betrothed to an old man, who is great with child, trusting without faltering, as she and her husband make their way to their ancestral city. We can marvel that the Creator of all is born, not into luxury, comfort, and power, but into poverty and lowliness. The Son of God himself deigns not only to be carried in the womb of one of his creatures, but he consents to being born in a way, and into circumstances, none of us would desire for our own children. Yet this is the God we wait for. The difficulty in our time is that we want to skip the anticipation. We like instant gratification, not “good things come to those who wait.” We would rather live in the celebration right now—feasting and rejoicing—instead of making ready, and watching expectantly.

This is where the Nativity Fast comes in. Unlike the Great Fast, this fast doesn’t place the emphasis on repentance: our need to recognize our true state before God and desire that it be otherwise. Rather, the emphasis is squarely on anticipation. We eat less, and omit certain foods, so as to build the hunger in ourselves for the One who is truly needful. We focus our prayers on the arrival of that Christ who comes to save us from our sins. We recall the burning bush (Ex. 3), and Moses taking off his sandals because he was on holy ground, then marvel at the Virgin who touches and contains God. We recall Isaiah who was cleansed by the hot coal (Is. 6:7), then see the Virgin cleansed by Christ inside her. We, too, behold this Creator who comes united to human flesh without destroying it by fire.

As we journey in this season of the Nativity Fast, let us not be in a great hurry to reach our destination. Let us proceed slowly, savoring those wondrous anticipations we have been given to us in Scripture. Let us sing the hymns, making the anticipation of old our anticipation today. Let us forgo our favorite foods, not because we are sad, but because something—some One—greater awaits us at the end of the journey: God Himself, born as a child.

Renowned Quartet to Perform Live at Holy Trinity

The Konevets Quartet, performing live at Holy Trinity on Sunday, November 17 at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, November 17 at 7 p.m., Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (119 S. Sparks St., in State College) will host an evening of beautiful and sacred music performed by the renowned Konevets Russian Quartet. The a cappella selections sung by the quartet include selections from 20th-century composers such as Chesnokov, Grechaninov, and Stravinsky, as well as ancient, centuries-old hymns in their original one-, two-, and three-part arrangements.

Founded by graduates of the St. Petersburg Music Conservatory in 1992, the ensemble travels around the world with the goal of sharing the rich Russian vocal tradition with classical music enthusiasts and audiences from diverse faith traditions and backgrounds. Holy Trinity is the first stop on the group’s 2013 Holiday U.S. Tour.

The performance is free of charge and open to the public. A free-will offering will be accepted to support the Konevets Monastery (from which the group takes its name), a 600-year-old religious community located on Lake Ladoga, 100 miles northeast of St. Petersburg. A meet-and-greet reception with the quartet will follow the presentation, where CDs will be available for purchase.

Visit the Quartet’s Website
Read the Quartet’s Biography

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