Pastoral School Liturgical Practicum Held in Houston

With the blessing of Archbishop Peter, the third Liturgical Practicum of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America took place at St. Jonah parish in Spring, Texas February 22-25, 2024. The two previous practicums were held at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Chicago. Archbishop Peter, President of the Pastoral School, felt it was important that the practicum be offered in the southern part of the diocese as well, which is experiencing much growth, and where many new clergymen have recently been ordained. God willing, the practicum will be held annually in the north and annually in the south going forward. The Pastoral School is very thankful to the St. Jonah parish for hosting the practicum.

The practicum began with registration and introductions on Thursday, February 22, quickly followed by a group meal and the first of the Divine Services of the practicum. After vigil that night a “postmortem” was held, reviewing the evening’s services in the light of the standard liturgical practices of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The postmortem was held in a constructive atmosphere of learning and sharing, where questions were welcome and instruction was positive. A postmortem of this type was held after each of the Evening Services and Divine Liturgies of the Practicum, led by the instructors of the Practicum:

Archpriest Gregory Joyce

Protodeacon Alexander Kichakov

Protodeacon Alexander Petrovsky

Larissa Kaminsky-Sander

Between the Divine Services lectures were held on the following topics:

Using the Voice to the Glory of God: A Workshop for Clergy

The Divine Liturgy

TheAll-Night Vigil

Matching the Choir’s Pitch/Common Practices in ROCOR

Authentic ROCOR Liturgical Practices


Additionally, all participants in the Practicum received one on one instruction in the appropriate use of the voice for clergymen by Larissa Kaminsky-Sander, Chair of the Diocese Liturgical Music Committee.

Following the All Night Vigil on Saturday evening a festive banquet was held at a local restaurant. All participants took part in the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 25. Shortly thereafter the participants returned to their parishes, ready to put into practice the new information they had learned at the practicum.

Pictures from the practicum can be viewed here:


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