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DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK: April 29, 2009
Divine Liturgy At Nativity of the Mother of God Church In Albany Is Sung By a Youth Choir

On April 11-12, a youth choir made up of twenty-five singers from various parishes of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia gathered in Albany, the capital of the state of New York, to celebrate the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem at the Nativity of the Mother of God Church.† †

Inspired by their performance as a choir at the St Hermanís Youth Conference in Montreal, Canada, this past December, they wanted to continue their involvement in a youth choir. Participants came from the Nativity of the Mother of God parish in Albany, NY; St Xenia in Metheun, MA; Holy Epiphany in Roslidale, MA; St Alexander Nevsky in Richmond, ME; St. Nicholas in Springfield, MA; St John the Baptist Cathedral in Mayfield, PA; St John of Kronstadt in Utica, NY; Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY; Holy Protection in Nyack, NY; Our Lady of Kazan in Newark, NJ; St Alexander Nevsky in Lakewood, NJ; St Sergius Mission and the Synodal Cathedral in New York City.†

Gathering on Lazarus Saturday, the choir began practicing promptly at 1 pm and continued for several hours before vigil. Ably conducted by Dimitry Doohovskoy, the repertoire was mainly of traditional pieces familiar to many, but also several more difficult works. Vigil was sung with great beauty and clarity by the young singers. The readings from the Psalms and Canons were spread out among the attendees to give everyone a chance to read. Following vigil, a meal was served for the choir, prepared by members of the parish youth committee. The attendees then retired to a local apple orchard, managed by a parishioner, where a campfire was held and traditional songs were sung.† After spending the night at the orchard and at parishioners' homes, the choir sang the Palm Sunday liturgy. Their performance was received with great enthusiasm by the local parishioners. Over 130 faithful were in attendance to celebrate the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem.† After a festal meal in the parish hall, the choir members were addressed by the parish Rector, Mitred Archpriest Wsewolod Drobot on the importance of youth participation in the choir and all aspects of parish life. He also reminded them that the primary importance of the parish choir was that of prayer above any artistic or musical ambitions.