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The Tenth International Conference on Orthodox Church Music

“O Taste and See that the Lord is Good: Church Music, Food and Nourishment”

Joensuu, Finland / 12–18 June 2023

University of Eastern Finland,

School of Theology,

Agora AT100 (Yliopistokatu 4, Joensuu)

The International Society for Orthodox Church Music 

School of Theology, Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland

Conference Programme


Changes to the programme are possible! Last updated 13 June 2023


Time zone: EEST (UTC+3)


Abstract Book (pdf)

Monday 12th June 

9.15 Refreshments


9.30 Opening ceremony

Opening addresses
Maria Takala-Roszczenko, Assistant Professor of Church Music, University of Eastern Finland

Ilkka Huhta, Head of the School of Theology, University of Eastern Finland

Very Rev. Ivan Moody, Chairman, ISOCM

Book launch

John Michael Boyer Byzantine Chant: The Received Tradition – A Lesson Book, presented by Richard Barrett

10.00 First Session

  • Stig Simeon Frøyshov (Norway), The Meal Services of the Horologion: History, Meaning and Performance

  • Andrew Mellas (Australia), ‘The Loaves Gave Birth’: Heavenly Nourishment in the Hymns of St Romanos the Melodist

11.30 Opening of the poster exhibition

Daniel Galadza (Italy), Prayers for Blessing Foods on Pascha: The Witness of Byzantine Greek Euchologia (8th–14th cent.)

11.40 Lunch


13.00 Second Session

  • Hieromonk Damaskinos of Xenophontos (Finland/Athos), Heavenly Nourishment in the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

  • Harrison Russin (USA), “He Mingles for the Faithful the Cup of the Wine of Life Eternal”: Reading Proverbs 9 on Holy Thursday


15.00 Coffee


15.30 Keynote

Dr Thomas Arentzen (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Eating the Gospel: Food for Thought in Romanos the Melodist (ONLINE)


17.00 Vespers

Presided by HE Bishop Sergei of Hamina

Church of St John the Theologian, Torikatu 41


18.00 Reception hosted by the Orthodox Church of Finland
Orthodox Seminary, Torikatu 41


Tuesday 13th June 


10.00 Third Session

  • Very Rev. Ivan Moody (Portugal), The Troparion of Kassiani: The Figure of the Repentant Woman in the Music of Greek Composers of the 20th Century (ONLINE)

  • Margaret Haig (UK), Bringing Christmas Cheer: Carols to Nurture and Witness the Faith

  • Panteleimon Zafiris (Greece/Ireland), The Use of Music in the Monastic Trapeza: From Orthodox Patrology in Practice Today in the Greek Area (ONLINE)

11.30 Lunch

13.00 Fourth Session

  • Maria Rizzuto (Italy), Ritual Plurilingualism and “Food Multilingualism”. Community Practices of the Church of Sant’Alessandro di Comana in Palermo (ONLINE)

  • Alex Khalil (Ireland), Eat your words: Orality, Literacy, and Embodied Learning Through Sacred Music

  • Sister Sidonia (Freedman) (USA), Stichera, Scents, Stitches, and Self-Emptying: How Christ Nourishes and Cherishes the Church, in Light of Hymnography for the Feast of the Life-Giving Pillar and Georgian Paraliturgical Traditions


14.30 Coffee


15.00 Fifth Session

  • Serafim Seppälä (Finland), The Natural Foundation of the Eight Musical Modes in Bar Hebraeus

  • Richard Barrett (USA), The Soundscape of Festal Vespers: An Aural Ethnography of Greek Orthodox Churches in Boston

  • Tuuli Lukkala (Finland), Languages in the Soundscapes of Orthodox Worship in Finland

16.30 Workshop

Conducted by Anna Conomos (UK)

Free night

Wednesday 14th June 


8.00 Divine Liturgy

Church of St John the Theologian, Torikatu 41


9.45 Coffee


10.00 Sixth Session

  • Harri Huovinen (Finland), Physical and Spiritual Nourishment in the Catechetical Homilies of John Chrysostom

  • Nina-Maria Wanek (Austria), The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts as a Unique Path of Spiritual Nourishment

  • Karim Guirguis (Canada), Embodied Liturgical Experience as an Extension of Eucharist (ONLINE)


11.30 Lunch


13.00 Seventh Session

  • Aleksandr Andreev (Norway), The 17th Century Znamenny Hirmologion: Sources, Principles of Reform, and Place in the Russian Musical Tradition

  • Victoria Legkikh (Germany), You Were Praise of Fasting: The Service to St Euthymius

  • Marcin Abijski (Poland), The Greek Repertory in Ruthenian Irmologia as a Key to Some Questions of Byzantine Musicology


14.30 Coffee


15.00 Workshop

Conducted by Anna Conomos (UK)

16.40 Annual meeting of the ISOCM


Free night



Thursday 15th June 

10.00 Eighth Session

  • Nina Shultz (USA), Slaviq: An Expression of Native Alaskan Orthodoxy (ONLINE)

  • Andriy Shkrabyuk (Ukraine), The World of Lviv Liturgical Music: Between Classical Polyphony, Folk "Samuyilka" and the Radical East

  • Girolamo Garofalo (Italy), “Flowers and fruits on/for the earth”. Food, Nature’s Rebirth and Spiritual Renewal in the Lazarus Songs among the Albanians of Sicily (ONLINE)


11.30 Lunch


13.00 Ninth Session

  • Svetlana Poliakova (Portugal), The Stichera of the Saturday of Saint Theodore in the Oldest Russian Sticheraria: at the Crossroads of Traditions

  • Donatella Bucca (Italy), Koinonika in Italo-Greek Musical Manuscripts (ONLINE)

14.00 Coffee

14.30 Keynote

Professor Davor Džalto (University College Stockholm, Sweden)

The Material Faith: Orthodoxy, Materiality and Creation


18.00 Concert: Echoes of Byzantium in Western Rus

Conducted by Marcin Abiskij (Poland)

Joensuu church, Papinkatu 1 b


Friday 16th June 

10.00 Tenth Session

  • Nino Naneishvili (Georgia), Christian Religious Music in Georgia

  • Simon Marincak (Slovakia), Is it Possible to Have a Proper Musical Tradition Without Musical Books? The Formation of Chant Tradition in the Carpathians

  • Margarita Moisejeva (Lithuania), Orthodox Church Music in the Lithuanian Language in the Context of the Socio-political Environment


11.30 Lunch


13.00 Eleventh Session

  • Pavlos Kordis (Greece), Receive the Body of Christ: The Compositional Style and Efficiency of Communion Verses

  • Robert Galbraith (UK), Why Did Western Polyphony Appear in Russian Sacred Music in Mid-17th Century?

14.30 Coffee

15.00 Twelfth Session

  • James Chater (France), Beauty, Worship and Sacred Music (ONLINE)

  • Riikka Patrikainen (Finland), Research on Singing Funerals as a Female Cantor in the Orthodox Church of Finland – Why Do We Need Autoethnography in Studies on Orthodoxy?


16.00 Conclusion of the academic programme


17.00 Vespers

Church of St John the Theologian, Torikatu 41

18.00 Evening of songs

Orthodox Culture Centre, Kauppakatu 44

Supra! Traditional Georgian songs sung around the dining table by Tevri Ensemble (Finland)
Participants’ performances


Saturday 17th June 


Excursion to Ilomantsi

Themes: Karelian Orthodox culture, on the footsteps of the Martyr and Confessor John of Sonkajanranta


c. 10.30 Departure from GreenStar Hotel, Torikatu 16

c. 11.15 Church of Prophetess Hanna, Sonkajanranta

12.30 Lunch at Parppeinpirtti Karelian restaurant

13.30 Rune-singer's house and exhibitions in Parppeinvaara

16.15 Kokonniemi cemetery (the tomb of St John of Sonkajanranta)

17.00 Vespers, Church of Prophet Elijah in Ilomantsi

18.00 Wine Tower (Hermanni Winery)

c. 21.30 Return to Joensuu

Sunday 18th June 

10.00 Divine Liturgy

Church of St Nicholas, Orthodox Parish of JoensuuKirkkokatu 23


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