The Orthodox Christian Tape/CD FAQ

Table of Contents

Teaching Tapes

  1. New Valaam Trading Company offers a tape with workbook that teaches The Eight Tones and Special Melodies According to the Russian Usage Here is a partial description of the contents:
    "The Eight Tones and Special Melodies according the usage of the Russian orthodox Church" comprehensively covers all the eight tones, in each melody variation they are sung in. The troparic, sticheric, Irmos and prokeimenon melodies are all covered, with a single voice singing the melody only. The "refrain" melody, used for the psalm verses between the stichera of "Lord I have cried" at vespers and "Let every breath praise the Lord" at matins are also taught. There is a representative selection of each musical piece sung.

    In addition to the standard "Eight Tones" melodies, there is a selection of the 13 most popular "Special Melodies", or "Podobens". If a student were to master the contents of this tape, all of the hymns of Vespers and Matins could be sung, with very few, uncommon exceptions.

    The workbook included has:

    The words to everything that is sung, properly marked for emphasis
    An instructive Preface
    An essay introducing the rudiments of church singing and it's history, including
    Liturgical Chant of the Early Christian Church
    Liturgical Chant of the Russian Orthodox Church
    Construction and Usage of the Eight Tones
    "Guidelines for Choir Singers and Choir Conductors"
    which contains extensive quotes from the Father and Church Councils about church singing and Psalmody
    and an extensive bibliography.

  2. St John of Kronstadt Press
    Rt 1 Box 205
    Liberty TN 37095
    615 536-5239
    Contact: Fr Gregory Williams
    St. John of Kronstadt Press has tapes from a number of other publishers including a 2 tape set on the raising of children by a pre-Revolution Russian bishop that is quite good and a three tape set on the teachings of the Fathers on the Passions, on the Body, and on Sickness (I think that was the three).

  3. The Christian Activist has a tape ministry (they'll lend them, or sell at $4apiece)

  4. St. Herman of Alaska Bookstore
    1315 7th Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94122
    (415) 664-8161 [DAYS]
    Contact: Matt Kaskanlian
    turns out a series of about 12 tapes that I found very good at $5apiece (some stuff by Fr. Seraphim Rose, a set of two tapes by a missionary to Uganda, a nice two tape set on confession, the Beatitudes, Marriage) (Several more are supposed to be released when he has time to get around to it, but given past experience that may be a long time. Some of his tapes can be acquired through Orthodox bookstores - like Jordanville - but only a subset of them and at a higher cost, since he seems to sell at whole sale prices if you mail order from him.) Here are my comments on the ones that are available written some time back:

    • Our Suffering Church by Alexander Ogorodnikov (mentioned in piece on Russian can onizations-dissident, intellectual, Orthodox layman) Talks about how intellectuals searched for and joined the church. How they fought against the confining of faith to a building during liturgy, and paid for it with their jobs and freedom. Talks about the sufferings in prison camp.

    • Christians Facing the 80's by Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) [2 tape set] Predictions for the 1980's-most of them wrong plus lots of good stuff. I can't remember exact contents b/c listened to a while back and have it mixed up with the next tape.

    • The Orthodox World View by Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) Talks about difficulty and necessity of developing an Orthodox world view in our culture.

      [In one or both of the sets, he talks about New Age stuff that is out there trying to lead us astray.]

    • The Marriage: A Sacrament of Love by Fr. Feodoroff [2 tape set] Talks about building a Christian marriage and how the church can help. Main points included demonic attack on the marriage since the Christian marriage conveys much grace. Talks a great deal about the necessity of self-sacrifice. Highly recommended as it is not limited in practicality to the married, as I the unmarried can attest. Talks about Beatitudes.

    • The Beatitudes in Our Daily Life by. Fr. Feodoroff Talks about the Beatitudes. Also very good.

    • Ugandan Mission by Fr. Gerasimos Kambites [2 tape set] Describes how he returned to church after time as at not-at-all-interested journalist, recovered from a serious illness to become a priest and a doctor. He helped set up a school/church/clinic on an island in Lake Victoria. How the demon worshippers and communists opposed him. Very inspiring. He was expelled from the country and his brother-in-law is taking his place. The Orthodox Benevolent Fund supports him.

    • Confession by Archbishop Antony of Los Angeles [2 tape set] Very helpful treatment of the spiritual benefit of confession. Discusses responsiblity of both the priest and the person confessing.

    Some of the 2 tape sets are really a tape and a half (for instance, Confession)

  5. St. Nicodemus Hagiorite Publication Society
    6149 Fairway Lane
    Wescosville, PA 18106
    Translator: Constatine Zalalas
    There's a group St. Nicodemus Hagiorite Publication Society that turns out conservative Orthodox tapes from a theologian in the Greek state church named Fr. Athanasios Mitilianaios from Larissa Greece (and some from Father Ephraim of M. Philotheou on the Holy Mountain) for $1.25. My priest likes the theologian. A friend of mine has mixed feelings on him, considering him too conservative (of course, I'm not sure whether to take that as a plus or a minus :)). I just heard about 30 of them of them and will probably listen to them all eventually, D.V. We acquired all 45 or so tapes for our parish library (a variety of practical topics, plus two extensive sets of teaching tapes on the Epistle of James and the book of Tobit). According to the tape, they are working with the blessing of Bp. Maximos. They have several priests, not all of whose names sounded Greek-one I think had a Slavic name, for guidance.

  6. Orthodox Christian Education Commision
    PO Box 69
    Colvin Station
    Syracuse, NY 13205
    has tape albums on church history/ an overview of the church by Fr. Thomas Hopko/ one on contemporary moral issues. Maybe more stuff.

  7. Orthodox Voices, an Orthodox periodical on tape, has nice stuff on it-lots of excerpts from good Orthodox sources. (I found out about the very fine series by St. Herman of Alaska Bookstore through an excerpt on Orthodox Voices)

  8. St Nectarios Press (SNP)
    10300 Ashworth Avenue
    North Seattle, Washington 98133-9410

    also carries a variety of tapes including some nice ones on the lives of saints. However, the purchaser should be aware that the tapes contain comments of a polemical and controversial nature that some may find quite offensive, particularly in the Q&Asession. (My priest and myself found both edifying and offensive matters on the tapes personally. Your mileage may vary.) Some of the tapes are conferance tapes that are also available from Holy Transfiguration Monastary, which will sell you individual conferance tapes-St. Nectarios only sells "all the tapes from a conferance" for these tapes. Many of the lives of saints can be bought individually ($5each when last I checked), however. I have found, however, that they will accept back tapes for a full refund within 30 days if for any reason you are dissatisfied, so that limits the risk in trying the material.

  9. [Someone on the moderated Orthodox list suggested these] The "New Life Series" would be of interest in such a case. It includes -at least- a series of tapes by Fr Thomas Hopko on each of these themes:

    • Prayer - 20 tapes
    • The mother of God - 2 tapes
    • The Creed - 8 tapes

  10. [Someone on the moderated Orthodox list suggested these] Tapes on other themes by Fr Hopko are available from St Vladimir Seminary Press.

  11. Orthodox Christian Recorded Books produces tapes on a variety of topics, including the Life of St. Mary of Egypt by St. Sophronius, the Dormition of the Theotokos, St. Seraphim of Sarov's conversation with Molotov, St. Innocent of Alaska's Indication of Way into the Kingdom of God, and others. They can be acquired directly from the publisher or from St. John of Kronstadt Press. I've found the material read to be superb, but the reading style to be somewhat monotonous for some of the tapes. The reading was clear, however.

  12. Orthodox Mission Center has a number of tapes from a recent mission conferance. We purchased three for our parish library. They were interesting-I particularly liked the one from Fr. Daniel Byantoro who I met personally when he was in NJ.

Music Tapes

Music CDs

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