January 4, 2011
Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Dean and Professor of Liturgical Studies, will teach a course entitledArmenian Hymnography: History, Theology and Function on Wednesday evenings from January 26 through May 18, 2011.
The internet-based program will be accessible to any and all interested via the Global Classroom segment of the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary website and will feature 16 weekly live-streaming lectures by Fr. Findikyan.
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One of Christendom's Most Ancient Sacred Music Traditions
One of the more than 1000 hymns (sharagans) in the sacred music repertory of the Armenian Church. This one is for the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.The sacred music of the Armenian Church is surely one of the most sublime and distinctive features of Armenian Christianity. It has been said that the theology of the Armenian Church is to be found in her šarakans (hymns). What are these exquisite musical-theological-prayerful pieces? What is their message to us and to God? Who composed them? What is their function apart from creating beautiful and stirring worship? The course will explore one of Christendom's most ancient traditions of sacred hymnody and discover how it compares with and differs from other great sacred musical traditions of the Christian world.
Fr. Daniel Findikyan in the classroom at St. Nersess Seminary
One of the more than 1000 hymns (sharagans) in the sacred music repertory of the Armenian Church. This one is for the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
The course will begin on Wednesday, January 26 at 7:30PM EST, when the first live lecture will be broadcast from the Seminary in New Rochelle, via UStream.com, where St. Nersess has a dedicated channel. Past lectures will be archived there as well for later viewing at one's convenience. Lectures will follow almost every Wednesday at the same time until May 18, 2011.
Dozens of Sharagans Available in English Translation for Study and Prayer
A wealth of unique resources including Fr. Findikyan's lecture notes and readings, quizzes, glossary, flashcards and original English translations of dozens of sharagans will be available from the Global Classroom only to those who register for the course by making a donation of $125 to support the development of the Seminary's Global Classroom.
Fr. Findikyan will discuss the content and layout of the Sharagnots, as well as the history behind its compilation and publication.
"The online courses offered through St. Nersess Seminary are an excellent way to make the faith and beliefs of the Armenian Orthodox Church more accessible," said Global Classroom student Eric Vozzy of St. Sarkis Armenian Church (Charlotte, NC). "The medium allows me to watch the lectures in the comfort of my apartment or coffeehouse."
Fr. Daniel Findikyan has been on the faculty of St. Nersess Seminary since 1997, and has served as Dean for ten years. He is also Visiting Professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. A graduate of St. Nersess Seminary, he continued his studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, where he earned a doctoral degree in Liturgical Studies, under the renowned scholar, Robert F. Taft, S.J.
Among his numerous published studies on the history, theology and other aspects of the worship tradition of the Armenian Church, Fr. Findikyan recently published a series of articles in which he has demonstrated that a number of sharagans are much older than once thought, dating to the first half of the fourth century, well before the creation of the Armenian alphabet.
Musical-Poetic-Theological Celebrations of Christian Faith
"Our church's sharagans constitute a sublime mirror of the Armenian Church's theology and spirituality," said Fr. Findikyan. "In our course we will dig deeply in our sacred music to discover how, in prayerful words, poetry, and music, our ancestors grasped and celebrated their faith in Jesus Christ and how the sharagans can deepen our faith and prayer today. I invite any and all--wherever you are--to join me on this expedition."
For further information contact the Seminary by email or by phone at (914) 636-2003