Church of the Nativity

Old Rite Russian Orthodox

​An Old Rite parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). We are located in Erie, PA.

Znamenny Chant

Within the dominant “State Church”, harmonized “part signing” was introduced within a few years after Patriarch Nikon’s reforms. Following the annexation of Kiev and part of the Ukraine in 1654, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and Patriarch Nikon invited singers from Kiev to come to Moscow and lead the singing in the patriarchal church. These singers brought their chant books using the staff notation known as Kievan Notation or Square-Note (Quadratic) Notation, and they introduced their practice of harmonized singing. Both the Kievan music and its notation caught on very quickly in the churches patronized by the wealthy upper classes, and within a generation almost completely superseded the Neumatic Notation and the ancient chant melodies within the State Church.