With apologies to all clergymen who don’t have beautiful voices 🙂 I really think a beautiful voice is needed to appreciate and reach another level of humility and meditation during the different services of the church. I know a beautiful voice may not always have a faithful heart behind it, but I believe the voice of Archamendrite Pendelaimon Farah, head of Theotokos Dormition Monastery (Hamatoura) in Lebanon, is one coming from the heart. Chanting the verses of the Akathist to the Theotokos in the Plagal of the first (5th tone) is simply angelic. Listen for yourself:
Words of the Akathist part chanted above:
The shepherds heard the appearance of Christ in the flesh being glorified; and hastening as to a shepherd, they beheld him as a spotless lamb who had been pastured in the womb of Mary, to whom they sing praises saying:
Rejoice, mother of the Lamb and Shepherd;
Rejoice, sheepfold of spiritual sheep.
Rejoice, defense against invisible enemies;
Rejoice, key to the doors of Paradise.
Rejoice, for heavenly things are exulting with the earth;
Rejoice, earthly things that are dancing with the heavenly ones.
Rejoice, never-silent voice of the Apostles;
Rejoice, unconquered courage of the Martyrs.
Rejoice, faith’s unshakable foundation;
Rejoice, shining revelation of grace.
Rejoice, through whom Hades is divested;
Rejoice, through whom we have been vested in glory.
Rejoice, O Bride unwedded.
People: Rejoice, O Bride unwedded.
— Jack Rabah