^This can be a thorny issue. First of all the Orthodox ethos has always maintained a distinction between the priest, people and choir. I don't know how Y can say that there is no such distinction. How else would you explain that the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia had in its employ a great number of priests, deacons, and chanters (i.e. readers)? In Western Christianity, these three divisions have become so muddled as to become indistinguishable from one another and thus there is chaos and anarchy in their offices and services. And there are many people, in my opinion, who are mainly converts from Protestant Christianity who want the same kind of "congregational' mentality when it comes to participation in the divine Liturgy. If people have the gift to sing, let them sing. Bishop BASIL once remarked it is "sinful" when someone decides not to use such a gifting in the Divine Liturgy, but such a gifting is not given to everyone and some people are so completely tone deaf and musically illiterate that they complement those who cannot sing since they pray in silence. Prayer in silence is still participation in the Liturgy. We should not sacrifice the beauty of the prayers or the music of the Divine Liturgy because people feel left out, which they think is "undemocratic." Not everyone is gifted this way. Prayer is still prayer whether uttered aloud or said in the heart.