Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.
In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."
Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.
While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth
" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)
I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."
What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.
I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.
I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.
(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")
So, fellow forum members, any advice?