"O God, who gave to your servant John Chrysostom grace eloquently to proclaim your righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of your Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellence in preaching, and fidelity in ministering your Word, that your people shall be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever".
Psalms 49:1-8, 34:15-22
Luke 21:12-15 (St 2).
John (c.347-407) was called "Chrysostom" ("Golden Mouth") because of his eloquence. He was a monk and later an outstanding preacher and a priest of Antioch.
The Book of Acts (11:26) tells us - it was in Antioch that "Christians" were first called by this name. Also, it was the Church of Antioch which sent Saints Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journeys.
John Chrysostom warned people that to bring large sums of money to his church was dangerous (why do we never hear this warning from our priests?). John made this warning because local pickpockets found it very easy to rob his congregation. People were so intent on his words that they did not notice what was happening with their purses.
John became so famous that the Empress in Constantinople decided she must have him for her court. She kidnapped John and brought him to Constantinople where he was made a bishop. His sermons against corruption in high places earned him many powerful enemies (including the Empress), and he was sent into exile, where he died.
Along with Athanasius of Alexandria, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom is one of the Four Great Eastern (or Greek) Doctors of the Ancient Church. The Four Great Western (or Latin) Doctors are Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine and Gregory the Great.
In 1909, Pope Pius X declared John Chrysostom patron Saint of preachers.
According to the "Catholic Encyclopedia", the accomplishments of St. John Chrysostom as a preacher and theologian are "marred by a virulent anti-Semitism". At the same time it is difficult to find a word about the anti-Semitism of St. John Chrysostom in Orthodox sources.
Interestingly enough, the status of a Saint in the Catholic Church can be held by an anti-Semite! Obviously one of these definitions is false - John Chrysostom was not a Saint or he was not an anti-Semite.
Recently Pope John Paul II "prayed for the peace of Jerusalem" at the Wailing Wall and asked "forgiveness for the sufferings caused to Jews by the Catholic Church".
We hope that after the Pope's prayer the Catholic Encyclopedia will be re-written soon and the "virulent anti-Semitism" of the Catholic Church will no longer refer to our Saints.
Many Russian composers (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Chesnokov and Shvedov are among them) set music for the "Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom", however John Chrysostom was not the author of the liturgy that bears his name.
There are three dates when St. John Chrysostom is celebrated by the Eastern Church (Sept. 14, Nov. 13, and Jan. 27) and there is one date in the calendar for the Western Church (Jan.27).
Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
After Sodom and Gomorrah, people were so encouraged, that they founded numerous gay societies and spent a lot of effort and money to promote Sodomite values. It became a large industry with a demand for a new philosophy. To promote gay doctrine, a growing list of prominent gays has been highlighted by gay historians.
It has already been over a century since the lie that Tchaikovsky was a gay began to circulate in our society. For some reason it is forgotten, that in Russia, in the 19th century, people often were killed for calling someone gay. It is a late development, flourishing mostly in Western countries, that enables people to feel proud of being homosexual.
Absolutely self-sufficient as a composer, Tchaikovsky had no need to be guided by Balakirev, leader of the composers' group 'The Mighty Five', or compete with the director of the Moscow conservatory, Rubinstein. Now the conservatory bears the name of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Such independence and unbeatable popularity caused the jealousy of fellow composers, who used his unsuccessful marriage to promote a scandal, making Tchaikovsky the target of many lies, including the tale that he was homosexual, which brought the composer of genius to suicide.
Tchaikovsky was extremely depressed, watching how seriously Russian society and the Tsar, whom he respected and loved, took the gossip. The most terrible thing was that these accusations were pointed at a composer who devoted a lot of time to children and was author of the famous "Children's Album." Tchaikovsky's death deprived us of many more great compositions. He was 53.
"Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom" is the earliest sacred composition by Tchaikovsky. It was written in 1878, at the time of his work on "Eugene Onegin". This album presents "Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom" by Tchaikovsky performed by the USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir under the baton of Valeri Polyansky and recorded in the Cathedral of the Dormition, Smolensk, 1990. The performance, the acoustics of the Smolensk Cathedral and the quality of this recording are outstanding.
To finish the introduction of this album I must warn minor listeners that parental discretion is advised: by many St. John Chrysostom is still considered a racist and Pyotr Tchaikovsky is considered a pedophile.
©2003 Evgeni Kostitsyn
Liturgy of St John
In Church Slavonic
1. Lord, Have Mercy - 2:55
Total time 53:50
© 1990 Gramzapis
"Christ carrying the cross" by Bosch.
the Cathedral of the Dormition in Smolensk by Veprintsev and Buneyeva in 1990.
The USSR Ministry
of Culture Chamber Choir
Design by Evgeni Kostitsyn