Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Orthodox Holy Week on CBS, 1961

Normally, I would wait for the liturgically appropriate season to share something like this, but this video is just too interesting to wait until next year. The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America has posted on its Youtube channel a video originally broadcast by CBS on April 16, 1961, on Light to my Feet, an ecumenical religious program which ran on that network from 1948-79. The Holy Week services were filmed at St George’s Church in Paterson, New Jersey, including parts of the procession of the Cross on Holy Thursday, the Lamentations of Holy Friday, and the Resurrection and Orthros Services of Easter. The celebrants are Metropolitan Antony Bashir (1898-1966), Fr Michael Simon, at that time pastor of St George, and Fr Gabriel Ashie, at that time pastor of St Anthony Church in Englewood. The program also credits Prof. Michael Hilko, a composer of sacred music in the Archdiocese, and Mrs Christine Lynch, who guided CBS in the television production and led the choir.

The notes on the Youtube channel state that a long-time member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, Mr Robert Andrews, was organizing the library of his home parish of St Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles when he came across the 56-year-old film. Since it “smelled like vinegar” when he opened the canister, he rushed to preserve it by having it digitized.

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