On Saturday, September 26, 2015, 60 students and faculty from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music came to St. Vladimir's Seminary for a morning in Three Hierarchs Chapel. The visiting students will be traveling next spring to Estonia and Finland, and their visit to the seminary was part of their preparatory education.
After a short service of prayer "before any good work," students heard a talk by Prof. Peter Bouteneff called "Schmemann and Pärt: Embodying the Sacred." Arvo Pärt and Fr. Alexander Schmemann are linked with each other, not just because both were born in Estonia. Although one is a composer and the other a theologian, both represent a strong theology of incarnation and sacrament. Father Schmemann insisted that words be comprehensible and at the forefront of the Liturgy, Pärt likewise composes almost exclusively to sacred texts, which the music serves to illuminate.
The talk featured a lively discussion session that also included Hierodeacon Herman Majkrzak and Dn. Evan Freeman.