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General News

Staten Island Parish Bids Farewell to Its Chanter

February 29, 2024

STATEN ISLAND, NY – In an emotionally charged atmosphere, the parish of Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas in Staten Island bid farewell to the man who served as its chanter for decades, Savvas Papasavvas, in a solemn ceremony following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 25.

“He served as the holy chanter of our parish with integrity and dignity, earning the respect and recognition of all the faithful. He performed his duties in an exemplary manner, being an integral part of the ecclesiastical functions. We thank him very much for his impeccable service all this time and wish him from our hearts a good continuation in his life’s journey. Unfortunately, the void he leaves will not easily be filled. Until a new replacement is found, Father Vasilios Apostolidis and I will assume the duties of the chanter,” said Father Nicholas Petropoulakos to The National Herald.

Papasavvas warmly thanked the faithful through the newspaper for the love and honor they showed him and expressed his deep sorrow for leaving the Staten Island parish. As he said, “I came to America in 1974 immediately after the invasion of the Turks in my homeland, Cyprus. That same year I became a chanter at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas until today, with a break of a few years when we moved as a family to New Jersey. I continued to attend every service, but over the years the difficulties due to the great distance from my home forced me to make the very difficult decision to resign. Chanting is a big part of my life; I come from a family of priests – fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, all priests in Cyprus. Standing near them, I learned Byzantine music and loved the church, which I will continue to serve at the Dormition of the Theotokos in Holmdel, NJ which is near me.” Father Apostolidis, in his congratulatory speech, mentioned that the church over the centuries has preserved, among other things, the liturgical life, which would not exist without the presence and work of the chanters. “We were blessed to have an exceptional chanter with us, with [great] knowledge of Byzantine music. I wish that for many years God blesses you to be worthy to chant His greatness, not only in this life but also in paradise,” he exclaimed.

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