Unmercenary Sacred Music
Supporting this Ministry
December 15, 2006
For over six years, Unmercenary Sacred Music has been a free service providing liturgical music to all who need it. In the beginning I had some hope of both providing free music and selling some of it. However, I never took the time to develop the for-pay side and have given even my own compositions freely to those who have desired them.
In our collective Christian traditions, these two saints are actually six saints. That is, there are three sets of these saintly brothers: Saints Cosmas and Damian of Rome, Saints Cosmas and Damian of Mesopotamia, and Saints Cosmas and Damian of Cilicia. In each case, these were physicians who had been granted the spiritual gift of healing. Having received this gift from God, these men never accepted payment for their services. For this reason they were called unmercenary. The one exception is a gift three eggs given to St. Damian of Mesopotamia by Palladia. He accepted these from her because she had invoked the Holy Trinity and refusing would have been blasphemous.
What is often unstated in stories about saints who have given freely is that they rely on two things: endless faith in God and previously accumulated resources. Not only did Saints Cosmas and Damian dedicate their spiritual gifts of healing to serving God and neighbor, they committed their life savings to this vocation. Being physicians, it is likely they had the resources to commit themselves to such a ministry.
During my time as a student at St. Vladimir's Seminary, many of the resources were updated and new ones added. Likewise, between scholarships, part-time AS/400 consulting, and directing the choir at St. Mary's Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in Yonkers, NY, I had enough to cover the costs. After I graduated and moved to the Chicago region, I was unable to find full-time work in either the computer industry or the religious sector. Many of the paying theologically based jobs are offered by Roman Catholic institutions; such jobs are rarely open to Orthodox Christians such as myself. Some jobs I could not get because I was over qualified. Educational jobs were closed to me since I had neither high school teaching certification nor a Ph.D for collegiate level jobs. In this tight job market, competition for AS/400 programming jobs was stiff. It was almost impossible to even get an interview. The only paying job I had was as the choir director of Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Chicago. It was enough work to make a living but not enough money to make a living. So I continued to update the site. In 2004, two major events occured. First, I re-entered the work force in two places: Joliet Junior College as adjunct faculty and the insurance industry as a programmer-analyst. Second, I was ordained to the diaconate for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Now, since being ordained a priest (in 2009), I have the monetary resourses but absolutely no time to dedicate to updating this site. I am therefore abandoning my now very outdated request for monetary support for this my ministry, which apparently was not divinely willed since I never received any. However, I still desire support in the following way:
Rev. Father Silouan Sloan Rolando
Web Master of Unmercenary Sacred Music
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