Some Orthodox hymns carry powerful "signals": hearing just a few notes of them elicits in the hearer an immediate response. "Alleluia... Behold, the Bridegroom" is one such hymn. The minute one hears it, one KNOWS that another Great and Holy Week has come.
The Byzantine Chant melodies commonly sung in North American Orthodox churches have come through several cultural and national "filters" and are therefore sung somewhat differently depending on whether a parish was established by Greek, or Lebanese or Romanian immigrants. The melody we began with is one that is commonly sung in the Antiochian tradition, notated from the singing of Fr. Elias Bitar. It was then edited and further refined by our friend and colleague, Dr. Alexander Khalil, a noted researcher in the performance practice of Byzantine Chant.