High Calling of Church Cantors
St. John Maximovitch, according to a Greek-language biography of his called The Man of God, St. John Maximovitch. This is a notice which is said to have been addressed to clerics and cantors.
"It is necessary to know and to remember always that the hymns of the Church are a prayer and that the prayers should be chanted with reverence so that the faithful who are found in the church are encouraged to pray. The Psalms and the hymns that simply gratify the ear, but on account of this gratification or the manner of the performance, do not inspire somebody to pray, are not accepted. The same applies both to those Psalms and hymns that are not related to a particular church service, memorial prayer, or some ecclesiastical canon.
"Moreover, the attitude of cantors should be reverent and should correspond to their high calling, just as they join their voices with those of the angels. It is the daily responsibility of the choir director to attend to this, and the instructions of the priest should be implemented without any discussion."
See article by Theodore Barrett,
The Discipline of Orthodox Liturgical Song