A cappella praise and worship music of Kyiv Pechesk (Caves) Lavra is a unique and precious heritage of the Orthodox church music culture. The origin of this kind of a cappella music is from the 11th century (1091), in a monastery founded by inok Antony who arrived from Aphona.
Lavra's a cappella hymns organically synthesize Byzantine tradition and folk-singing culture. Under the influence of south-Slavic songs, Lavras way of a cappella singing gained a power and became one of brightest characteristics of the Orthodox world. During solemn festive services, in a state of prayer inspiration, singers unintentionally supplemented and developed this music. That is how the characteristic features of Lavra's a cappella music appeared: the saturation with repeated single words, strongly marked melodism, and mobility of a music substance.
Lavra's a cappella music is fixed by sound intonation contour of prayer. It is an exclamation of the heart rushed to God. This is the way used by a heroic monk to come up to God. This is living witness of the century-old tradition.
Lavra's a cappella hymns are notable for solemn harmony, spiritual touching, prayer inspiration and peculiarity. True beauty, inner might, greatness, power - these were the impressions for all orthodox Christians as well as foreigners. The success can be explained by the understanding of a cappella praise and worship music as spiritual. It is living witness of the orthodox church music tradition. It is an indicator of the might and greatness of the human spirit. It is distinctive musical chronicle of monastic life, the fire in their hearts, their spiritual depth and wealth.