13 The next 13th edition of the Terespol caroling was organized on January 26 and 27, 2008, as did the previous one, in the hall of the Municipal Cultural Centre. The audience was attended by many excellent guests, among them diplomats from polish consulates in Brest and Belarus in Biala Podlaska and prof. Jozef Bergier, rector of the State Higher Vocational School in Biala Podlaska. Archbishop Abel The Orthodox Primate of the Lublin-Chelm Diocese, opening the next edition of the Festival, said:
Over the course of thirteen years, the festival gathered thousands of listeners and the same number of carolers, presenting the achievements of the culture of our eastern borderland. They sing lyrics that sound in Orthodox and Catholic temples. Caroling is the common denominator of our traditions. In this auditory, residents of the villages on Bug, Catholics and Orthodox are sitting side by side. It’s a kind of Terespol ecumenism. It is a wonderful finale of the Week of Prayer for The Unity of Christians. May the Terespol caroling enrich us spiritually. May the newborn Messiah Jesus Christ bless us all. I consider the 13th International Festival of East Slavic Carols to be open.
Jacek Danieluk, mayor of Terespol, contributed to this:
The festival is a great Christian holiday. It gathers the faithful of the Catholic and Orthodox rite. This festival is a beautiful cultural and religious event. Terespol caroling is a celebration of Christian unity.
Rector Jozef Bergier also spoke in a similar tone: This festival allows us to cherish family carol traditions and through caroling we approach each other. In turn, Tadeusz Lazowski, the Head of Biala Podlaska region, thanked Archbishop Abel for the great Terespol work that was achieved. He also showed gratitude to the Primate for the many new Orthodox temples that were created in the District of Biala Podlaska, . and stated: This is a great promotion of our borderland. “Our pilgrimage here on earth often follows different paths.” I hope that on a heavenly journey we will go together. At the end of his speech, he decorated the Archbishop with a medal for the promotion of the District of Biala Podlaska.
Saturday – Day I
After the official part many hours of caroling began.
- The first caroling group from the Orthodox parish in Terespol was the first. A large, nearly twenty-person team with a youthful enthusiasm presented local caroling customs. Their performance was so popular with the Terespol audience that in the evening vote she awarded them her award.
- The band “Wrzos” from the Municipal Cultural Centre in Kakolewnica in the District of Biala Podlaska performed for the first time in Terespol. Sławomir Woch confessed to Kamila Koleda, reporting on the festival in the weekly “Word of Podlasie” that We learned east Slavic Carols especially for the festival. We have come to the conclusion that our music can not go on a single track. After all, there is strength in diversity.
- Then there was the not very numerous, but beautiful-sounding Orthodox garrison choir of the Brest fortress. They sang Incredibly beautifully . very lyrical carol “Spi Isusie spi”.
- Further artists have made noticeable progress:
– choir of the Orthodox parish in Kostomloty
– choir of the Orthodox parish in Chelm
– choir of the Orthodox parish in Koden
– and a choir of the Orthodox parish from Biala Podlaska.
- As usual, young choristers from Lublin from the band “La Musica”, led with great success by Zdzislaw Ohar, feel good in Terespol. They have already performed many times and probably will be giving us new Christmas carols again.
- The greatest progress of the small rural parish choirs was made by Horostyta. Young female voices sound interesting. This was noticed by choir conductors, who awarded them the Grand Prix on the first day of auditions.
- For the first time in Terespol, choristers from Wlodawa, showed up. Ladies dressed in folk costumes with a star presented several famous christmas carols of both rites.
- The choir of the Brotherhood of Orthodox Youth of the Lublin-Chelm Diocese presented itself exceptionally well this time. A large multi-voice band sounded good that day in the Terespol hall of the MOK.
- During the counting of votes, the children’s band “Wertep” performed with Ukrainian Christmas. The performance was attended by children from the parish Sunday school at the Orthodox parish in Lublin.
Andrzej Boublej – artistic director, in summation of the first day stated that the 13th edition of the festival had its beginning yesterday in the Lublin musical theatre. In addition, the children’s choir from Vinnitsa toured In Bilgoraj. The artistic director admitted that the 13th edition was partly unlucky. Six choirs from abroad did not arrive. After Poland’s entry into the Schengen area and the changes to the rules on border crossing, many groups did not receive visas. Despite that first day, there were 11 bands, including four debutants. In total, more than 180 artists performed 56 Christmas carols.
Sunday – Day II
On the second day, due to visa problems, national choirs dominated the stage. The Carols of both Churches were performed by:
- orthodox parish choir in Terespol
- senior band “Pagon” from Wlodawa
- PSS Spolem from Biala Podlaska
- and the “Zlota jesien” (“Golden Autumn”) from Wlodawa.
- The “Polesie” choir obtained visas. It is a female multi-voice choir that is extremely good at dealing with Christmas carols sung in Polish.
- They were followed by a team of “Kalina” performing mainly Belarusian Carols,
- as well as the choir of the Orthodox parish in Kobylany
- and choir of the Orthodox parish in Slawatycze.
- After modest staffing of rural choirs on the stage of Terespol MOK performers from Garwolin caroled. The choir, led by Radoslaw Mitura, a four-voiced, mixed, very interesting-sounding, successfully performed a carol repertoire. This choir, in the opinion of many, was the main candidate for the Grand Prix. This time, however, they had to acknowledge the superiority of
- children’s choir at the Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. This is the most interesting and incredibly sounding multi-voice choir of our eastern neighbor, which performed in this edition of the festival. Young choristers not only sang but also truly caroled, sending many New Year’s wishes to the gathered. At the same time, the choir showed the very high qualifications and skills of the conductor, whose work has delivered such excellent results.
- No less impressions were provided by the Terespol audience of the choir of the clergy of the Bialystok-Gdansk Diocese under the direction of Protodyacon Basil Dubec. The priests gave a show of exceptionally soulful singing, delighting close to the thousandth audience.
At the end of the 13th edition of the festival, Deputy Consul Jerzy Zimny from the Polish diplomatic post in Brest spoke. In his fiery speech, he spared no words of appreciation to the organizers and Archbishop Abel:
I am happy to be with you today and participate in this unique religious and artistic event. Orthodoxy came into contact with so much for good only at the institution in Brest, but theoretical knowledge I possessed from the book “Orthodoxy” to which His Excellency wrote an introduction. I am grateful to you for this lesson. This festival is an Orthodox cause for the search for unity. May other festivals take place in similar glory.
The substantive summary was traditionally made by Andrzej Boublej, artistic director of the festival. During this edition there were 22 bands, including more than 400 performers, who sang 116 Carols. Not all bands sang at a high artistic level, but they all sang with heart and that’s the most important thing. Although six choirs from Ukraine and Belarus did not arrive, this edition should be considered successful. It is pleasing that the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and the Marshal of the Lublin Region wanted to take over the patronage of the Festival.