21 Christmas, epiphany, is a time of spiritual joy; to live the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God. This is proof that he has not been forgotten in the world of The One whose coming to men is forever connected with the words of an angelic song: ‘Glory at the height of God, and on Earth peace in people of good will.’ Glory, peace, favor is a triple dream, a triple desire of man. Glory means joy, delight, fullness of life. Peace – cessation of struggle and hostility. Favor means all-encompassing love, trust and unity. […] Here in Terespol, here on the border of the European Union for the 21st time with the words of East Slavic Carols, we will proclaim the joy of the incarnation of the Son of God, who appears among us as a child. So teach us childlike simplicity and purity, let us help us love the humility of heart and spirit. He appeared among us crying and suffering. So let it give us a spirit of courage to fight the temptations of the world around us.
In these words, on saturday afternoon, January 30, 2016, the 21st edition of the International Festival of East Slavic Carols was initiated by pr. Jaroslaw Los, rector of the local parish of St. Apostle John the Theologian and co-organizer of the MFKW. The festival was once again organized with the blessing of HE Abp Abel, Bishop of Lublin-Chełm orthodox diocese.
Then the Director of the Festival Anna Pietrusik spoke to a large number of guests in the hall of the Municipal Cultural Centre in Terespol:
[…] Christmas carols are both religious and cultural heritage. Therefore, the Municipal Cultural Center participates in this event with great joy and pride. Before us, two afternoons of singing to commemorate the Nativity of Jesus Christ; we will be able, as every year, to listen to the resonating beauty of the multiplicity and diversity of songs. Here in the large-cultural southern Podlasie has always been so. A melting pot of nations and cultures, which is no doubt rich, inspiring and creative. I wish that, taking advantage of the unusual atmosphere that artists will create for us today and tomorrow, to celebrate the Birth of Christ together in joy and peace. […]
The Mayor of Terespol, Jacek Danieluk and Artistic Director of the festival Andrzej Boublej.
During the first day of The Terespol Caroling, 13 choirs from Poland and abroad presented themselves:
- Choir “Corda Vox” – Terespol
- Folk Bandurist Band “Zorianycja” of the Ivan Franko University – Lviv (Ukraine)
- Choir “Decima” E.A.Glebow children’s school of music – Minsk (Belarus)
- Choir “Brotherhood” of the Field Circle of the Brotherhood of St. Cyril and Methodius – Bielsk Podlaski
- Bands “Inspiration” and “Tonika” children’s school of arts – Żabinka (Belarus)
- Choir of the Orthodox Parish of Ascension Day – Orzeszkowo
- The Band “Lelija” district house of culture – Lutsk (Ukraine)
- Chamber Choir “Gorodnia” of the Higher School of Humanities – Grodno (Belarus)
- Choir of the Orthodox Parish of the Dormition of Mary the Theotokos – Bielsk Podlaski
- Team “Swada” Cultural Centre “Dworek Bilopradnicki” – Cracow
- Choir “Zorianica” of the F.Chopin School of Music – Lutsk (Ukraine)
- Teachers’ Choir of the Municipal Cultural Centre – Brest (Belarus)
- Folk Bandurist Band “Zorianica” of the Ivan Franko University – Lviv (Ukraine)
- Choir “Decima” E.A.Glebow children’s school of music – Minsk (Belarus).
The second day of festival auditions began on Sunday, January 31, 2016. 3 p.m. All gathered in the event and sports hall warmly welcomed the Artistic Director of the festival mr Andrzej Boublej. Then the Vice-Voivode of Lublin spoke mr Robert Gmitruczuk:
In 1996, when the first review of East Slavic Carols was organized, the media did not write about it, it was not broadcast radio, television did not show. But the spirit and the idea were carried around the local communities and the parishes. Today, twenty years later, at the twenty-first meeting at the review, the hall is full. Everyone, not only in Terespol, not only in nearby municipalities but throughout the province, speaks about this wonderful and beautiful work. From this place, I sincerely thank the organizers of the festival: the Lublin-Chelm Orthodox Diocese, the Foundation “Dialogue of Nations”, the Municipal Cultural Center in Terespol and the Nadbuzanski Orthodox Culture Centre for taking up, working and promoting this wonderful idea of unity. [..]
On the second day of the festival, 16 choirs and ensembles performed:
- Choir of the Chapel of the Orthodox Ordinary of the Polish Army – Warsaw (Poland)
- “Macierz” band of the Municipal Cultural Centre – Piszczac (Poland)
- Third Age University ‘Uscisk Dloni’ Choir – Brest (Belarus)
- Children’s Choir of the Polish House “Słoneczko” – Baranovichy (Belarus)
- Band of Singers of the Union of Ukrainians of Podlasie – Czeremcha (Poland)
- Church of the Orthodox Parish of the Covering Veil of Mary the Theotokos – Slavatycze (Poland)
- Choir “Kupalinka” of Children’s School of Arts – Kobryn (Belarus)
- Choir “Harmony” of the Municipal Cultural Centres – Lukow, Jozefow (Poland)
- Youth Choir of the Orthodox Parish of Resurrection of the Lord – Siemiatycze (Poland)
- The Band “Taukaczyki” Children’s School of Arts – Kobryn (Belarus)
- Song Band “Echo Puszczy” of the House of Culture – Hajnowka (Poland)
- Vocal Band “Fresk” – Minsk (Belarus)
- Youth Choir at the Monastery of Nativity of Mary the Theotokos – Brest (Belarus)
- Team “Hiloczka” of the Union of Ukrainians of Podlasie – Czeremcha (Poland)
- Choir of the Orthodox Cathedral of St. . Aleksandr Nevsky – Kobryn (Belarus)
- Youth Choir of the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Maria Magdalena – Warsaw (Poland).
The two-day festival ended with a joint singing of christmas carols, which was attended by all gathered, both pre-existing groups and spectators. Saturday and Sunday concerts were conducted by mr Martin Abijski. In the interval between performances, the organizers sincerely thanked a group of volunteers who helped to handle the event. Each of the performers presenting themselves at the festival received a commemorative statuette, diploma and a sweet gift.
The events accompanying this year’s edition of the festival were: an exhibition of folk handicrafts and a retrospective photo exhibition “10 years of ORTHPHOTO.”
Author: Adrian Kazimiruk, photo. Tomasz Grzes – cerkiew.pl