DIOCESE OF BERLIN AND GERMANY: February 28, 2007
The Cathedral of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia Hosts the Traditional "Meeting of Orthodox Choirs"
The feast day of the Triumph of Orthodoxy was celebrated in the Bavarian capital of Munich with an event called the "Meeting of Orthodox Choirs," which has now become a tradition.
Orthodoxy is the third Christian confession in Germany according to the number of adherents, after Protestants and Roman Catholics: by some estimates there are some one million Orthodox Christians in the country. Orthodoxy is represented in Munich by communities of the Moscow, Constantinople, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Georgian and Antiochian Patriarchates as well as the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Believers belonging to the Ancient Eastern Churches include representatives of the Armenian, Coptic and Ethiopian diasporas.
The Cathedral of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and St Nicholas (ROCOR) was this year's host for the "Meeting of Orthodox Choirs."
The event opened with a brief welcome by His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany. Ten choirs, comprising over 120 singers, demonstrated the beauty of liturgical music, representing the Greek, Georgian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Russian Orthodox Churches. Participating also were singers from the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Youth and Children's Choir of the Coptic Church. Among the participants were Orthodox Christians from various emigre communities of different ages, students of the Theological Department of the University of Munich and of higher music schools as well as professional singers.
Church singing is a form of "adorning the discourse," playing an important role in spiritual communion with God and His Saints. The "Meeting of Orthodox Choirs" demonstrated various repertories and styles of vocal art, slow, broad singing, and a great deal more. The preservation of Byzantine and post-Byzantine traditions was evident in the performance of the parishioners of Munich's Greek Orthodox Church. In the view of experts, the finest schools of church singing and choral style were heard in the singing of the Resurrection Community of Dachau and Munich of the Moscow Patriarchate (directed by Maksim Matjushenkov) and the Munich Cathedral of ROCOR (Vladimir Tsjolkovich).
"The Meeting of Orthodox Choirs" on the Triumph of Orthodoxy concluded by the late evening singing of an akathist to the Mother of God in Greek, which was sung by everyone in attendance (approximately 300 persons) with notes and texts prepared in advance.