DIOCESE OF BERLIN AND GERMANY: March 6, 2012
The Traditional Meeting of Orthodox Choirs Takes Place
On the evening of March 4, 2012, the first Sunday of Great Lent and feast day of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, a short moleben was performed at the Evangelical Church of St John the Evangelist to an enormous gathering of faithful, which opened the 8th Annual Meeting of Orthodox Choirs of Munich.
“Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing he praises with understanding; sing praises unto our King, sing praises, for God is the King of all the earth” (Psalms 47:6-7). These words became the motto of these gatherings. Hosting this year was Holy Resurrection Community of Dachau and Munich (Moscow Patriarchate), which does not yet have its own church building in the Bavarian capital.
Protopriest Nikolai Zabelich, speaking in German, the working language of the event, reminded everyone about the celebration of the Triumph of Orthodoxy that day.
About 30 musical pieces in various tongues resounded under the church’s vaulted ceilings. The listeners heard not only choral ensembles but soloists, including soprano Vera Bemel and bass Valery Kochkin of the local Serbian community.
Former artist of the Maliy Academic Theater Opera and Ballet of St Petersburg, Kochkin has performed for over 12 years in the Serbian Choir of Munich. He said in an interview given to Sedmitza.ru: “There are no professional ensembles at the Meeting of Choirs, but all the singers try to create a prayerful atmosphere at the festival with their singing. For all of us singers, and personally for me, each performance here is a process of spiritualization and an approach to God. Here, the singing of each choir must be taken as a light-bearing prayer in their own language.”
For the last three years, a special feature of this festival has been a reception thrown by the hosting church after the performances offering Lenten dishes. This time Holy Resurrection Sisterhood organized an exhibit and tasting of Russian Lenten foods, featuring several dozen dishes. The only thing missing were the traditional Russian mors and kvass beverages, which were replace by various teas and French wines.
His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia attended the first part of the event with the brethren and sisters of his monastery and convent.