The Address of His Beatitude DANIEL, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, delivered for the finals of the Church Music National Festival-Contest Praise the Lord!, 10th edition, the Patriarchal Palace – Bucharest, Friday, 27 October 2017:
The 10th (anniversary) edition of the Church Music National Festival-Contest Praise the Lord! calls us to thank God for the cultural and missionary work conducted over a decade by means of this contest, and to extend our congratulations to all the contributors who in their fervour have eagerly supported authentic Church chanting, facilitating the access of the general public to this type of music, and enriching the Romanian liturgical and musical repertoire.
So far, the editions of this festival-contest have been attended by choirs participating on behalf of institutions of theological education, eparchial cathedrals, music high schools, deaneries, parishes, monasteries and universities across the country.
Music composers within the Romanian Patriarchate have produced music pieces on various subjects (The Orthodox Creed, the Christian family, the Sacrament of the Holy Unction, the Sunday koinonikon, the Cherubic Hymn on Holy and Great Thursday, chants for the Holy Liturgy of St John Chrysostom), as well as religious carols and pieces of Romanian music of folkloric inspiration.
This anniversary edition of the festival-contest is organized by the Romanian Patriarchate, in partnership with the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company, and includes four sections: A. Psaltic (Church) Music – Interpretation, B. Choir Music – Interpretation, C. Psaltic (Church) Music – Composition and D. Choir Music – Composition.
For the finals of the present edition, the Patriarchal Palace hosts choirs enjoying national or international recognition. The choirs attending the finals have chanted the liturgical responses during the Divine Liturgy celebrated in churches and monasteries of Bucharest, for the feast of Venerable Demetrius the New, Patron Saint of Bucharest. On this occasion, they conveyed joy and hope to their audience, thus acting as confessors of the Orthodox faith in today’s society, via liturgical chanting.
The Romanian Patriarchate has proclaimed 2017 as Solemn Year of Holy Icons, Iconographers and Church Painters and Commemorative Year of Patriarch Justinian and of the Defenders of Orthodoxy during Communism. This is also reflected in the contest’s composition section. Thus, contestants competing in section C. Psaltic (Church) Music – Composition produced pieces of music on the liturgical text for the Sticheron on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, dedicated to the holy icons.
Also, contestants competing in section D. Choir Music – Composition composed pieces of music for mixed choir or equal voices choirs, on the confession of faith in the communist prisons of Romania. In their compositions, contestants have emphasized the importance of honouring the holy icons and extending our gratitude to all confessors of the Orthodox faith in times of persecution.
We highly appreciate Mr Tudor Gheorghe’s contribution to the present edition of the Church Music National Festival-Contest Praise the Lord!, as an artist promoting authentic Romanian music as well as the religious poetry authored by the confessors of Orthodoxy in the communist era, which is why we award him today the highest distinction of the Romanian Patriarchate – The Patriarchal Cross.
We extend our thankfulness to the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company for the support granted for the fourth consecutive year in promoting this festival-contest.
We congratulate the entire staff of the Theological Education Department of the Patriarchal Administration – the organizer of this event, in partnership with Romanian Patriarchate’s eparchies, the BASILICA Press Centre of the Romanian Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Palace’s Conference Centre, Radu Vodă Monastery in Bucharest, the Church Books Press and the Workshops of the Bible and Orthodox Mission Institute.
We also congratulate all jury members and all the choirs attending the two sessions of this festival-contest, as well as all the composers participating in it. We especially thank Mr Tomi Cristin, the presenter of this concert-contest.
We thank all those attending this concert-anniversary contest and those who follow it on TRINITAS TV and TRINITAS Radio. We wish you all good health, salvation, peace and joy, for many and blessed years to come!
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Foto Credit: Robert Nicolae / Basilica.ro