Together for a (Holy) week
April 14th - 20th 2014
The Saint Angela's Choir of Budapest sings together with the Magnificat Choir
The music service for the Holy Week 2014 was splendid thanks to the energies that were added to the ensemble of the Magnificat Choir of the Custody of The Holy Land. Conducting the choir, aside from the principal conductor Mrs Hania Soudah-Sabbara, were the Maestros Hani Kreitem, Gabriella Menus Semojen and, for a couple of Gregorian chants, Raffaele De Luca, from the Conservatory of Milan. The greatest support came from the presence of 28 singers of the Sant’Angela Choir of Budapest (Hungary).
They arrived on Palm Sunday and they sang with us until Easter Monday when they went on pilgrimage to Emmaus to remember Jesus Christ resurrected and recognized when breaking the bread. Also for the singers of the Sant’Angela and of the Magnificat Custody Choir, it took some time to recognize each other. “They are not friendly at all” they would say of one and other. But at the end, friendship blossomed: the songs, the hugs at the end, the exchange of emails prove it.
And it couldn’t have been otherwise: the long hours of rehearsal, the coffee breaks; and then the performances at the Calvary in the Church of The Holy Sepulchre, one next to the other, jammed together in the tiny space left by the mass of worshippers, where they had to make use of the English learnt at school to communicate.
This was the forth time together for the 2 choirs. It all started with the young boys and girls of the Yasmeen Choir who travelled to Hungary in 2010. There, they were welcomed with so much warmth that one Palestinian girl felt she had made the trip of her life.
After that, the Sant’Angela Choir came on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and, later on, in 2011, the year that marked 200 years since the birth of the Hungarian composer Franz Lizt, the 2 choirs sang together in Bethlehem on Christmas Night. The Hungarian television has covered in depth these events broadcasting interviews, the concerts of the Yasmeen Choir and the Christmas Mass.
That is how an interest for the Holy Land was rekindled in Hungary: the Franciscans were able to reopen, after 75 years, the Commissariat of The Holy Land and organize pilgrimages. This long journey was made possible thanks to the generous commitment of the Palestinian Honorary Consul to Hungary Dr. Nassar Khamis, and of the Hungarian Representative to the Palestinian Authority The Hon. Csaba Czibere. The latter, from the start, encouraged the partnership between the two choirs and has shared the cost of the hospitality. Czibere appreciates and promotes the music of Fr. Armando Pierucci: this coming August, Fr. Armando’s Eucharistic Symphony will be performed in Budapest.
“How come so much effort?” we asked Czibere. “We diplomats, he replied, have the duty to make encounters happen. Especially the young ones…they need this: to create something good, even difficult, but together. And what’s better than singing in Jerusalem, as one choir, the joy of Easter?”