Orthodox Christianity

04-10-2015, Leuven

Church Slavic choir weekend took place in the parish of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mattheos Leuven 

The parish of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mattheos Leuven organized a choir weekend on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th October 2015. The theme of the weekend was the Eucharistic Canon or the Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy, Church Slavonic was the liturgical language. 18 enthusiastic singers reflected on the topic under the affectionate guidance of Father Sergei and Elena Matoesjka Merks. Father Sergei is the rector of the parish of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, in Nijmwegen, Netherlands.
Lector Nicolas-Jan Symons and Alexandra Mikele lead morning prayers on Saturday.  Matoesjka Judith Hermans did some vocal warm-ups after which Father Deacon Victor Yudin and Slavist Anna Kostyleva explained the structure and symbolism of the anaphora. Anna highlighted the Church Slavonic. Father Victor spoke of the anaphora as the heart of the Liturgy inspired by the words of St. Maximus the Confessor.
After a delicious Russian lunch catered by Maria Georgian, Matoesjka Elena took the group of singers in her resolute hands. The afternoon was spent in concentrated study of a new melody. Matoesjka Elena got her training in St. Petersburg. Her bubbly, positive and highly professional approach to singing and singers was inspiring!
We ended the day with a peaceful vespers service and a cozy meal. Robert and Anja Seidel and little Joseph surprised us with a vistit. They happened to be back in leuvenjust this weekend and plan on leaving for the US (San Francisco) next friday.
Sunday morning bursted with ideas and expectation. Before the service there was a small gathering on choir conducting. During the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Father Sergei our usual obichod singing got a new dimension. To our great joy Father Alexander (Yavarouski) joined the choir. Father Sergei talked about the love of our neighbor and the miracle of the turning of the other cheek.
Liturgical singing is primarily a thanksgiving to God and that we have certainly experienced this weekend. Across all language and cultural barriers we were united in song and prayer. There were many good ideas for next year. Father Alexander thanked the province of Vlaams Brabant for their support of this heritage project. He thanked especially Father Sergei and Elena Matoeskja for their warm support. He dedicates the weekend to the feast of Pokrov, the protection of the Mother of God and gave his blessing to annually organize this Church Slavic choir weekend during the first half of October.
All-holy Theotokospray to God for us!