On Friday, 16 December 2011, the traditional carols concert entitled East Up in Heaven of the Romanian Patriarchate took place in Patriarch Teoctist Aula Magna of the Romanian Patriarchate, in the presence of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Besides His Beatitude, also present were His Eminence Casian, Archbishop of Lower Danube, His Grace Ciprian Campineanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, His Grace Varsanufie Prahoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest, members of Standing Meetings of the Church National Council and of the Eparchial Council of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, collaborators and supporters of the Romanian Patriarchate and of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, professors of the “Patriarch Justinian” Faculty of Orthodox Theology, and of the Orthodox Theological Seminary of Bucharest, priests and other guests.
To end with the concert, the Primate of our Church delivered a speech in which he showed that the carols sung tonight were the answer of the faithful to the unlimited love of God.
“Tonight we thank God for the gifts He bestowed through the Romanian people as gifts stemming from the great gift of our faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. He is the spring of blessing and of the salvation for the entire humankind. All the carols that we sing during this period are the answer of the Church, the answer of the faithful to the never ending love, beyond human understanding, of God-the-Father Who sent His One Son so that the world should have eternal life. The carols typical for the Romanians are first of all the folk’s artistic interpretation of what the faithful heard from the Gospel and from the chants in the church. The truth expressed in carols is the same one confessed in the Church during the Divine Liturgy and during the religious services, but only the form is different, namely it is a folk form in simple words which shows the infinite richness of the mystery of the love of God for humankind: Today the One with no beginning was born, as the prophets said. Little baby, in baby linen. The wind is blowing but does not reach Him, the snow does not touch Him. We have a deep theology in these very simple words. Today the One with no beginning was born: namely the One who is being born is eternal as the prophets said, as prophet Micah said showing that the Saviour of the world will be born in Bethlehem, and His beginning would be in the days of eternity. So, the one who enters the time is higher than time, He is eternity. The wind is blowing but does not reach Him, the snow does not touch Him show the transcendence of God compared to creation. The One who is higher than the world comes into the world, the One who made the world different from Him, but not separated from Him. Here is a simple example in which we see how the deep theology of the Holy Fathers nourished from the Holy Scriptures was interpreted by the faithful people in a form accessible both to the educated ones and to the less educated, to the aged and tto he young ones and to children as well”.
His Beatitude has also appreciated the fact that the concert performed tonight emphasised both the unity and diversity of the Christmas customs and traditions.
“Tonight the folk artistic interpretation of the mystery of infant Jesus was presented in a large diversity of forms. We see in this diversity the spiritual creativity and richness of the Romanian people. The carollers from Vrancea representing Wallachia, those from Maramures representing Transylvania and those from Suceava representing Moldova show both the unity and diversity of the Christmas customs and traditions, as well as a special richness regarding the colours and national costumes best preserved in Bucovina and Maramures. We have seen how chant and colour harmonise together there, the clothing of the soul which reveals itself through the artistic combination of colours. Thus, the colours of the national costumes that the young carollers are wearing tonight are a concert of colours themselves. All these are a multiple praise brought to Infant Jesus as our answer to the many gifts of God for us. We thank God for this special richness of the gifts received by our people from Him, gifts cultivated with much effort and devotion”.
The concert tonight was performed by: Saint Nectarie children’s chorus of Ghimicesti parish of Vrancea, Cosaul folk group of Sarbi parish of Maramures, Balada Bucovinei children’ss group from Suceava and Tronos psalter group of the Patriarchal Cathedral.
Over 1000 spectators attended the concert.