Council for Culture of the St. Petersburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church
Centre for International Cultural Cooperation — «Inter Aspect»
December 13 – 16, 2018
December 12 — 15, 2019
December 10 — 13, 2020
Dear organizers and participants of the Festival-Contest
«Anticipation of the Nativity of Christ»!
«Thy birth, O Christ our Lord, shined upon the world the light of wisdom!»
For more than two thousand years, the whole Christian world has been celebrating with joy and reverence the most important event that gave rise to a new chronology: the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every year, with bright joy in our hearts, we again and again turn to the events of the holy night, when under the light of the Bethlehem star the whole world learned about the birth of the Infant God, exclaiming «Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will in men!» (Luke 2: 13-14). The mind cannot understand the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God, but we all feel with our hearts the significance of this event for every Christian: as the early Christian thinker Irenaeus of Lyons said: «God became Man, so that man could become a god.» And this means that Christmas joy is not just a tribute to the tradition, or one of the days in the series of annual holidays. It is the joy of the long-awaited meeting with God, who came to the world to illuminate it with light and love.
Long before the coming of this holiday, the Church sings: «Christ is being born — glorify! Christ is coming from heaven — meet! «, reminding us of the upcoming event, calling for spiritual preparation to properly receive the good news about the birth of the Savior and fully experience the joy of what is happening.
The Festival-Contest «Anticipation of the Nativity of Christ» helps us in this — it is the admission to the spiritual musical culture that, like nothing else, can awaken in man the most sincere feelings that are born in each of us with the onset of the bright holiday of the Nativity of Christ. In addition, the possibility of performing spiritual music in the best venues of the city — in beautiful cathedrals and concert halls, expanding the repertoire of Christmas songs with the participation of modern authors contributes to bringing the audience to the centuries-old traditions of musical culture. And involvement of numerous choral and musical groups from different countries makes the festival a unique and unforgettable event for the residents and guests of our city.
I sincerely wish the organizers and participants of the Festival- Contest to feel the atmosphere of the approaching holiday in order to meet the birth of Jesus Christ with great joy and love!
His Eminence VARSONOFY,
Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga
To organizers and participants of the Second International Festival-Contest
«ANTICIPATION OF CHRISTMAS»
I cordially welcome all the participants and organizers of the Second International Choral Festival «Anticipation of Christmas», whose purpose is to cultivate in the society the best traditions of spiritual culture and musical art. That is why I would like to emphasize the special significance of the festival for the younger generation of musicians, as well as for their teachers — professionals who want to improve their skills.
This festival-contest creates a warm atmosphere of anticipation of the great holiday of the Nativity of Christ, when every person can feel the bright joy of the birth of the Infant God. St. Petersburg has always been and remains the center of cultural and spiritual traditions, which are a solid foundation for creativity, including music. That is why on the eve of the birth of the Savior we will hear the best examples of the singing heritage under the arches of the most beautiful temples of the Northern capital.
Sincerely I wish the young participants and their wise mentors, as well as the spectators, to feel quiet joy and enter into the good spirit of the approaching holiday. Let this contest open for you the opportunities of spiritual growth, which will become the basis for further development and enhancement of God-given talents.
Rector of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy of Russian Orthodox Church, Chairman of the Department of Religious Education and Catechesis of the St. Petersburg Diocese, Archbishop AMBROSE of Peterhof
Dear participants of the festival!
From the bottom of my heart I welcome you to the 2nd International Festival-Contest «Anticipation of Christmas»!
This unique choral project opens a new page in the cultural life of the Northern capital. Holiday feelings, anticipation of bright joy, waiting for a miracle — all this is characteristic for a festival-contest of concert programs!
It is pleasant to realize that the festival participants will have an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of choral singing, to get acquainted with the spiritual culture of other countries, to share the creative experience.
I wish both choirs and the audiences new, pleasant, vivid impressions, and the organizers of the festival — good luck and creative achievements!
Artistic director and conductor of the Orenburg Chamber Choir, Honored Artist of Russia, Honorary citizen of the city of Orenburg, Professor O.S. Serebryanskaya