Lenten Slovak Hymn-Sing
Križová Cesta - Traditional Stations of the Cross
The Slovak Heritage Society on NEPA held its Annual Slovak Lenten Hymn-Sing and Križová Cesta on Sunday, April 2, 2017 in Our Lady of Fatima Parish, at St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception, Wilkes-Barre PA. 2017 is the seventeenth year of saying the stations for the Slovak Heritage Society of NEPA.
The singing was inspirational. Many people miss singing our beautiful hymns that are seldom heard today. At one time, the Stations of the Cross, in Slovak, were held every Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent.
Rev. John Albosta, SHSNEPA chaplain, presided at the Križová Cesta and Benediction. Joseph Kowatch served as cross bearer. Anna Hudock and Elaine Palischak were candle bearers. Before each of the fourteen stations, the traditional hymn Kresľania Sem Pospiechajte was sung.
Bernadette Yencha and Magdalen Benish led the congregation in singing the six Lenten hymns. Mark Ignatovich was the organist. The hymn-sing affords the opportunity for our English speaking faithful to appreciate the wealth of Slovak hymnology. English translations of all the Slovak hymns were provided along with the Station booklets; however something is usually lost in the translation.
Magdalen Benish, who coordinated the service, said her mother always said if you sing these Slovak hymns and understand the meaning you would be afraid to go out and sin because the words are moving and penetrating.
O Srdce Kamenné – “O heart of stone, pause and reflect with shame. Look on the suff’ring Christ, head bowed in pain. The time of grief and woe is now at hand, ah; cease your wickedness, your sinful way. Christ is tortured, oh so cruelly, on the cross of wood slain so brutally.”
Other hymns sung were: O človeče preč mňa tak suž ujes? (Oh my people why do you torment me so); Kresťania Nariekajte; Môj Milý Ježiuš; Ach, Kríž Svätý; and Matka Plače, Ruky Spína.
The picture shown is the 12th Station at St. Mary’s Church. These beautiful stations are carved wood. A Fellowship was held after the service. Our first Križová Cesta was held in 2001.The society hopes to continue our time-honored Slovak saying:
“KDE JE SLOVAK TAM JE SPEV”
“WHERE THERE IS A SLOVAK THERE IS SONG”
Photos to come...
"Lenten Slovak Hymn-Sing" and "Passion-Resurrection" Cassettes and CD’s are available.