|During the Lenten season in
Poland, festivities are solemn and centered on a church weekly service called Gorzkie żale
(Lenten Lamentations). This ancient custom was started in the 1700s and is
conducted with words and chants that retrace the passion and crucifixion of
Christ. The devotion of the Gorzkie
Żale spread around the territory of Kingdom of Poland and
Lithuania very quickly. Soon, it became the central and most traditional Lenten
celebration in Polish churches. During three centuries of its history, some
changes in the melody line were introduced. There were also some attempts to
translate the text into other languages, especially English. But after 300
years the Gorzkie Żale remained a typically Polish traditional Lenten devotion
piously celebrated in Poland and in most Polish communities abroad.
This unique conversation with
Christ about his suffering is done to haunting
melodies that will burn into your memory and stay with you
throughout Lent and beyond. A sample of the words and melodies can be reviewed here.
This tradition continues at St. Stanislaus
Kostka on Williamson Avenue in
Youngstown where the service is sung by the renowned Polish Choir every Wednesday evening at 6 PM. Although in Polish, guidebooks
provide a page-by page English translation of what is being said. I encourage
you to attend at least once during these next several weeks.
Beforehand, or after the brief
service, head downstairs and donate some time at PM Pierogi with St. Stan’s pierogi team. And of course if you are
observing meatless Fridays, enjoying tasty pierogi
will certainly make it less of a sacrifice. But preorder because it gets busy
this time of year. Call 330-747-3024 for St. Stanislaus and 330-758-8333 for Krakus
Consul General RP Visit
Thursday, March 16th the new Consul General of the Republic of Poland,
Maciej Golubiewski will make his first trip to Cleveland Ohio to meet
with the local Polish community and to meet on Friday the 17th with the
Mayor of Cleveland, Frank Jackson and officials of Cleveland State
University which has a student exchange program with Polish
The meeting with leaders in the Polish community
will take place at the John Paul II Cultural Center at 7:00 PM on
Thursday (address 6501 Lansing Ave.). Everyone is invited to this
reception. And of course the next day with the mayor and CSU Officials.
The objectives of the Polish Consul's visit are three fold;
1) to acquaint himself with the local Polish Community for better ties,
2) to reinforce the student exchange program at CSU and
to explore and possibly open up cultural, business and government
relations with Northeast Ohio primarily the City of Cleveland.
For more information on this two day visit, contact Eugene Bak at 440-263-5552.