Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
Des Plaines, IL USA
"Alilo" in the Christmas period

The last day of the Christmas period in our cathedral turned out to be a visible embodiment of the angelic hymn first delivered to men on Christmas night: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will among men!"  On this day, the Divine Liturgy was served by the Cathedral clergy, protopresbyter A. Papkov and priest V. Vovkovsky and con-celebrated with a Georgian priest Fr. Nikoloza, who came from Atlanta to visit the Georgian Orthodox community here in Chiacgo. This was the first time that Georgian exclamations were heard during this joint Divine Liturgy in our cathedral.  Both Russians and Georgians took communion from the same chalice, "with one mind and one heart" confessing the Holy Orthodox faith.

After the Liturgy, all were invited to a Georgian meal in the church hall. The tables were decorated with dishes of classic Georgian cuisine - kharcho, khapchapuri, lobio, shish-kebab with satsebeli. Our Georgian brothers and sisters put in a tremendous effort under the direction of the irreplaceable Beso-Vessarion

At the beginning of the concert program Guram Lomidze, a wonderful singer performed contemporary Georgian songs.  Then the song "Tbilisi" was performed by the young singer Ekaterina.

A highlight of the program was a performance by the choir  "Alioni" under the direction of music professor Clayton Parr from DuPaul University, who introduced the program of Christmas carols called " Alilo”. This is a particular genre of Georgian singing that is dedicated to the Feast of the Nativity. Different styles of singing have developed in various regions of Georgia, some quite different from each other. The melodius Kakhetian chants can easily be distinguinshed from the dissonant sound of Gurian songs (listen to audio recordings below). All this diversity is interwoven into a single fabric of a 1500-year tradition of Georgian three-part singing, personifying the ideal of indivisibility without blending of the three faces of the Holy Trinity.

What a joy it was to see the amazed faces of those present, whose hearts were touched by contact with the real treasure of folk art. We continue to put our trust in God's help for continuing such joint efforts where one so clearly feels: "on earth peace and good will among men.”


Listen to live recordings of this wonderful Georgian choir singing Christmas carols (alilo) from various regions of the country:

Photo gallery

Gerogian lunch and concert - 01/17/10

(14 images)



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