Dominican Liturgical Centre in Kraków


For a couple of years, the Dominican Liturgical Centre in Kraków has continued to develop. The Dominican friars and the lay people who are involved in it undertake several projects aimed at promoting the beauty of liturgy and enhancing the quality of liturgical music in Poland.

One of the initiatives, organized each year by the Centre, is the September retreat – called the "Mysterium fascinans". This year, during its sixth edition, the participants will listen and learn about the presence of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy. The weekend meeting will be filled not only with scientific lectures, but also with the communal celebration of the liturgy and prayers.

Last year's retreat, which was attended by nearly 150 people from all over Poland, was dedicated to the Sacraments of the Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. A unique feature of the event - from its very first edition – has been the aspiration of having scientific reflections on a living celebration of the liturgy in a genuine retreat atmosphere.

"We will look at the dynamic action of the Spirit in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist – in the Western and as well as the Eastern European tradition. But above all, we would like to subject our hearts and our lives to the transforming action of the Spirit in the liturgy, which we will celebrate – just as in past years, in the ordinary and the extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite. There will also be a celebration of the Dominican Rite Liturgy of the Hours ", says the retreat organizers.

Also in September there will be for a week, the Workshops of Unusual Music. A total of 50 hours of course work, including 24 hours of classes in the sections and 26 hours of common classes. There will be about 10 hours of lectures and conferences on liturgical music, and six creative evenings, including: the meetings with live music, the banquet & integration meetings, the evening of film music and the guided tour of the Dominican church and the convent.

During the workshops, its participants will gain the theoretical and practical knowledge associated with singing and the rules of both, the liturgical and traditional music. They will also have the opportunity to get familiar with the principles of music, the basic note reading, the breathing techniques, the vocal pedagogy and the musical interpretation. In the course of the workshop, participants will also have the opportunity to listen to lectures on liturgical music, the sacred space, liturgical spirituality, the role of the cantor, the tradition and history of the sacred music etc. There will also be lectures on the oldest forms of prayer, especially the Liturgy of the Hours

The resort also runs the School of Cantors. This two-year vocal and liturgical course has been designed for amateurs involved in the liturgical music who could not get the formal musical training, and also for those already trained musically, who would like to improve their skills in the field of liturgical music. The school was established out of care for the beauty of liturgical singing, and the need to strengthen the function of the cantor, already provided in the documents of the Church. In order to carry out the function, a reliable knowledge of liturgical music and specific musical skills are needed, therefore the school aims to create the necessary conditions for its acquisition. The students are learning from the masters in the field of music in general and particularly, liturgical music – that is from excellent professionals and enthusiasts at the same time.

(21 August 2013)