Paul was blessed in the cathedral by representatives of the churches and the chief regional rabbi

Paul was blessed in the cathedral by representatives of the churches and the chief regional rabbi

Paul was blessed in the cathedral by the representatives of the church and the chiefs of the land rabies; n

Newly elected President Petr Pavel (third from the left) at a concert of the Czech Philharmonic and the Prague Philharmonic under the baton of conductor Jakub Hrůš, March 9, 2023, St. Welcome, Prague.

Prague – President Petar Pavlov today in the chapel of St. Václav was blessed by representatives of the Catholic and Evangelical churches as well as the regional chief rabbi during the ecumenical prayer in the St. Vitus Cathedral. Pavel came to the cathedral with his wife Eva and sons Jan and Peter. Paul also honored the relic of the main patron of the Czech lands, St. Wenceslas. In the new part of the cathedral, the Czech Philharmonic and the Prague Philharmonic Choir subsequently performed three symbolic works in addition to the national anthem – Meditation on the Old Bohemian chorale St. Wenceslas by Josef Suk, part of the oratorio St. Ludmila by Antonín Dvořák and the Te Deum by the same composer. According to the ČTK reporter, dozens of supporters were still waiting for Pavle in the castle courtyard after the concert.

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The program was attended by Czech and Moravian bishops, the presidency of the Ecumenical Council of Churches (ERC) and Chief Regional Rabbi Karol Efraim Sidon. The chairman of the ERC is Tomáš Tyrlík, bishop of the Silesian Church of the Evangelical Augsburg Confession.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Prague Archbishop Jan Graubner gave a speech. “At this sacred moment, we realize together the magnitude of our responsibility not only to voters and contemporaries, but also to history and God himself. We are aware of the complexity of the international situation and the demanding tasks in our society, because many decisions or omissions affect not only the present, but also the future.” he said.

An excerpt from the Bible was read by the regional chief rabbi, and then the Archbishop of Prague said a prayer for the homeland. The chairman of the ERC introduced the Lord's prayer, and then all three prayed together to bless the new president.

Pavel and his wife bowed to the skull of St. Wenceslas, brought for this purpose from the jewelry store in the Cathedral of St. Welcome to the chapel. The St. Wenceslas chant, the oldest Czech spiritual song, Lord, have mercy on us, and the national anthem were performed. After that, all participants of the ceremony in the chapel moved to places in the new part of the cathedral, where the Czech Philharmonic and the Prague Philharmonic Choir performed. Due to the cold in the cathedral, some of the musicians sat in warm coats. Soprano Kateřina Kněžíková and bass-baritone Adam Plachetka took the solo singing parts.

The Czech Philharmonic plays the Te Deum composition only exceptionally. Te Deum was also conducted by Jakub Hrůša in the Spanish Hall of Prague Castle during the state visit of Pope Benedict XVI in September 2009. In May 2016, the piece was performed by the first Czech orchestra under the baton of Jiří Bělohlávek in St. Vitus Cathedral on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the birth of Charles IV.

“Tonight is a great celebration of culture in the broadest sense of the word, for me through music. But it's not just about music, it's about a situation in which music serves as intellectual, emotional and civic support for the event that we're experiencing here. We tried to choose the music that was best suited for this,” said ČTK before the Hrůša event.

“You can't forget such an event, even if I admit that none of the concerts fit with me. Practically every concert is the kind of child that you give birth to and then remember. But of course the inauguration of the new Mr. President is extraordinary,” said ČTK.