On 11 November this year, exactly three years have passed since a solemn Mass was celebrated for the first time within the walls of the Church in thanksgiving God for the gift of independent Poland. This historic opening day of the Church – 11 November 2016 – is the theme of the extraordinary album “To the Only God – The Nation. 1791- 2016.”
To this day, the participants of that Eucharist remember the loud and moving singing of Bogurodzica, and then the joint singing of Mazurek Dąbrowskiego, with which the Mass began. Opening the doors of the Church and celebrating the first Eucharist on a day so important for all Poles – on the anniversary of regaining independence, had a symbolic dimension.
In the resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of 15 November 2016 on the occasion of opening the Church of Divine Providence we can read:
Our generation, living in free, independent Poland, has fulfilled the promise of its ancestors. The Sejm of the Republic of Poland pays respect and gratitude to all those who for 225 years have been making efforts to fulfil the vow made by the Great Sejm.
In the pictures taken by excellent photographers, the sublime moments of prayer were captured, full of joy, pride and gratitude of those who witnessed this event.
Before us is the Word of the Warsaw Metropolitan, in which Fr. Cardinal Nycz writes, among others:
The historical turmoil meant that we had to wait two hundred and twenty-five years for this commitment. Thanks to favourable circumstances, thanks to keeping in the hearts of Poles the memory of their ancestors’ vow, thanks to the determination of successive Warsaw metropolitans, and above all thanks to the generosity of the multitude of donors, to whom I offer my heartfelt thanks, it was possible to complete the first stage of building this Nation’s Votive Offering.
The following chapters: The Church that connects; the National Independence Day; the Eucharist at noon are a reliable journalistic account of the celebration, in which short, clear comments are combined with expressive footage.
Opening the Church of Divine Providence in a nutshell:
On 11 November 2016, the opening of the Church was attended by large crowds of Donors from all over Poland. Before the beginning of the liturgy the President of the Republic of Poland, Marshals of the Sejm and Senate and the Prime Minister laid wreaths in the Pantheon of Great Poles. During the processional entrance of the bishops concelebrating the Most Holy Sacrifice, the oldest Polish religious song Bogurodzica was sung. At the sounds of the “Attention” signal the flagship of the Polish Army marched in. After the honors were paid back, the people gathered with the Polish Army choir sang the National Anthem. After the beginning of the Liturgy the pastoral homily was given by the host of the place, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Warsaw Metropolitan Archbishop. The homily was delivered by the President of the Polish Episcopate, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki. Then, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz accepted the Act of Commitment and Thanksgiving on behalf of the gathered. Before the blessing that concluded the Eucharist, the Primate of Poland, Archbishop Wojciech Polak gave his word to the faithful. At the end of the liturgy, Boże coś Polskę was sung, a song once competing with Mazurek Dąbrowskiego for the title of the National Anthem.
Those who, for various reasons, could not attend the solemn Mass on the occasion of the opening of the Temple of Divine Providence, are invited to watch a TV broadcast. Its record can be found here.
In the extensive chapter titled Unusual Concert we return to the world premiere of the outstanding oratorio “Przymierze” by Michał Lorenc, a work written especially for the 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland and the opening of the Church of Divine Providence. We heard it performed by Beethoven Academy Orchestra with 100 musicians, led by Lee Reynolds, the British conductor of the younger generation. The Cappella Corale Varsaviana choir and outstanding soloists also performed.
The text of the publication reads:
Michał Lorenc himself, even before the premiere, said in one of the interviews: “The artistic dimension of this place should match the spiritual dimension, which is patronized by Saint John Paul II and Primate Stefan Wyszyński.” The listeners of “Przymierze” had no doubt that the event in which they participated meets the postulate expressed by the composer.
The concert, as revealed in the next chapter entitled Numbers, was watched and heard on two shows by over 5.7 thousand Donors and Guests. This music show was watched on public television by 2.8 million viewers from Poland and abroad. Today, a record of this monumental work is available on CD in our online shop and in the Shop at the Church of Divine Providence.
There is much to thank for is a collection of interesting talks about the idea of this place, its construction, emotions and plans for the future: with Fr. Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Warsaw Metropolitan, with Piotr Gaweł, President of the Divine Providence Centre, Fr. Tadeusz Aleksandrowicz, the parish priest of the Divine Providence parish and the custodian of the new Sanctuary.
The album is closed with touching excerpts from the Donors’ letters, included in the chapter Through the Eyes of the Donors, and a report from the Temple construction site, In the beginning there was construction, full of interesting details.
The final of the album is a presentation of a small Team of the Centre for Divine Providence, regularly supported by a large group of volunteers.
And then, to finish off, some backstage information… As the director of the Investment Office said, the opening on November 11th would not be possible if the winter of 2015/2016 was not so mild.
So let us not forget about the Divine Providence itself in our thanksgiving. After all, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Ps 127.1).
We warmly invite you to visit and read this extraordinary album…