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prima pagina › 2006 › For the first time, the sound of the vesper bell from the heart of Ardeal and Bucovina “stopped” at Suceviţa




For the first time, the sound of the vesper bell from the heart of Ardeal and Bucovina “stopped" at Suceviţa

The first edition of the Vesper Bell Festival from Suceviţa hosted contestants from the counties Suceava and Sibiu.

• Children, youngsters, priests and nuns took part in this event, all of them being overwhelmed by the “song that builds"

Motto: “On sound of bells/ And sound of the vesper bell/ God is making peace with us" (priest Iulian Neculcea – Voievodeasa)

The sound of the vesper bell broke the silence of Suceviţa. For the first time, “the song that builds" – the sound of the vesper bell from the heart of Ardeal and Bucovina “stopped" at Suceviţa, at the first Vesper Bell Festival organized in Suceava, “hosted" by the “Saint John the Baptist" Church. The event belongs to the activities of the project “Suceviţa – 400 years under the scepter of the Movileşti", financed by the Romanian Government. The inhabitants from Bucovina also got involved in the event, so the festival that took place between the 14th and the 15th of September enjoyed the presence of very many people. The guest of this event was Father Octavian Sămădău, from the “Saints Emperors Constantin and Elena" Church from Victoria, where the only vesper bell contest from the Brasov County is organized, a special national event, having as participants children aged between 3 and 15. Father Octavian Sămădău said that, in the beginning, this event (“The Vesper Bell- the Song that Builds") was organized only at local level, then at county and national level, the contest receiving from 2005 on the status and title of international festival.
Like in any other contest, the contestants (pupils, priests, nuns) – who are familiar to the art of the vesper bell – showed each in one minute and a half how beautiful the vesper bell sounds under the magic power of the two wooden little hammers, handled with craftsmanship by the contestants, in front of a jury made up of specialists (pr. Mihai Maghiar from the Parish Apostles Peter and Pavel Suceava, pr. Iulian Neculcea – Voievodeasa, monarch Nicodim from the “Saint John" Monastery Suceava, pr. Traian Molea – Parish Suceviţa, pr. Octavian Sămădău –Victoria, the mayor of Suceviţa – Ioan Onufrei). The members of the jury declared that this festival can develop “the sensitivity of the children in a Christian spirit". Before every contestant was announced, the priest Octavian Sămădău, who also brought along with him contestants from Victoria, reminded us the meaning of the vesper bell. Like the bell, the vesper bell can be heard from far away, calling every faithful man to the sermon. “The vesper bell is light, and its rapid rhythm fastens the beats of your heart, but also your steps on the way to the church. The monk beats the vesper bell before the sermon, so that everyone hears its calling: both the monks and the people living near the monastery. The vesper bell is made up of a long wooden or iron board and it is hit in a certain rhythm with one or two little hammers. This < song> represents a calling for the Christians, and during the holly night of Resurrection, the vesper bell is hit at the same time with the church’s bells", told us Father Sămădău. The contestants were rewarded with many prizes, and the organizers (The Prefecture from Suceava, the Local Council Suceviţa, the City Hall from Suceviţa, having as partners the “Saints Martyrs Brâncoveni" Foundation, the “Ana" Foundation and the “Juventus" Association) promised that they will continue this festival in the following years too, their wish being that the “Vesper Bell Festival" from Suceviţa becomes a national one, or, why not, even an international one, representing the “visiting card" of Suceviţa.
A special moment of the festival was the performance of a group of pupils from Suceviţa, dressed in traditional Romanian clothes, who sang many folk songs representative for Bucovina, but also the people playing the alphorns who announced the events of the festival.
During the 2 days of the festival there also unfolded seminars, discussions on the themes “The vesper bell – the bond between past, present and future", as well as “The Movileşti, a family of European tradition". The special guests were: conf. dr. Florin Pintilescu (Presentation of the Movilesti’s lives), doctor in History Victoriţa Batariuc from the Bucovina Museum Complex (The Era of the Movilesti –archeological traces), doctor at TheĂlonik – Gheorghe Palade (The Iconography of the Suceviţa Monastery).
The success of this first edition of the “Vesper Bell Festival" from Suceviţa was mostly due to the efforts made by Father Traian Molea and monarch Nicodim.

Vesper Bell
Vesper bell: board (wooden board) on which one rhythmically beats with two little hammers. Used in religious purposes, during the sermon of the Christian Church, the vesper bell is also a traditional instrument, bond to the village community life, and having the role of purifying the space, of opening the “road" between heaven and earth, between God and man, and of bringing God’s blessing in our lives (for example, the vesper bell was used when a new fireplace was built in the village; the people beat the vesper bell and the boundaries of the village were set there where the sound of the vesper bell was last heard). “The sound of the vesper bell is a sound from another world ...its sound bounds heaven to earth and what can be seen to what cannot be seen. When I hear the vesper bell I forget about all the people who harmed me and I try to become a better person", says the great Romanian artist Grigore Leşe.