Solemn Service in the Adelaide Latvian Lutheran Church on 26th December 2018 at 11:00
In the Latvian folk songs Dainas we learn of prayers made to God at traditional cultural and religious events and festivities in antiquity before the birth of Christ, as well as after that time when European nations learned of the message of Christ’s Gospel. With the Latvian National Anthem God, bless Latvia Latvians turn to God praying for His blessing of Latvian daughters and sons.
The Pope Francis on his visit to Latvia in September 2018, recognising Latvia’s suffering under the Soviet and Nazi occupations, urged Latvians not to indulge in sad reminiscences but to embrace Christian faith that endures in adversity. The music of the Gospel must be heard even in challenging times, said the Pope, drawing on Latvia’s rich musical history that has been a source of cohesion and unity for its multiple faiths and ethnicities. The Christian faith must resound in all sectors of society so that all people can contemplate its beauty and be illuminated by its light. Faith will sustain hope in moments of trial, and in faith we shall find courage to face times of great suffering and injustice, as well as trials of individual loneliness and despair. The music of the Gospel will guide our lives to heaven and help us to live in a joyful fidelity.
The 57th Australian Latvian Arts Festival, held in Adelaide this year, will begin with a prayer to the Almighty God for His blessing of the Latvian people and of Latvia, celebrating the centenary of its foundation this year. The Congregation will pray that God grant prevalence to the Latvian national identity – the Latvian arts, culture and language.
The Solemn Service will be conducted by the Dean of the Association of Latvian Lutheran Congregations in Australia and New Zealand and Pastor of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Adelaide Jānis Priedkalns, the Deacon of the Adelaide Congregation Ivars Ozols, the Adelaide Catholic Priest and Dean Father Peter Agnis Rozītis and the Pastor of the Tanunda Congregations of St Paul and Gnadenberg Guntars Baikovs. The Adelaide Latvian Relief Society’s Daugavas Vanagi Men’s Choir and Ladies’ Ensemble will celebrate the music of the Gospel.
Dean and Pastor Jānis Priedkalns