Mayor of Debrecen László Papp, and church representatives of the city held a press conference on the candle-lighting and sacral programmes of Debrecen Advent on 27th of November 2023.
“Debrecen is dressing up for the Christmas Eve celebrations, which will attract locals and people from the surrounding area. The Advent in Debrecen is one of the most beautiful in the country and was recognised internationally last year,” Mayor of Debrecen László Papp recalled. At the same time, he added that Christmas is about faith, religion and the birth of Jesus, and expressed his joy that Debrecen is a city where we can express this together and reflect on the importance of the Advent season together with the city’s church leaders.
He said that Christmas is a peaceful holiday, which should be emphasised, as there are many places in the world where unrest, unhappiness and suffering are the order of the day.
“From here in Debrecen, we would like to convey the message that we pray for peace in all parts of the world so that families and children do not suffer the horrors of warfare and hostilities,” he stressed.
He pointed out that Debrecen has a long tradition of gathering in large numbers in front of the Reformed Great Church on Sundays in Advent, and this will be the case this coming Sunday, 3rd of December when the first candle will be lit on the Advent wreath a little after dusk. He said that, following tradition, the procession will be accompanied by church leaders from the town hall to the candle-lighting ceremony in front of the Reformed Great Church, and the pastors of the Hortobágy will be among the participants in the Advent celebrations. He noted that the nativity scene, a tradition that goes back centuries, is also with us, as the town will once again host a meeting of nativity scene performers from 8th-9th December.
Károly Fekete, Bishop of the Reformed Church District of Tiszántúl, said that when the lights come up, and we sing Christmas carols together, and the music that flows from the speakers until the holiday fills the room let it enter our souls and let it be a soul-shaping time.
Fülöp Kocsis, Archbishop-Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Hajdúdorog, said “Christmas is about relationships, meeting, and building the community. So let us also open our hearts to gratitude that the Lord has given us this, that we can celebrate Christmas in such a beautiful, peaceful city and offer our sacrifices for those who do not have this. Let this be part of our preparations for Christmas-”
Ferenc Palánki, the Bishop of the Debrecen-Nyíregyháza Diocese, pointed out that “our preparation, like all preparations, must be twofold: communal and personal.”
Sister Luca Németh, a community member of the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Debrecen and a teacher at the Svetits Catholic School Centre, stressed that their school has been an integral part of the city’s life for almost 130 years. “The fact that our school exists and is respected in this religiously diverse city is a sign that we need each other, that we need everyone, all people of goodwill who work selflessly and devotedly for the benefit of their immediate or broader environment,” she said.
At the beginning of the event, Anna Sztancs, Eszter Vojtkó, Eszter Fülöp, members of the Pendely Singing Ensemble family, students of the Svetits Catholic High School performed Christmas folk songs from Bukovina, and the press conference was closed with a gift from Roman Catholic missionary Roberto Mattina and his family.
Source and photo credit: debrecen.hu