There are a number of previous posts on this blog about the Minor Reformed Church/Polish Brethren and my visit to Poland in the summer of 2019. They can be seen here:
Fausto Sozzini, the Polish Brethren and Kraków
The Dominican Church of the Holy Trinity and the Unitarian history of Kraków
But I have now uploaded to YouTube a video of the short act of worship we held on Sunday, 28th July 2019 in the former Polish Brethren church at Kolosy.
To be honest there is a lot wrong with this video – sound, picture, continuity, all are faulty in one way or another. It was recorded on a device that was seriously unreliable, indeed the picture cuts out altogether towards the end although the sound continues for a little bit longer. However, the end of the film now contains a number of still images of the former church at Kolosy, both exterior and interior shots, and closes with the text of the Lord’s Prayer in Polish which we tried, but did not succeed, in saying together in that language.
It is reproduced here because it represents a rare if not quite unique event – an act of worship in a church of the Polish Brethren/Minor Reformed Church, a church which was suppressed during the counter-reformation in 1658, just four years after this little church was built.
The service is led by myself, the Rev Dr Sándor Kovács (Unitarian, Kolozsvár, Transylvania), and the Rev Dr Roger Jones (UU, Sacramento, California). We were part of an organised tour of sites connected with the Polish Brethren in July and August 2019. Although a service was planned for this day this was essentially an impromptu act of worship because the Rev Dr Jay Atkinson, who was to have led the service, was unfortunately taken ill on the way to the building and had to go to hospital. So it fell to the three other clergy present to devise a service on the way. This is the service which is presented in the video, albeit in rather imperfect form. The chapel was built in 1654 and closed in 1658 but somehow has survived to the present day, perhaps being used as a store for many years. But it is still immediately recognisable as a place of worship.
2 thoughts on “Worship in a Church of the Polish Brethren”
Beautiful video. Have to admit choral singing may not be a strong point. Here in UU-land we say it’s because we are always looking ahead to see if we agree with the words… I do wish more people were aware of the richness of the Polish tradition, when it had a chance to flourish. Thank you!
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I was glad we were able to hold this service, it seemed a very appropriate way to make a connection with a faith tradition that achieved quite a lot in a short space of time and has been harshly treated by history. The technical qualities of the video leave a lot to be desired but it was an uplifting and satisfying occasion that deserves to be recorded.