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Published:November 20th, 2007 04:03 EST
Historic Russian Christmas Concert Premiers at National Basilica

Historic Russian Christmas Concert Premiers at National Basilica

By SOP newswire

The World Premiere of the "Christmas Oratorio" composed by Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Vienna and Austria, will take place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 17, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. Additional concerts will follow Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Jean Baptiste Church, 184 E. 76th St., in New York City, and the Boston area at The Memorial Church of Harvard University, 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA, Dec. 20, at 7:00 p.m.

The concerts are organized through the cooperation of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, St. Jean Baptiste Church, New York City, Harvard University, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Urbi et Orbi Communications, publisher of Inside the Vatican magazine.

Second in a series of concerts composed by Bishop Hilarion, the first was presented at the Vatican, March 29, co-sponsored by the Vatican and Inside the Vatican.

At the heart of this composition lies the Gospel narrative of the birth and early days of Jesus Christ's life on earth," Bishop Hilarion said. "The libretto uses Orthodox liturgical texts from the feasts of the Annunciation, the Nativity and the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple."

Dr. Robert Moynihan, editor and publisher of Inside the Vatican magazine said, "This joyous event says much about the spiritual revival of Russia, especially for those following the messages of Fatima. It marks a step forward in the cooperation and friendship between the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches so vital to that revival. The Rome concert was tremendously well received."

The concert highlights the closing of an 11-day exhibit at the Basilica dedicated to the spiritual revival of Russia and the May 17, 2007 signing of the Re- Unification Act of the Russian Orthodox Churches. The exhibit runs December 7-18, 2007."

The concert is free and open to the public. For 20 or more reserved seats, call Inside the Vatican at 1-800- 789-9494 or email For further information about the Exhibit or Concert, or press packets, please visit and click on "Russian Exhibit and Concert," or email

Subscription information on Inside the Vatican may also be obtained by calling: 1-800-789-9494 or visit

Christian Newswire