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Friday, April 06, 2007

Gorzkie Zale.

I went to Sweetest Heart of Mary in Detroit for Good Friday. Essentially, it's the cathedral for Motown's Polish community. The history of the parish and its founding pastor would make a good film, complete with a full-blown cult of personality, riots, schism and intervention by the nuncio. The church itself is a stunningly beautiful place, as the web tour demonstrates. It is also the subject of a continuing and careful restoration.

The ethnic origins of the parish are seen in the stained glass and Stations, which are labelled in Polish. On Good Fridays, they are seen in the Bitter Lamentations, or Gorzkie Zale, a sung dialogue on the Passion. With a program, I had no problem following along, and even singing, after a while. The Lamentations are things of piercing beauty--have a listen.

Another uniquely Polish tradition maintained at the parish is of the veiled monstrance placed on the tomb of Christ for adoration. I was glad I went--it brought out the mystery of the day in a new way.

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