THEY WILL WORSHIP THE SAME JESUS

MAGDALENA KOWALEWSKA

In Poland and in the world there are more and more towns where the Procession of Three kings is organized. This year, a joyful colourful procession reminding of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem is going to take place in over 500 cities of the country and 20 abroad, including 5 places of Rwanda.

This is something amazing that in such hectic times so many people want to get engaged in the event. Preparations for the central Procession of Three Kings last a few months, begin already in autumn. All this in order to on 6 January go out into streets of cities together and experience our faith joyfully – says Jolanta Skwarek from the Foundation ‘Procession of Three Kings’.

A lot of people are wondering on the phenomenon of the Procession of Three Kings. Even its organizers do not hide their surprise about how this event is experienced every year, which unites generations. – There are a lot of stereotypes that the Catholics are dull, sad people and are the so-called mohair berets (equivalent of the elderly people). Whereas carolling together and reminding the Nativity scenes of the birth of Jesus in the Bethlehem Nativity scene show that we can share our faith with others joyfully – adds Jolanta Skwarek.

History of Creation and a fight of the good with evil

The Procession of the Three Kings is the biggest nativity scene. This year it will have being going the ninth time and will be under the motto ‘Peace and Good’. These words refer to the encyclical of pope Francis ‘Laudato si’. The scenes performed during the Procession will tell us history of salvation, showing its beginnings and biblical truths about the world creation and life of the first people in the paradise. As organizers explain, this scenario is to be a thank to the Holy Father for the mentioned encyclical and the expression of gratitude for the visit in Poland during the World Youth Days. The history of creation will be a reminder about the role of the man in the world and his respect to nature and passing these values to the next generations. The three kings and the procession accompanying them will remind us the history of creation, life and the world salvation. The sages will be looking for the King of Creation. As people responsible for preparing the scenario say, they will see the fall of the first people and longtime struggle of the good with evil. Angels’ choirs will praise God’s works and the Angels’ Gate will lead the Three Kings to the Redeemer of the World born in a stable.

It unites generations

Let’s remind that the Procession is not only colourful, but also it is a wide range of cultural-educational ventures, in which whole families are participating. Exhibitions, contests, preparations together – all this integrates students, teachers and whole families! The procession is going to be attended by the elderly and younger generation. Everybody is equal, everybody has the same aim – to pay tribute to newly-born Jesus. For a student of the third year of the junior high school from the Catholic Educational School Complex named Fr. Piotr Skarga is a tradition to participate in the Procession of Three Kings with their parents and siblings. – I do not imagine not be here – she says, and her friend Michał Melon adds that it was him who had encouraged his parents to participate in this procession. Both Zuzanna and Michał with his mates at his age are going to work as volunteers during the Procession. On the feast of Epiphany in the streets we show that Christianity is not boring – they say.

Every year the Procession of Three Kings is attended by more and more other towns of the country and the world. It proves that we need manifesting our affiliation to Christ and reminding about the Christian dimension of Christmas. ‘The initiative of organizing colourful processions in the streets of Polish cities and towns has already become a beautiful custom, which brings closer the symbolism and significance of the Epiphany. We are joyful to notice that every year the Procession gathers more and more people, and other towns in the country and abroad maintain this custom’ – the presidential couple wrote in a letter sent to organizers of this year’s Procession of Three Kings. President Andrzej Duda and his Wife participated in it last year. The president said then: - This is tradition in which I was brought up. I am very glad that it took on a community civil form of marches at which so many people have had occasion to meet together in whole Poland for years.

Not only in Europe

It should be added that the Procession of Three Kings becomes more and more popular also in many countries abroad. This year new towns in Rwanda join Ukraine, Germany, Romania or Chicago. In 2016 the Procession took place in Kabuga town there, in the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy – It drew many people’s attention because this year it is going to be there again – says Barbara Dawidowska, a lay missionary who with a group of volunteers from Foundation ‘Salvatti’ left for mission to Africa. Beside Kabuga, a joyful procession will also be in Kibeho, Masaka and Kigala – a district of Gikondo and Kicukiro. Conducting the Procession in many towns is possible thanks to openness and participation of many people here in organizing it: priests, missionaries – the Pallottine priests, nuns – the Pallottine nuns, Sisters of Charity, the Franciscan Sisters and head teachers, teachers and workers of schools. Here, in Rwanda, the Procession can also realize its aims. First of all, it integrates the whole society - says Barbara Dawidowska. The idea of organizing the Procession on another continent appeared in her heart before her journey. Time proved that impossible becomes possible. –Women in Rwanda sew clothes for children. Groups of actors are created to prepare the procession scenes in different languages: English, French and Kinyarwanda, and choirs which are in big numbers in Rwanda, are practicing singing songs. The Foundation the Procession of Three Kings gave us flags and crowns – the missionary reports and adds: - It is beautiful that in various ways, in various languages, on various continents we can adore the God’s Baby, look for the same stable together, following the Three Kings towards the Bethlehem Star.

AA

„Niedziela” 1/2017

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • Translation: Aneta Amrozik • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl