The Kralice Gem

Long-prepared celebrations were held on the weekend of the 13th-15th of September

Early Friday evening the Primary School was dedicated to Jan Blahoslav, there were exhibition openings, a concert and a screening of the film Hrabě Zinzendorf - síla přesvědčení (Count Zinzendorf - Strength of Conviction).

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On Saturday, visitors could choose from five parallel programs. On the football field, behind the gym, keynote speakers and musical performances took turns on the main stage. Although the audience initially fought with umbrellas and wet benches the weather gradually calmed down. In the afternoon all were able to enjoy, without umbrellas, the gala program entitled 'The Kralice Gem' and the musical program compiled by students of the Olomouc Conservatory. After nightfall, the place changed again into a summer cinema with the screening of Pod ochranou Žerotínou (Under the protection of the Zierotins).

In the gym, visitors had the opportunity to see an exhibition of works on the subject of the Kralice Bible or to listen to presentations of leading experts from different historical and cultural points of view, to purchase contemporary Christian literature from publishing companies or products manufactured in sheltered workshops.

In St. Martin’s church, many experienced a music workshop for psalm settings and an interactive presentation on the hymnal of the Unitas Fratrum. During the afternoon the small Church was filled by the choir 'Dvořák', from Uherský Brod, with compositions by Eben to texts by John Amos Comenius. In the early evening participants could listen to an author’s reading.

The primary school in the center offered their rooms for a range of lectures around the Kralice Bible from a cultural-theological point of view. Their topics were the printers and graphic artists of this Bible, Protestant approaches to art, or the architecture of Protestant churches in the period between the world wars. Furthermore, one could also dedicate oneself to the exegetical notes of Kralice translators of the Old and New Testaments.

During the whole day there was the opportunity to visit the Kralice Bible monument, including the basement vaults of the ruins of the Kralice fortress, and to acquire a comprehensive anthology, published on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Kralice Bible.

The children's program offered a craft workshop, a competition, nature explorations in the footsteps of Jesus, a printing shop or songs and games to biblical themes.

The festival program was continued in Kralice nad Oslavou on Sunday. At half past nine there rang out, over the main stage, a responsorial hymn based on a Bible text. It was followed by an ecumenical service, which the moderator of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren Joel Ruml, led.  The preacher was the bishop of the Silesian Evangelical Church A.C., Jan Waclawek, and worship was musically accompanied by the women's choir Laudate and a brass band from Oldřichovice. A number of ecumenical guests from the Czech Republic and abroad, were present at the service.

Nearly 4,000 people attended the three-day celebrations. At the Kralice Bible monument alone 3,000 visitors were registered. Some Protestants raised their eyebrows at the appearance of the singer Dáda Patrasová during the gala program. It must be noted that this successful and huge, by our standards, event was organized by two Churches (the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren and the Silesian Evangelical Church A.C.), the municipality of Kralice, the Moravian Museum of Brno and the Association Česká Studna. And each of the organizers had a somewhat different idea of how to celebrate this important anniversary of the Kralice Bible.

The celebrations in Kralice were part of a larger project of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren under the title of 'Our Reformation', which is dedicated to significant ecclesiastical anniversaries, from 2013 to 2018, in which the project will have its highlight in the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the ECCB.

Daniela Ženatá