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Christmas eve and the chant of the "Sibilˇla"

Christmas eve and the chant of the "Sibilˇla"

Christmas Eve service to commemorate the birth of Jesus.

On December 24, nearly all the churches on Mallorcan hold the "Matines", the Christmas Eve service to commemorate the birth of Jesus. The chant of the Sibilˇla, with ancient origins, is one of the most emotional moments of this celebration. The chant foretells the end of the world and it is a grand ceremony starring, normally, a young boy with a clear voice, dressed in a tunic, a robe of embroidered silk, a hat and bearing a large sword.

The "Matines" at the Sanctuary of Lluc, where the Sibilˇla is sung by a young "Blauet", are one of the most popular on the Island, together with the "Matines" that are celebrated at the Palma Cathedral, where the Sibilˇla is always an outstanding soprano, this year Cristina Van Roy.

As for small churches, worth stressing are the "Matines" that are held in Orient. In this village the Sibilˇla will sing accompanied by the Polyphonic Choir of Bunyola and after the religious ceremony there will be hot chocolate in the restaurants of the village, this is such a popular party that the organisers recommend making a reservation in advance (more information: 971620074 / 971613158).

The chant will also be the central part of the "Tradicional Festa de la Sibilˇla" by the Capella Mallorquina that will take place on December 26, at 7 p.m., in the Santa Eulŕlia church in Palma.

You can listen to the chant of the "Sibilˇla" (11:14) in Real Audio. This version, sung by Pere Antoni Canyelles Pons from Es Blauets de Lluc, is part of the record "Els Blavets" (Blau, 1993) and can be found on the Internet since 1999 thanks to the collaboration by the Lluc Sanctuary in the Nadal 1999-2000 special, produced by MallorcaWeb.

On the web of the Lluc Sanctuary, a fragment of the "Cant de la Sibilˇla" in MP3 format can be found, from the record "Nadal Blau" by Els Blauets, edited by Ona Digital coinciding with Christmas 2001.

Date of publication: 21/12/2005

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