If you have ever been to our services, I'm sure you will agree if I say that often they turn out to be wonderful musical events. If you haven't found your way there yet, I encourage you to come! We have a small organ in the church, of course. But we also have a piano, and we are not afraid to use both in the same service! Typically, if our church choir performs in the service, they are accompanied on the piano. We welcome other instruments as well!
The singing in our services is a balance of Finnish hymns, old and new, and other spiritual and seasonal songs. The services are great venues to hear -and practice- this unique Fenno-ugric language. I guarantee, it is very different from anything you have tried before! Singing in Finnish is also an important means in maintaining and expressing our mother tongue as expats and immigrants. The language ties us to our roots and culture.
And then there is kantele. A wooden string instrument played by plucking, and held on the lap. There is a small but rather active kantele-group in Montreal, and sometimes they play in our church services too! This ancient instrument is an integral part of Finnish history, traditions and folklore. In our national epic Kalevala, the old and wise man Väinämöinen made a kantele out of the jaw bone of a pike and the music it produced was so beautiful that it enchanted all the creatures of the forest. Before the Kalevala epic poems were compiled into a book by Elias Lönnrot in the 19th century, the story was passed on from generation to another by singing, accompanied on kantele. If you scroll down the blog posts you will see that we actually have a Kalevala Day celebration at the church every spring, in March. Below is a video from our October 2018 service, with kantele-group and beautiful prelude and postlude by our organist.
Our church also serves as a venue for musical events such as sing-alongs and concerts. For example, last year we hosted the EVA-trio, this December we present a Finnish Independence Day concert featuring Festivo String Quartet, and next spring 2019.... well, stay tuned to know what's coming! We promise it's great!