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Nit Sant and the Sibil·la Chant

Last night, Mallorca celebrated Nit Sant (Christmas Eve). A special church service is held on the Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) called Matines de Nadal. These masses are probably the most important ones of the year here in Spain with the possible exception of the Easter liturgy.

There were three separate church services last night in Felanitx. I went to two of them because I had a reason. The attraction about the Matines de Nadal is the Cant de la Sibil·la (Chant of the Sybil), and I am attracted by this ancient chant with all its archaic and prophetic connotations. Why there were three separate Sibil·la performances last night in Felanitx I cannot say. I am not sure that there ever have been three concurrent ones in the past. I certainly enjoyed the opportunity and pleasure of being able to listen to two of them even though it was a bit of a rush. There were a few dozen Sibil·la performances all over Mallorca last night, from Palma to Inca, from Andratx to Pollença, from Binnissalem to Manacor. Perhaps you were eager enough yourself to go and take one in. Even though I have to say that I saw no foreigners attending any of the two services that I went to last night which surprised me quite a bit. It also made me a bit sad, really.

Let me remind you that the Cant de la Sibil·la was chosen by UNESCO in 2010 to be included in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, with an emphasis to the Need of Urgent Safeguarding. I think the Mallorcan Chant of the Sybil is a treasure to behold and an absolute treat to the eye and the ear, not to speak of the soul. In case you missed hearing one last night, try and earmark the occasion for this time next year.

The young woman in the photo and the video as well (2009) is Xisca from Cas Concos des Cavallers. She chanted at the Església de Sant Miquel, the Felanitx parish church, for the ninth year this year. She performed the Chant of the Sybil with an absolutely beautiful voice. It almost made me weep.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 24th, 2011. The time was 20:16:09. The video was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of YouTube and guingaia.

Thank you, and

moltes gràcies.

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