Concert: Rejoice, O Mary

Friday, June 14 at 7 p.m
St. Peter’s Church, Vlaška 93 Zagreb

REJOICE, O MARY – a concert of church of Šokci folk songs


For centuries, the Croatian people have nurtured the spiritual folk song with a lot of love, respect and wholehearted prayer that comes from the spirit of the individual, and then of the local community. Therefore, we are pleased to present a concert of spiritual church folk songs from Slavonia, Baranja, Srijem and Bačka, the locality where the Šokci live, whose traditional heritage is the theme of this year’s International Folklore Fair.

In addition to the wealth of secular music, Šokadija has a rich treasury of spiritual folk songs that were performed on Eucharistic occasions, pilgrimages and group prayers that were not necessarily related to the Eucharist, but the themes are closely related to spirituality, religion, the church year and holidays.

Spiritual songs in Slavonia, Baranja, Srijem and Bačka come from different sources. Thus, some of them are similar to Old Town songs. Some arose from secular practice and are similar to secular chants and chariots. Some songs are original or come from foreign hymnbooks sung in the Croatian language, and there is also a part of very specific material from Baranja and Bačka that came from the cantuals and hymnals of the Peću diocese to which they belonged. The written sources of these songs are the hymnal Vinac of godly church letters (1827), New wreath of prayers and godly songs for the Croatian Catholic regiment of the diocese of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1883), Virgini matri (Zagreb 1921), Magnificat (Zagreb 1931) and others recent collections as well as personal manuscripts and hymnals of local church communities that were woven into the regiment.

In addition to interesting melodies, a very significant component of these tunes are lyrics that reach a brilliant poetic level. Songs dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary stand out in particular. In them, the life of Mary is described, Mary is prayed to – especially in the May and October devotions, and Mary is exalted. The images and motifs from nature with which they compare it completely merge with the local speech and become a silent transcendental prayer of an individual/group or a living authentic prayer that is sung at the top of one’s voice.

The tradition of these chants is long and important for local communities, and some societies still cherish them and keep this tradition alive.

In the preparations for this concert, the societies themselves described when certain songs were to be sung, and according to them, precisely because of the secular components (melody and text), not all pastors in history allowed these songs to be performed during the Eucharist, but they remained as important songs that they sing at joint prayers, pilgrimages and funerals.

In other places, these songs have been an integral part of the Eucharist for many years. Tradition does not write clear rules, it is the source of diversity and creativity of an individual who transmits his emotion in the form of a song to his community, thus we encounter the same or similar text sung to a completely different melody. An example of this is the song O, Gospojo privelika, which all the groups have in their program in completely different melodies, and for this program we selected two melodies.

In the process of preparing the concert, the main tellers were the singers and singers, who are not only singers of the song, but also the spokespersons of the groups and experts in how and in what way the song is performed. Thanks to their skills and desire to maintain the tradition, these chants live on.

At this concert, four societies that stand out in their work in nurturing the spiritual folk music tradition will be presented. From Slavonia comes KUD Šokadija from Strizivojna (Osijek Baranja county), who has been the bearer of the traditional spiritual repertoire of his local community for a number of years. The women’s singing group Druge, led by Janja Glavačević, and the men’s singing group Strossmayer, led by Mirko Damjanović, operate within the society. The Women’s Singing Group of Kraljica Bodroga of the Croat Bodrog Culture and Art Society from Bački Monoštor arrives from Bačka. The presenter is Anita Đipanov Marijanović. Since the people of Monoštor are great worshipers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, since 2006 they have been the organizers of the Festival of Marian folk singing, which takes place every year on the first Saturday of July.

At the concert, two companies from Zagreb will perform, which deal exclusively with the traditional architecture of Šokadija and in their work also nurture spiritual traditional literature. They are the Zwizde Female Vocal Ensemble led by Pavo Begovac and the Male Singing Group Sinovi Atara led by Mario Kambić. Both societies have behind them a series of joint and independent sacred concerts and a joint sound carrier of the spiritual folk song, Honey, now come with me (Laudato 2022).

Zrinka Posavec


 1. Križ nam stoji u polju (Ivanovac, Slavonija) – MPS „Sinovi Atara“

2. O, Gospojo privelika (Topolje, Baranja) – ŽVA „Zwizde“

3. Marijo, Marijo ti mila ljubice (Slavonski Kobaš, Slavonija) – ŽVA „Zwizde“

4. Šetala se Marija (Bački Monoštor, Bačka) – ŽPS “Kraljice Bodroga”

5. Zdravo budi Marijo (Bački Monoštor, Bačka) – ŽPS “Kraljice Bodroga”

6. Majko draga, Djevo sveta (Strizivojna, Slavonija) – KUD “Šokadija”

7. Kraljice možna (Strizivojna, Slavonija) – ŽPS “Druge”

8. Svi u glas jezici (Strizivojna, Slavonija) – MPS “Strossmayer” KUD-a

9. Pjevajmo, pjevajmo Mariji (Strizivojna, Slavonija) – MPS “Strossmayer”

10. Marijina bašća (Srednji Lipovac, Slavonija), ŽVA „Zwizde“

11. Uz miris ljiljana (Novaki, Slavonija), solistica Tea Dominković, ŽVA „Zwizde“

12. Litanije (Strizivojna, Slavonija) – MPS “Strossmayer”

13. O, Gospojo privelika (Strizivojna, Slavonija) – MPS “Strossmayer”

14. O, kakvi nam je ovaj blagdan svanio (Bački Monoštor, Bačka) – ŽPS “Kraljice Bodroga”

15. O, Divo blažena (Bački Monoštor, Bačka) – ŽPS “Kraljice Bodroga”

16. O, Marijo, majko (Aljmaš, Slavonija) – MPS „Sinovi Atara“, Zagreb

17. Da sam sitna ljubica (Velika Kopanica, Slavonija) – ŽVA „Zwizde“, Zagreb

18. Veseli se, o Marijo (Bački Monoštor, Bačka) – ŽPS “Kraljice Bodroga”

19. Čuj nas Majko – ŽPS “Druge”

20. Svetoj Majci hvalu dajmo (Štivica, Slavonija) MPS „Sinovi Atara“