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Malta-Birkirkara: Feast of St Helen 2011

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Published on Aug 21, 2011

Video footage showing highlights of the feast in honor of St Helen held at Birkirkara, Malta, on August 21, 2011. This feast is held every year on the Sunday after August 18th.




Birkirkara is one of the oldest towns/villages in Malta. It was already a parish in 1402.

You'll hear the following hymns:

Processional Hymn - "Uspicium Melioris Aevi" (An omen of a better age) by Mro T. Galea played by the Duke of Connaught Band;

Inno di Gloria a Sant' Elena Imperatrice by Mro Raffaele Ricci, lyrics by Fr Gwann Bugeja, played by the Duke of Connaught Band. The Choir is "Ite Ad Joseph", Tenor Andrew Sapiano, Baritone Joe Vella Bondin and the Maestro is Andrew Coleiro.

O Imperatrix Maxima composed by Mro Tommaso Galea in 1873 played by the Duke of Connaught Band;

Inno Di Gloria a Sant'Elena by Mro Busuttil played by St Elena Band;

Antiphon by Mro Bugeja.

Brief info about the Birkirkara Parish Church:
Work on the present Church began in 1727. It's majestic facade, is one of the most beautiful we have in Malta. St Helena was the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great and she is credited with finding the True Cross of Christ. She died in the year 330 AD.

The majestic statue of St Helena was carved in wood by Salvu Psaila in 1837. It was donated to the church by the local patriot Vincenzo Borg, who rose to fame by his leadership during the two-year blockade of the French after the 1798 insurrection. The statue is solemnly carried in procession twice a year: on the third of May in commemoration of the finding of the True Cross by this Saint and on her feast-day, one Sunday after the liturgical feast of 18th of August. This is the only procession in Malta that is held on a morning.

The large bell found in the left hand side belfry tower is Malta's largest church bell and the third largest in the world.

The parish has two band clubs: The Duke of Connaught's Own which was established in 1865 and Għaqda Mużikali Sant'Elena, established in 1919.

The background music features segments of the two hymns in honor of St Helena and are played by the two band clubs. The Hymn used by The Duke of Connaught's was composed by Mro Raffaele Rizzi and the one used by Sant'Elena Band Club, Inno di gloria, was composed by Mro Busuttil. At the end, you'll also hear a segment of the Antifona which was composed by Mro Buġeja.

St Helena's Feast is another beautiful feast that adds color to the Maltese Culture.

Thank you for watching.

Video/Editing by Choy Hong (Jasmine) Grech.

Produced by Alfred & Jasmine Grech, Mosta, Malta.

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