La lunga notte delle chiese

On June 10, an event took place in Italy that united art, music and culture in the spirit of reflection and spirituality.

Stefano Grossi Gondi-September 12, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes
long night churches

Photo: concert in the Church of San Francesco. ©

This event, born at the initiative of an association of the city of Belluno, has been held in hundreds of churches in dioceses all over Italy that will attend this seventh edition. The long Night of the Churches began in 2016 and since then it is held every year.

The Church, which is usually involved in the social life of every city, provides free of charge many sacred places to host exhibitions, concerts, guided visits, readings, and moments of reflection.

Since other Christian churches are also interested, this type of event is ecumenical, and benefits from the collaboration of the Italian dioceses, their vicars for culture, the offices that deal with sacred art, youth ministry, and the participation of numerous other religious denominations.

La Lunga Notte delle Chiese is a totally free event, supported exclusively thanks to the help of the numerous volunteers and associations that every year dedicate their time to it. For this reason it is proposed to support with donations the cultural initiatives, so that this project can continue and expand from year to year.

The theme of the VII edition

The theme chosen for this seventh edition is In-contra, which is born from the hope of being able to live this day in full, in presence, inside wonderful places of worship. 

While preparations for the 2022 edition were underway, suggestions from the event's participants included the following themes: inclusion, recovery of bonds, strengthening relationships, welcoming, friendship, diversity, fraternity, mutual understanding, dialogue, proximity, solidarity ...

The Italian motto In-Contra was conceived by dividing the preposition "In" by the adverb "Contra"; these are two technically opposite words, but they express together the central and significant element of the dialogue, that of diversity.

The concept has been strongly emphasized also by the Holy Father in his last apostolic journey, highlighting the importance of transforming the "enemy" potential into "host", in the logic of acceptance.

Who can participate?

All places of worship, of any confession, can be interested in participating in an event. The organization of the initiative can come from each single parish with its parish priest, supported by other responsible persons. 

In other words, associations, musical groups, or artists who wish to show their work, can provide it to their parish priest and take charge of the organization of the concert.

The objectives of the event are many: to show with clarity the life of the Christian Church; to constitute an opportunity to meet people from far away; to experience the plurality of the expressive forms of the Church and of the religious communities; to arouse interest in the cultural and social initiatives of the churches; to present the churches as important sectors of public life; and in particular, to make children and young people discover the church as a place of life.

The authorStefano Grossi Gondi

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