THE PASSION - “The history of Jesus Christ’s suffering and death”
From Mihály Kozma’s Passion Play, Cluj/Kolozsvár (Transylvania), 1747
Edited by Tamás Jakabffy, 2006
Mihály Kozma, the well-known Unitarian pastor, was the one who noted down during his years of college at Cluj, the passion compiled from the four Gospels and Jeremiah’s lamentations (sung on the Later of Easter) with its entreaties, in Hungarian. We know only a few things about this 62-page notebook: the name of one of its owners during the 19th century, Mihály Katona, as well as its history from the second half of the 20th century up to the present.
In the Protestant Churches from Transylvania, there took shape in the early modern times a considerable tradition of gregorian-chant-based liturgical singing in the mother tongue of the population. The graduals and passionaries which have survived to the present approve this tradition. During the 18-19th centuries, performance of such graduals was forbidden (mostly successfully) by very strict resolutions on the synod, which were constituted because of the expansion of the puritan principles after 1650, and the Counter Reformation. In spite of these actions, in the Transylvanian Unitarian communities, the tradition of passion-performances had a major historical background. The old of these communities still remember to have performed the passion during their childhood. By their account, in the time of their ancestors, the passion was performed every year, during the Passion Week.
Mihály Kozma’s Passionary is kept at the present in the archives from Cluj of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church. Both the melody noted down in cursive, Hungarian neumas and the lyrics are easily legible.
Through this CD-ROM we would like to familiarize the Kozma-passion among a wider-ranging public. We hope to contribute to the revival of the Unitarian passion performances in Transylvania through the transcription of these manuscripts to modern writing and the recorded audio performance, both parts of this CD-ROM.