At the service – held on Palm Sunday together with an organ concert – the Prime Minister said that five hundred years ago, with the Reformation, a stone was cast into the still water of the Western world, and suddenly everything changed. The wave set in motion in Wittenberg reached all corners of the Western world, and everything was renewed: church, economy and culture. “On the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we need no more than that there be pebbles that the hand of divine providence can cast into the water”, he said, adding that, “If there are enough of these pebbles, Europe can renew itself – and Hungary, too, may stand firmly on its feet”.
Mr. Orbán spoke about the formation of the German-Speaking Reformed Church congregation one hundred and fifty years ago, and how Scottish missionaries had established a German-speaking Reformed Church congregation in a Pest which was overwhelmingly inhabited by Catholics – originally doing so in order to witness to the Jewish community.
The Prime Minister said that in this church he sees confirmation that a diverse community in which the unifying substance is a common faith is able to become a strong spiritual structure – even after world wars, genocide and forced transportations.
In his view, the history of the German-speaking Reformed Church parish is profoundly similar to the history of the Hungarian nation. “To all political leaders with patriotic feelings, your congregation, with its many roots, is living proof and encouragement of elemental strength”, Mr. Orbán said.
Speaking of the reopening of the church in 2002, the Prime Minister said that the congregation had also sought to affirm its roots with the refurbishment of its old church. The Church of God has since been shining in its old glory, he said, adding that “this is how it is if Germans and Hungarians unite their efforts in the interest of good causes: we succeed”.
At the beginning of the service Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog said that the Austrian, German, Swiss, Dutch and Danish immigrants who established the German-speaking Reformed Church parish 158 years ago left a triple inheritance to today’s community: the preaching of the Gospel, charitable service and responsibility in public life. To this triple task a fourth one – the service of culture – has been added, with this new organ. He added that this musical instrument – unique in this half of Europe – is “the queen of musical instruments, which here will be a servant girl, a witness serving the preaching of the Gospel”.
The Minister said that the church was built at the same time as the Parliament Building, but the congregation had previously formed a hospital and an orphanage. The community lost its church in 1945, and “the time of resurrection only came” in 2002, when the building, which had been used as a warehouse, once again became a place of worship.
The Minister said that the bell – donated by German Emperor Wilhelm II in 1903 and stolen in 1945 – could also only be replaced in 2002 after a donation by Anikó Lévai and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
At the service István Bogárdi Szabó, Parish President of the Synod of the Hungarian Reformed Church, said a prayer for those who are persecuted for their Christian faith and who are “surrounded by the potentates of hate and war”.
At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Orbán presented a state decoration to German lawyer Jürgen Illing, who played an active role in organising the church refurbishment works fifteen years ago.
The new instrument was designed and built by organ builder Attila Faragó and AerisOrgona Kft., the company he is in charge of. A property of the instrument which is unique today is that it can also be operated manually. The pipes and the windchests were modelled on 18th-century precursors, and every one of the instrument’s 1,130 pipes was made on the basis of historical examples and with contemporary technology. The new organ was inaugurated at the service by organist László Fassang.