One of the signs of Lent in the Polish community are the Gorzkie Żale, or Bitter Lamentations, sung at church on Sundays during that somber season. They’re a series of melancholic hymns about Jesus Christ’s passion and death, meant to be a form of grieving for His suffering.
Part one recalls Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, arrest and unjust trial. This part is sung on the first and fourth Sundays of Lent.
Part two recalls Christ’s suffering from his unjust trial to His being crowned with thorns. You can hear this part on the second and fifth Sundays of Lent.
Part three recalls Christ’s crucifixion and death and is sung on the third Sunday of Lent and Good Friday.
Gorzkie Zale takes place every Sunday in Lent at the conclusion of the 10:30 a.m. Polish Mass, with the exception of Palm Sunday.