Vatican Lauded For Jewish Concert - Pope Urged To Organize Kirtan Recital Soon

Nevada, Nov 11, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) In a remarkable interfaith gesture, a Jewish music concert involving about 20 cantors from American Conference of Cantors will be held in Vatican for the first time on November 16, which will be attended by Holy See officials, according to reports.

To be held at Basilica of Santa Marie degli Angeli e dei Martiri to cement Catholic-Jewish relations, it will include narrative that will educate listeners about the development of Jewish liturgy and music. After premiering at the Vatican, it will later be reproduced in major cities of USA. Cantors have already been asked to appear in cathedrals across North America, reports suggest.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauding this effort of faiths coming closer through music, urged His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to organize a Kirtan concert at Vatican in the near future.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that Pope and other Vatican officials would appreciate the sacred and spiritual experience of ancient chants of Kirtan that took one to the state of deep meditation. According to Kirtan participants, the powerful healing and transformational energies of these chants help calming and focusing the mind, uplift, provide a soothing melody, inspire, bring peace and connectedness, etc.

Kirtan (also referred as call-and-response chanting session, ecstatic chanting, participatory music experience, devotional singing, sacred chant) was one of the oldest sacred music genres of the world, which originated in India many centuries ago. Mostly a Sanskrit chant with audience usually clapping and swaying and repeating the words after the singer with some dancing, its lyrics were usually something like “Om Nama Shivaya”, “Jai Govinda Jai Gopala”, “Shri Ram Jai Ram”, “Om Shanti Om”, etc.

Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.