'A message of peace': Islamic prayer included in Good Friday concert
The Good Friday service at one Charlottetown church included a special guest: an Iranian man who sang an Islamic prayer as part of the evening concert.
The Confederation Centre of the Arts Choral Music Program presented its annual Good Friday concert at Trinity United Church. The choir performed Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, which includes elements from different religious traditions.
'A departure' from typical repertoire
Choir director Don Fraser said the piece is unlike most of the previous pieces the choir has performed.
"It certainly is a departure. We usually do things like Haydn masses or Schubert masses. You know, completely sacred pieces," said Fraser.
Fraser said he was drawn to the piece because of its emphasis on world peace, which he said is a timely message.
"I just think again in terms of world events, it is the hundredth anniversary of Vimy Ridge this year in Canada. So it's timely to present a piece that does recognize the contributions of war, but also it tells a bigger picture of world peace," said Fraser.
One of the components of the mass is an Islamic prayer. Fraser invited Masoud Fahandezhsaadi to sing the prayer. Fahandezhsaadi is originally from Iran, and has lived in Charlottetown for six years.
Fahandezhsaadi explained that the prayer, called the adhan, is the Muslim call to worship which is sung at mosques five times each day.
Friday's concert was the first time Fahandezhsaadi had performed a solo, and he said he was excited to be invited.
Relevant to any faith
Fahandezhsaadi said the message of the prayer is relevant to any religious faith and fits in well for Good Friday.
"All the prophets came from God. And their message from God is peace and safety," said Fahandezhsaadi. "Between Islam and Jewish and Christian, is not different. And other religions, it's not different."
Fraser agreed that the message of the mass, and of the Islamic prayer itself, is fitting for a Good Friday service.
"Again it's a message of peace. The piece brings a message of peace, and as does the prayer," said Fraser.