Christchurch mosque shooting memorial performance
As salaam alaykum.
Islam is a religion of peace.
When Muslims greet each other, they don’t say ‘good morning’ or ‘hello. They say as salaam alaykum – peace be upon you. When they part, they say ma’a salaama – wishing that all may go with peace. Tens, hundreds, thousands of times, as Muslims go about their daily lives, they wish peace to those around them.
The peace of our Muslim friends, neighbours, and fellow New Zealanders was shattered on Friday 15 March. As Muslims in Christchurch gathered to pray in peace, hatred and violence were poured out against them. Fifty lives were lost; many more prayer-goers were injured. Families, neighbourhoods and communities were changed forever.
It is the feeling of many local musicians that they wish to respond in some way.
"The only thing that I can do as a musician is make music - and hope that the beauty I find within can reach the souls of others" says Chalium Poppy, Organist and Choirmaster at St Peter's Anglican where two performances of the Rutter Requiem are being rapidly progressed.
Musicians and local choirs have already been contacted, all agreeing to donate their time.
"It is my desire to offer not so much a performance but a musical memorial and reflection for any members of our community seeking something beautiful in this time of horror and tragedy."
Christian and Muslim faiths share a belief in life after death; a requiem mass is a prayer for peace and eternal rest for those who have passed away. John Rutter’s Requiem reminds us that in times of crisis, refuge and rest can come from our faith and our God. Intended to be performed at a funeral service, the requiem reminds us of the freshness of New Zealand’s recent tragedy and the need to acknowledge the depths of the grief felt by the victims of these events, and, to a lesser but still significant extent, by all of us as New Zealanders.
Finally, although the texts are ancient, John Rutter is a living composer – a composer of all our lifetimes who gives voice to our lived experiences. Much has been said and written over recent days about what Aotearoa New Zealand must be and become in the 21st century. We hope that Aotearoa New Zealand will stretch and change for the better as a result of our shared reflection on the tragic events that these performances acknowledge.
FREE community performances - an opportunity to make a donation to "Our People, Our City" set up by the Christchurch Foundation at the request of their Mayor.
As salaam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu – may the peace, mercy and blessings of God be with us all.