Day of Interfaith Chanting Becomes Annual Event in Seattle

February 16, 2002

Source: The Seattle Times

On February 16, 2002, The Seattle Times reported that Joy Carey, a founder of Mystical Chant, expected about 400 people to attend the first daylong interfaith chanting event in 1999. However, "about 800 people came to St. Mark's Cathedral to watch and participate in Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist chants. "We were absolutely amazed at the number of people who showed up," said Carey, a counseling psychologist and Sufic Muslim. "I never expected this to be an annual event." Indeed, next Saturday marks the third Mystical Chant, with about 800 people expected to chant along with groups representing Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism... So good has the response been that organizers are hoping the event can serve as a model for chants in other cities...Chanting is a part of most world religions, with roots that stretch back centuries. The earliest music in the Jewish service had to do with the chanting of the Torah. Development of chanting in Christianity arose in the 4th and 5th centuries, primarily as a celebration of Mass and in the chanting of psalms during daily prayers. Many Hindu Sanskrit chants are devotional prayers to God... The practice of chanting, with its repetitious vocalizing of words or sounds, serves to focus the mind on the sacred and can deepen the spiritual experience."