Interfaith Musical Tribute Held in Salt Lake Tabernacle: “Voices of Faith: Sacred Prayers and Traditions”

Contributed By Valerie Johnson, Church News staff writer

  • 31 March 2016

Khemera Dance Troupe, representing Cambodian Buddhists, performs at the 14th Annual Interfaith Musical Tribute, "Voices of Faith: Sacred Prayers and Traditions," of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on March 20, 2016.

Article Highlights

  • “Voices of Faith: Sacred Prayers and Traditions” was held at Temple Square on March 20, Palm Sunday.
  • Leaders of various religions all took part in the opening and closing of the musical tribute.
  • Beliefs and traditions from many backgrounds were celebrated through music, song, and dance.

An interfaith musical tribute, “Voices of Faith: Sacred Prayers and Traditions,” was held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square on March 20, Palm Sunday. The annual performance, which featured prayers, music, dances, and short addresses, was organized by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable.

Elder John C. Pingree Jr., an Area Seventy, welcomed the members of the various faiths as the host of the evening. “I cannot begin to express how grateful we are to have you here and to have everyone participating,” he said. “On behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we welcome you here to the Tabernacle. We hope that you feel like this is your home. This is a place that was built for worship, a place that was built for promoting peace and harmony. You being here fulfills its purpose, and we are grateful to have you here.”

Opening devotions were given by Lacee Harris, who represented the Northern Ute and Northern Piute indigenous peoples; Masood Ul-Hasan of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, who offered a Muslim call to prayer; and Alan Scott Bachman of the Utah Jewish Community, who was accompanied by Shofar player Larry Green.

Father Elias Koucos of the Greek Orthodox Church offered an invocation, and Reverend Canon Caryl Marsh of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah spoke on the significance of Palm Sunday.

The Utah Valley University LDS Institute of Religion Concert Choir provided one of nine musical performances that night. Directed by Ryan Eggett, they sang “I Will Rise” and “True to the Faith.” Bonnie Goodliffe, Tabernacle organist, provided the prelude and postlude music.

Performers included the Utah Pipe Band representing the Presbyterian faith, Idlewild Quartet of an Earth-based religion, a Hindu dance troupe, the Jewish group Deseret Wind, the Japanese Buddhist group the Ogden Taiko Drummers, young Whirling Dervishes of the Pacifica Institute, the Cambodian Buddhist Khemera Dance Troupe, and a Burundi drum group.

The benediction was offered by Imam Muhammed Shoayb Mehtar of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, after which the congregation joined in singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

Elder John C. Pingree Jr., an Area Seventy, gives the welcoming address at the 14th Annual Interfaith Musical Tribute, “Voices of Faith: Sacred Prayers and Traditions,” of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on March 20, 2016.

Idlewild, an Earth-based religious quartet, performs at the 14th Annual Interfaith Musical Tribute, “Voices of Faith: Sacred Prayers and Traditions,” of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on March 20, 2016.

Lacee Harris, representing the Northern Ute and Northern Piute indigenous peoples, offers a devotion at the 14th Annual Interfaith Musical Tribute, “Voices of Faith: Sacred Prayers and Traditions,” of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on March 20, 2016.

The Ogden Taiko Drummers, a Japanese Buddhist group, performs at the 14th Annual Interfaith Musical Tribute, “Voices of Faith: Sacred Prayers and Traditions,” of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on March 20, 2016.

A Rwandan Burundi drum group performs at the 14th Annual Interfaith Musical Tribute, “Voices of Faith: Sacred Prayers and Traditions,” of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on March 20, 2016.