One thing stood out above all in a recent visit to Malta. This island nation is an archipelago of a mere 4 small islands – only 2 of which are inhabited – yet it has more churches than there are days in the year. The churches, cathedrals and basilicas also rival famous ones worldwide.
It boasts some of the largest domes in Europe – Mosta has the third largest unsupported dome in the world and the third largest in Europe. Here in my very own Rhode Island, our state capitol has the 4th largest unsupported marble dome in the world.
In part because Paul shipwrecked here on his way to Rome, the country had some of the earliest Christians in the world and to this day 98 percent of the population is Catholic and living a life embedded with faith, actively attending church and participating in religious feasts, etc.
In this milieu of religiosity, it was especially fitting for the male a cappella choir, Oneness-Dream, to perform a free concert of devotional music in a beautiful church in Valletta – the Basilica of Our Lady Mount-Carmel. Striking to me is the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and baby Jesus with an actual crown.
The choir has performed in churches, temples and other spiritual places around the world since their founding in 2011 and its members are students of Spiritual Teacher Sri Chinmoy. Sri Chinmoy composed thousands of devotional songs and many of the lyrics were originally aphoristic and spiritual poetry that he later set to music. The Malta concert included a number of songs where Sri Chinmoy set Christ’s utterances to music, for instance “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” and “I and my Father are one.”
Here are some excerpts of the concert I captured on the video setting of my camera: