On 9/11 anniversary, group sings prayers for peace, unity

TORRINGTON – “This song links the great prophets,” Wendy Hilsen-Bernard said as she introduced the Arabic song to the crowd. “It’s not often we hear Moses, Abraham and Mohammad in the same breath, and frankly, that’s part of the problem.”

On Saturday, as America mourned the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, about 50 people gathered at Unity in the Foothills Church in Torrington to sing Sanskrit, English, Hebrew and Arabic prayers.

“Musa Musa, Rassoul Rassoul…,” Hilsen-Bernard crooned. “Mohammed Ar Rassour Leilah.”

The song was one of 11 that Hilsen-Bernard and a group of five musicians taught the crowd through a program called Love…Sung. Two of the songs incorporated dances of universal peace, which come from a tradition of sacred movement, song and story.

Hilsen-Bernard, of Brookfield, is a mystic and has spent her life studying more than 200 Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Islamic prayers.

Richard St. Laurent, vice president of the board of trustees at Unity, said the purpose of the event was to promote spiritual diversity, adding that it was an appropriate way to recognize the Sept. 11 anniversary.

He explained that Sept. 11 is also the first day of the 11 Days of Global Unity, which is when the Unity School of Christianity, the Association of Unity Churches International and the Association for Global New Thought join together to promote peace, justice and sustainability.

Hilsen-Bernard explained that by people of various faiths singing prayers and chanting together, one could get in touch with their “true nature, which is divine love.”

“Each tradition has something very, very beautiful to offer us,” she said. “All prayers are good prayers.”

Her hope, she added, is that by praying in various languages together, the group would be able to broadcast a message of unity and peace to the rest of the world.

AnnMarie Cretella, of Waterbury, said she was confident that the prayers the group lifted up would be a blessing to others.

“It all goes back to karma,” she said jokingly.

She added that Hilsen-Bernard’s blissful, peaceful manner made the prayers personal and plans to study with Hilsen-Bernard in the future.

For information visit http://www.blessingsfromwen.com/.

Click here for Flickr photos of this event: http://tinyurl.com/22w78xr.

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