Songs of Hope

While attending Thursday’s National Day of Prayer ceremony in Lihue, I was reminded of the impact religion can have on music. Divinely inspired hymns of praise are sung to celebrate life and give thanks. These holy songs can provide hope in times of despair and help with healing.

All faiths utilize song to spiritually connect with each other and with a higher power. Various religions utilize simple bells, elaborate organs, stringed instruments, electronic keyboards, primitive drums and even crystal bowls.

Some incorporate devotional songs, often of ancient origin that have been sung or chanted through generations. All different kinds of music get lyrical inspiration from sacred text, like Bible stories and scripture verse.

An angelic message of love, hope and peace will be shared at Kauai Veterans Hall on Friday when legendary reggae superstar Lloyd “Bread” McDonald performs with his Grammy-nominated band, The Wailing Souls.

Growing up in Jamaica, he got his inspiration from being surrounded by members of the Rastafarian religion. As a schoolboy, he would sit in their congregation and listen to them read scripture from the Bible. The message of hope and unity greatly influenced his songwriting.

“Our songs are a message of hope, a message of peace and love,” McDonald said. “We send a positive message at all time to people who are oppressed especially, to let them know hope is always there.”

The musical expressions derived from religious practice can reinforce faith and provide optimism during times of struggle. Kauai residents impacted by the recent flood disaster may even find strength in singing these songs together along their blessed road to recovery.

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John Steinhorst, reporter, can be reached at 245-0435 or jsteinhorst@thegardenisland.com.

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