“Blessings of the earth Birkat Ha’Adamah/Beneficia Terrae” will take place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Nov. 11

More than 250 Catholics and Jewish choristers and musicians from Southern California will come together at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, November 11 at 7 p.m., for a first-of-its-kind event, featuring prominent composers of both faiths combining their talents to raise awareness about environmental causes.

“Blessings of the Earth” will help strengthen the Catholic and Jewish faith communities as they raise consciousness and funds for the environment. 

The event grew out of an initial dialogue between Jewish and Catholic cantors as they learned together about their ministries.

“What started out as an investigation into the ministry of the cantor in the Jewish tradition, has grown into a Catholic Jewish effort to raise consciousness about global warming,” said Sister Rosanne Belpedio, director of the Office of Worship of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “Over the months of preparation and planning for this event, bridges have been built and relationships formed, which make it possible for us to come together to praise God in song and celebrate the blessings of the earth.  It also sadly gives us the opportunity to mourn the tragic loss of life that has recently taken place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.”

Performers include Christopher Walker, an internationally acclaimed Catholic composer, Bob Hurd, a Catholic teacher, composer, and liturgist in various pastoral and academic settings, Jewish-American singer, songwriter, and music producer Craig Taubman, and Maria Newman, an award-winning Jewish composer. The evening will include a special performance by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Brennan and two world premiere performances of compositions by Walker and Newman.

The event is expected to draw people from across ethnic lines, as songs from various cultures will be featured in the program, including a special tribute to veterans.

“In a time of divisiveness, communities coming together in solidarity sends a strong message of our unity in faith and friendship,” said Sister Belpedio.

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