The Lord’s Prayer: a musical on the life of St. Francis

On December 24th, 2014 – Christmas Eve – the ashram celebrated Christmas in the presence of our beloved Amma by presenting the stories of St. Francis of Assisi and two of his closest companions – Priest Sylvester and St. Claire.

More than 170 ashram residents and visitors from more than 15 countries across the world worked together to perform this musical theatre piece “The Lord’s Prayer”, which included an original script, music and lyrics, dance choreography, extensive hand-painted sets, hand-made costumes, and hand-made marionettes.

This labor of love told excerpts from the lives of these three figures, framed within the context of an individual’s experience with prayer, and how prayer carries us along the spiritual path. They are examples of how an “ordinary” person can leave behind a life based on material prosperity in search of a life centered on God; a life devoted to developing humility, compassion, forgiveness and unconditional love.

The production evoked lines of the original Lord’s Prayer as a refrain, highlighting the truth that the fundamental aspects of prayer have been unchanged through the centuries; we still pray for wisdom and guidance along the spiritual path, and for the grace and strength to persevere in the face of life’s obstacles.

Interestingly Amma was also talking on the science of prayer and its importance in spiritual life {read Amma’s message here} in her Christmas message

The 90-minute production was performed as an offering to Amma and a live audience of several thousand people on the ashram’s main stage. The audience sat spellbound throughout, rapt by the beautiful choreography of dramatic, heartfelt performances, soul-stirring song and dance, and technical and artistic feats including a three-story stage as well as lifelike birds in flight. In the finale, the audience let out a collective sigh of joy and delight as Amma’s oft-visualized prayer that the world be showered with white flowers of peace was brought to life, with thousands of lifelike imitation flowers showered down onto the performers and the audience’s front rows from the rafters above the stage, more than four stories into the air. As the performers took their final bow, the audience rose to their feet and offered a standing ovation and cheers of appreciation.

– Dass