Reggae Anglicana

St. Gregory the Great told his missionary to the English people, St. Augustine of Canterbury, to “purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be taken over into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible.” [1]

The Anglican Church in Jamaica is following in this tradition according to an article in the Jamaica Observer:

The Anglican church in Jamaica will include the lyrics of songs rendered by two of the country’s most famed reggae artistes – Bob Marley and Peter Tosh – in the next publication of its church hymnal due by the end of the year.

Rector of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Rev Canon Ernle Gordon, made the announcement yesterday at the 2007 Michael Manley awards function for community self-reliance at the Little Theatre in Kingston.

Gordon, speaking with the Observer after the awards, said the songs will be Tosh’s version of Psalm 27 and Marley’s internationally acclaimed One Love, but he said the use of reggae rhythms in the Anglican Church was nothing new.’We’ve been having reggae and mento masses for 25 years,’ he said, noting that One Love was used in an ordination service at the St Andrew Parish Church two years ago.

The reason behind incorporating what is generally referred to in Christendom as secular music into the church book of hymns, said Rev Gordon, was the need to establish a Caribbean interpretation of theology.

‘I don’t live in England; I live here, so my theology and how I think must reflect my cultural morals. The theology has to be Caribbean-oriented. You have to interpret the Bible according to where you are,’ he said. ‘The church in Jamaica is out of date,’ he added.

At the same time, Gordon said the use of the reggae rhythms was not secular, since Anglican theology does not separate the sacred and the secular.

Read the rest here.

One love! one heart!

Lets get together and feel all right.

Hear the children cryin (one love!);

Hear the children cryin (one heart!),

Sayin: give thanks and praise to the lord and I will feel all right;

Sayin: lets get together and feel all right. wo wo-wo wo-wo!

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (one love!);

There is one question Id really love to ask (one heart!):

Is there a place for the hopeless sinner,

Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?

One love! what about the one heart? one heart!

What about – ? lets get together and feel all right

As it was in the beginning (one love!);

So shall it be in the end (one heart!),

All right!

Give thanks and praise to the lord and I will feel all right;

Lets get together and feel all right.

One more thing!

Lets get together to fight this holy armagiddyon (one love!),

So when the man comes there will be no, no doom (one song!).

Have pity on those whose chances grows tinner;

There aint no hiding place from the father of creation.

Sayin: one love! …..

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