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Stunning! Watch this Muslim woman sing “Ave Maria” in tribute to friendship


“I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Out of Indonesia, a beautiful testament to the power of friendship, even amid growing tensions between religions, and we can see it thanks to the same social media that all too often brings us messages that are full of hate, or intolerance.

I don’t know who this Muslim woman is, and I know nothing about her friend, Chatarina (Katharine) Suyanti (or, perhaps Suyati?) beyond the fact that she was a Christian woman who died, and was buried after a requiem Mass at the Bogor Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

And that as the Mass ended, and Chatarina’s casket was being prepared for removal, her Muslim friend paid tribute to her by singing, quite beautifully, the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria.

I wish we’d heard those last notes.

Twitter translate via Bing: Requiem Mass at the Cathedral in bogor. Ya this muslim berhijab, extraordinary chanting Ave Maria for her best friend, Yanti Marhadi yg died.

Muslims, of course, do revere and honor Mary, but they do not see Jesus as the Christ, so this song, in this place, is no small thing. It’s a beautiful tribute to a friend.

According to this translation at Coconuts,

Facebook user Facebook user Budi Soehardi explains that a friend had seen the woman in the video singing at the funeral service for her best friend, Chatarina Suyanti. “That (Monday) morning, I attended the requiem mass at the Bogor Cathedral Church. As a last honor (before they closed the casket), the song ‘Ave Maria’ was sung by a female soloist wearing a hijab with a tremendous feeling of appreciation. That is the beauty of friendship that doesn’t focus on the differences.”

Beautiful. Made my day.

“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend”

– Albert Camus

Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-at-Large at Aleteia and the award-winning author of Strange Gods, Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life and Little Sins Mean a Lot: Kicking Our Bad Habits Before They Kick You. ​
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