Florida devotional honors Aretha Franklin as ‘soundtrack for our lives’

September 19, 2018
Florida devotional honors Aretha Franklin as ‘soundtrack for our lives’

Baha’is living near Orlando, Florida, came together Aug. 25 to offer neighbors a devotional gathering of prayers and songs recalling the impact of the late Aretha Franklin on their lives.

Sanford, Florida-area residents gather for a devotional to remember the life and impact of Aretha Franklin. Photo courtesy of Rosemary Closson

“Many brought their friends and relatives to this remembrance of Aretha,” says Rosemary Closson of Sanford. “They came to share prayers and appreciate her music once more upon her passing. Most of us were of an age where Aretha’s music had been a soundtrack for our lives. We could each recall places, both physical and emotional, where we were when certain songs were popular.”

Baha’u’llah’s writings call music “a ladder for your souls” and encourage an attitude of “joy and radiance.” Aretha’s music, Closson says, “did that for many people. … I think primarily we organized the devotional out of gratitude for a voice possibly heard once in an era.”

June Robinson presented an overview of the Queen of Soul’s musical career and Arthur Robinson interspersed musical selections and videos of significant performances.

“We shared prayers for the departed and gratitude for having been fortunate enough to grow to maturity accompanied by her powerful and beautiful voice,” says Closson.

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