Priests compose songs to commemorate Christchurch Mosque tragedy


To mark the first anniversary of the Mosque shooting tragedy, Father James Lyons and Fr Chris Skinner have worked with each other to record two commemorative songs.

Lyons sent a link to the songs to the prime minister with a note saying: “We think these songs could play a part in this current time of remembering.  Here is the link that will enable you to hear them:

He received a reply from the prime minister’s office thanking them on behalf of the prime minister and telling them a copy of the email had been sent to the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Megan Woods, for her information.

One song is inspired by the words used  by Adern at the time of the tragedy that “You are us”; it has the title, We are you

Lyons said You are us was a phrase that sprang up almost immediately after the tragedy, directed at the Muslim community, reassuring them that the rest of Aotearoa-New Zealand stood with them.

“I wanted to place the phrase in the mind of the killer and others who think the same way: ‘You are us  – and we are you.'”

​Lyons said Chris Skinner’s music reflected the theme very well, giving energy to his words, and also emphasising their urgency.

Skinner has written a second song inspired by the outpouring of public support with flowers, resulting in the “Garden in the street”.

“For me, the floral tributes provided a beautiful display to show the Muslim community that they were not alone in their grief and trauma. We were standing with them,” he said.

“My hope is that the song will support and comfort the Muslim Community and that it touches into the hearts of all New Zealanders who stand for peace and believe and uphold the gift of our common humanity.”


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , , ,