I just attended an awesome worship concert at the Araneta Coliseum with my friends from the parish, and I was just floored with the music and the ministry of The Katinas!
I admit that I was not so excited to go. I had been to previous worship concerts featuring Christian artists and they had seemed to be more focused on their performance rather than on prayer.
As soon as The Katinas played their first song, I sensed something was wonderfully different with this group. They were attuned to God, and it showed. They were in harmony. They were uber-talented, and it was inspiring to see them sharing their gifts to proclaim God's word.
I was probably the most jaded in our group, but I tried to hide it. I had prepared myself to just enjoy the night and to participate in some songs. I had just prayed the rosary with my parents before leaving for the concert, so I was at my most Catholic best and not really in the mood for a noisy concert that pretended to be about praising God.
I was mistaken. Everything written about The Katinas was true, and they were even better in person. Those five brothers who were born in Samoa, an island in the South Pacific, showed me once more how powerful music was in spreading the good news. Almost everyone sang, danced, jumped, praised, and worshiped with them. Their personal testimonies about how God had moved in their family's life were simply amazing. Their music was what they called "rock and soul", which was rock with a little bit (I'd say a lot) of soul. They could dance, play musical instruments, and sing, sing, sing.
Their versions of popular worship songs got the crowd lifting their hands in praise. The whole coliseum declared Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and we felt free to run and dance, to jump and clap, to sing and pray. The quiet moments moved many to tears, as we listened to their short anecdotes about God's marvelous ways.
What was a bonus was that they brought American Samoa with them, through videos and songs that gave the audience a feel of how their people worshipped God. I liked their use of technology to maximize the worship experience. They connected to the crowd instantly. I had heard foreign artists attempt to say a few Tagalog words (I was a Menudo fan in my childhood), but it was the first time that I heard this said in a worship concert - "Astig kayo!" When they announced that they were all married already, a chorus of sighs was loudly heard across the coliseum, mostly from the women.
My feet hurt from all that jumping and dancing, my voice cracked after all that screaming and singing, but it was worth it. I felt one with other Christians. I felt closer to my brothers and sisters from the parish. They sang one Christmas song and I closed my eyes to their beautiful version of "Oh Holy Night".
Everyone in our group was happy after the concert, and it renewed our desire to proclaim God's word through music in our parish and in our community. We felt so blessed to have been given free tickets to this wonderful concert. It was a real worship experience for all of us.
Katinas, Astig kayo!