Houses of Worship: Bahá’í temples become focal points of commemorations
APIA, Samoa — Just after midnight on Saturday in Samoa, the Bahá’í House of Worship in Apia became the first site among the Bahá’í temples in the world where the centenary was commemorated.
Over the next 19 hours, Houses of Worship in Tanna, Vanuatu; Sydney, Australia; Battambang, Cambodia; New Delhi, India; Matunda Soy, Kenya; Kampala, Uganda; Frankfurt, Germany; Santiago, Chile; Norte del Cauca, Colombia; Panama City, Panama; and Wilmette, United States, became focal points of commemorations, bringing diverse people together for profound reflection on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life.
The collection of images below offers a glimpse of the centenary commemorations held at Bahá’í temples around the world.
Stories about the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were shared by people of all ages.
Earlier in the day, a devotional program was held in the temple.
An interior view of the recently inaugurated House of Worship in Tanna, Vanuatu, during the centenary commemoration.
Attendees arriving for a program held at the temple the morning following the commemoration.
The program was attended by government officials, representatives of national and local councils of chief, and members of civil society organizations.
Government officials, chiefs, and members of the Bahá’í community at the centenary program.
The House of Worship in Sydney, Australia on the night of the commemoration.
Prayers and passages from the Bahá’í writings were read during the commemoration program.
A special program was held at the House of Worship for children, which included children sharing stories about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life.
The temple choir during the centenary program.
Area residents arriving at the House of Worship in Battambang for the afternoon centenary program.
A devotional program at the House of Worship in Battambang.
Participants at the evening program.
New Delhi, India
A night view of the House of Worship, known as the “Lotus Temple” because of its design inspired by a lotus flower.
The centenary program at the New Delhi House of Worship included devotions and readings of passages from the Bahá’í writings.
A choir performs as part of the formal commemoration program.
A view of participants on a guided tour of the temple site, which includes an exhibit about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Matunda Soy, Kenya
Bahá’í writings were then read during a devotional program inside the temple.
The commemoration events also included musical performances by young people.
Residents of Kampala arriving at the House of Worship for the commemoration program.
A view of attendees assembled inside the temple for the devotional program.
Following the devotional program, a gathering was held on the temple grounds where young people shared stories about the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
An aerial view of the House of Worship in Frankfurt at night.
The formal centenary program was held inside the House of Worship.
A special program for children included artistic activities, such as making lanterns.
The House of Worship in Santiago, Chile, at the foothills of the Andes mountains.
The centenary program included prayers and readings of writings from the Bahá’í Faith.
The temple choir in Chile chanting passages of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá put to music, composed for the occasion of the centenary.
Visitors during a guided visit of the temple site, which includes an exhibit about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life.
Norte del Cauca, Colombia
A night view of the local Bahá’í House of Worship in Norte del Cauca, Colombia.
An interior view of temple during the devotional program of the evening.
Children and youth carrying out acts of service on the temple grounds in honor of the centenary, tending to the gardens surrounding the House of Worship.
In the weeks leading up to the commemoration, youth had been gathering at the House of Worship to study the writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and reflect on His life of service to humanity.
Panama City, Panama
Participants arriving at the House of Worship in Panama for the centenary program.
The program included prayers and talks about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life and work.
Attendees viewing a presentation about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in an ancillary building of the temple.
Wilmette, United States
An exterior view of the House of Worship in Wilmette, United States, as attendees arrive for the daytime commemoration program.
An interior view of the House of Worship in Wilmette and a choir performing at the evening program.
An exhibit about the temple’s connection to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was presented. The cornerstone of the temple, placed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during His historic sojourn in North America in 1912, can be seen in these images.