Kirtan (also known as Bhajan) is a form of chant developed in India to heighten participation, communal feeling and ecstatic communion with the divine. Its usual, distinguishing feature is a formula of singing based on call-and-response. The chant facilitator offers something and then the participants return the favor.
As Reb Drew likes to say, “We don’t sing many words, but we sing them many times!”
Kirtan is fully participatory. It breaks down the barrier between “leader” and “listener.” Its improvisational and experimental nature, make it a fun, yet strangely deep game to play — for both adults and children.