Catholic World News

Maintain solemnity of the Mass, Nigerian cardinal urges African Catholics

August 24, 2017

The celebration of the Eucharist should always be solemn and reverent, Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, told participants in a National Eucharistic Congress in Ghana.

“Even when we beat African drums, it is always important to maintain the solemnity which the Holy Eucharist deserves,” Cardinal Onaiyekan said. He said that the liturgical directives of Vatican II allow Catholic communities to integrate elements of their own cultures, but only elements that contribute to the dignity of the celebration. He insisted that African Catholics should “express their faith in God with music and dance that are meant precisely for that purpose and not for any daily social celebration.”

Speaking about enculturation and liturgical celebration, the Nigerian cardinal said:

Now that we need no longer be afraid to dig into the spiritual patrimonies of our ancestors, we would easily find treasures which the spirit of the Lord has put into our peoples’ minds even before the Christian faith came.


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  • Posted by: feedback - Aug. 25, 2017 5:07 PM ET USA

    Thank God for good shepherds like Cardinal John Onaiyekan.