EUROPE/GERMANY - The "Star Singers" recognized as intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO

Friday, 18 December 2015 missionary animation   pontifical mission societies  

Die Sternsinger Kindermissionswerk

Aachen (Agenzia Fides) - For the 58th time, in the days leading up to January 6th 2015, the "Star Singers" (Sternsinger) of the Holy Childhood Association in Germany, will be on the country’s street-corners singing Christmas carols. "Bringing the blessing, to be a blessing. Respect for me, for you and for others. In Bolivia and around the world!" is the motto for this year’s campaign, according to information sent to Agenzia Fides.
"Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The majority of the population has indigenous origins and is still discriminated against ... We want children to learn to respect and appreciate others and behave loyally with each other", says the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies and head of the Star Singers Mgr. Klaus Krämer, commenting on the motto and the symbol country of the initiative.
Dressed in their costumes of Magi, with their Star and their songs during Christmas time and in the early days of the new year the "Star Singers" go around visiting German homes. About half a million children from Catholic parishes in Germany will carry the "C+M+B" blessing ("Christus mansionem benedicat - Christ bless this house") to the families, collecting donations for other children their age who suffer throughout the world. The "Star Singers" collection in Germany has become the largest solidarity initiative in the world, allowing children to help other people their age who are in need.
Since December 4 the missionary initiative tradition of the "Star Singers" ("Sternsingen") is part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. "I am delighted that the efforts of the Star Singers has received such an important recognition", said Cardinal Reinhand Marx, President of the German Bishops' Conference (DBK). "So many children and their carers are a visible sign of an active Church in Germany, which treasures an ancient tradition in a lively manner, in the sign of Christian charity and solidarity with the children who are suffering around the world". (MS) (Agenzia Fides 18/12/2015)