AFRICA/GHANA - "The Holy Eucharist celebration must always be solemn", admonishes Cardinal Onaiyekan

Thursday, 24 August 2017 evangelization  

Accra (Agenzia Fides) - Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja had admonished Catholics in Africa to keep the Holy Eucharistic Celebration solemn as possible.
The Cardinal spoke at the Official Opening Ceremony of the 4th National Eucharistic Congress in Jasikan diocese in the Volta Region attended by over 10,000 Pilgrims from all the 20 Dioceses of Ghana. The theme for the six days congress was on "The Eucharist and New Evangelization".
Cardinal Onaiyekan recalled that the Second Vatican Council opened a lee way for local churches in different parts of the world to look into the traditional patrimony of faith and religion of their people and creatively bring some of those elements into the celebration of the Eucharist starting with the use of the local languages.
But these should not turn the Mass into a social entertainment or disco. "Even when we beat African drums, it is always important to maintain the solemnity which the Holy Eucharist deserves", the Cardinal emphasized. "In this regard, he added, "we do well to go back to the religious traditions of our people. In going back to our spiritual tradition inspired them to express their faith in God with music and dance that are meant precisely for that purpose and not for any daily social celebration, emphasized the Cardinal.
"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 mind ever before the Christian faith came".
"One of the concerns of this Eucharistic Congress is to work out such a clear program. In every new era of evangelization however, a stable element is the Eucharist celebrated and worshipped, and there can be no evangelization without the Eucharist, and therefore, no New Evangelization that does not take the Eucharist seriously", said Cardinal Onaiyekan
He added that the Catholics needed to creatively come out with new methods to evangelization since there are new possibilities that are now available to us; especially also through the new technology of communication. Cardinal Onaiyekan pleaded with Catholics to put aside the attitude of spiritual laziness, doing little or nothing, or simply trying their best to keep away from sin and escape hell. (A.A.) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 24/8/2017)