A Cultural Mass!
Inspired by the Akan and the Christian symbols of SANKƆFA and THE CROSS, the Ghana Catholic Mission at St. Sophien Parish celebrated what we called “Cultural Mass” on 30th June, 2013.
This has to do with the expression of our faith in God and in one another using Christian and cultural symbols. It would be recalled that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI declared this year the Year of Faith.
The Sankɔfa symbol showing a bird with its head turned backwards represents wisdom as learning from the past to create a better future. We therefore attended Mass and the whole celebration of the day wearing our traditional outfits and expressing ourselves in our cultural modes. Prayers, songs, dances etc. were all done to reflect the different languages and dialects represented in the community.
With the Cross Symbol of two bars in their vertical and horizontal dimensions, we realize that our faith in God above cannot be maturely expressed without stretching out our hands to touch one another. Saint Paul defines Christians as one people, in spite of our different nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, social statues and sex; in other words, in Christ we are one. Thus this event was one way of demonstrating, that in our community we do not just tolerate but welcome one another as a family of Christ.
To make the event worthy of the name, it was organized to coincide with the visit of Most Reverend Joseph Osei-Bonsu, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Konongo – Mampong, and President of the Ghana Bishops Conference. The day was also blessed with the visit of Very Reverend Charles Ukwe, OP, Provincial of the Dominican Province of Nigeria and Ghana. A day like this could not have featured well without the presence of Queen Mothers and Chiefs of our various ethnic / family groups who came in their colourful regalia.
The procession into the church to begin the Mass and the whole day’s event was led by a group of young girls and boys in cultural dances from different parts of Ghana. Joined in by the adults, the colourful spectacle set the pace for the wonderful day ahead of us. Three times during the Mass the young group danced to the traditional drums to show gratitude to God for the gift of faith and of one another. Like the apostles of old the people were amazed and excited to hear their representatives pray in their native languages at the Prayer of the Faithful.
After the Mass we saw the celebration rise to its height when the different dishes of food brought by the people reflecting their tribal origins were assembled and shared joyfully.
Then came the general dancing time; different kinds of music, traditional and modern Highlife including the popular Azonto, were played to attract the Bishop, the Priests, the Chiefs, Queen Mothers and all to sweat it out. The event was so much enjoyed that the rain which started before the Mass ended was regarded as showers of blessing for all. It’s no surprise that the people look forward to it becoming a yearly celebration.