Nigerians React as Catholic Church in Abuja Celebrates Mass Using African Traditional Materials

  • A Catholic Church in Abuja has triggered massive reactions online after it made use of African traditional materials in celebrating mass
  • The traditional materials seen in the viral photos are clay pots, clay trays, traditional baskets, beads, wrappers as well as white chalk locally called “nzu”
  • This is probably the first time this is happening because many people think of these items as not only fetishes but also tied to some African gods

An Abuja Catholic Church has decided to project the African culture with the deployment of African traditional utensils, decorations and dressing in its celebration of mass. Picture of the mass seen online showed alter boys and girls walking to the alter while clutching clay pots, rafia baskets as well as clay bowls.

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The traditional utensils were used to carry the eucharist instead of the standard silver communion cup. The alter boys and girls were also seen dressed in traditional attires, wearing beads and had their bodies decorated with white chalk called “nzu.”

Nigerians React as Catholic Church in Abuja Celebrates Mass Using African Traditional Materials
A Catholic Church seen in Abuja using traditional materials to conduct mass. Credit: Lindaikejiblog Source: Instagram

The officiating priests also had their cassock designed with African ankara instead of the plain white it is known for. In the photos shared on Instagram, the priest and mass servants were seen proceeding to the altar for mass in the attires.

This apparent break in tradition has attracted massive reactions from Nigerians online. Many see it as a positive development.

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@Prince C. Okosi:

“This is lovely. I understand our protestant family in the body of Christ will be totally confused because they have forgotten their origin and they will call this idol worshipping. But let them be like Catholic Church. Catholic Church is the mother of all churches.”

@dipzongs:

“Anyone that complains about this get mental issue cuz na our real religion be dis before dem come tell us say na how e be be dis”

@patamaka9419:

“Those items are not evil unless u give them evil names”

@iambarthojnr

“Culture is different from religion”

The Bishop said he faced some opposition when he revealed his intention to embark on the project. He said he donated the mosque to the Internally Displaced Persons taking shelter in his church adding that they were treated as humans who need help.

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He said it was a matter of justice for the church to provide a place of worship for the Muslims among the displaced persons.

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