Liturgy November 13
Therefore, when missionaries are being given training in music, every effort should be made to see that they become competent in promoting the traditional music of these peoples (Vatican Council II, SC 119).
It is said that a sign of maturity in the process of the inculturation of the faith is the production of truly Christian hymns which come from the culture itself. There were moments in Christian history when hymns significantly promoted true Gospel faith (see the Gregorian Chant of the Middle Ages). On the other hand, there were times when hymns contributed to the deterioration of the faith (see the propagation of Arianism through chants). The music of a people expresses its soul. After adequate formation, Christians of a certain culture sing their faith with indigenous melodies, rhythms and musical accompaniment. The Christian liturgy of every place and time should be celebrated with the genius of the local peoples. If the God of Israel could be praised with psalms and the cither of David, why can’t the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be praised with the chant and tam-tam of Africa? If we seek to translate the Word into local languages, why can’t we dance the Gloria with hand-clapping and the percussion of ankle bells? “Shouts of joy and salvation in the tents of the just,” says Psalm 118.
The one who speaks badly of the place where he lives does not stay there a long time. (Shi)
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