ACI Africa, Dec 10, 2023 / 08:00 am
The emphasis of cultural elements over Christian ones during liturgical celebrations is a distortion of the paschal mystery that defines the liturgy, Cardinal Robert Sarah has said.
In his homily during the opening Mass of the pioneer international Congress of African Liturgists that opened in Senegal’s capital city, Dakar, on Dec. 4, Sarah underscored the importance of liturgy to Christians.
“We are working to sprinkle African and Asian elements into the liturgy, thereby distorting the paschal mystery that we celebrate,” he lamented. He faulted prolonged Eucharistic celebrations, saying: “We place so much emphasis on these cultural elements that our celebrations sometimes last six hours.”
The Guinean cardinal, who until his retirement in February 2021 was serving as prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, further lamented: “Our liturgies are often too banal and too noisy, too African and less Christian.”