Hanoi, Vietnam, Apr 19, 2019 / 15:48 pm
While the Stations of the Cross are a worldwide Lenten devotion for Catholics, the faithful in Vietnam have an additional practice that blends ancient traditional chants with Catholic prayer and meditation on the Crucifixion.
"The 'Ngam Nguyen' are…a unique Vietnamese Catholic practice of intoning a series of meditations recounting the Passion of Christ," said Fr. Anthony Le Duc, national chaplain for the Vietnamese community in Thailand.
Fr. Duc told CNA that the intoned meditative chants, called "Ngam," describe the suffering of Jesus. Designed to help people enter more deeply into the experience and emotions lived out by Christ during his Passion, they have been adapted from folk traditions integrated with prayers prepared by missionaries who came to Vietnam in the early 16 -17th century.
There are a total of 15 Ngam meditations recounting the excruciating pain and suffering that Jesus underwent as he was arrested, put on trial, and crucified at Golgotha.