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Liturgical Celebration Not “a show time”, Nigerian Archbishop Cautions, Urges Restraint

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese/ Credit: Courtesy Photo

The celebration of liturgy in the Catholic Church is not a “show time”, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has cautioned, and urged restraint on the part of worshipers and members of the Clergy.

Archbishop Kaigama who was presiding over the Eucharistic Celebration to mark the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), Sunday, June 6 at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Catholic Pro-Cathedral of Abuja Archdiocese encouraged participation in the Sacrament of Penance.

The liturgical celebration, he said, “is not a ‘show time’ or a picnic where worshippers exhibit their stylish disco dance and preachers demonstrate their skills of oratory, accompanied with acrobatic displays, to impress worshippers.”

“Come early for Mass; be in a prayerful silent mood,” Archbishop Kaigama said, and added, “Sing and dance, but aware that we are in the presence of the Lord.” 

He urged restraint in the use of mobile phones during liturgical celebrations saying, “Avoid the uncontrolled use of cell phones or cameras during Mass.”

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Taking part in the Eucharistic celebration requires preparation, the Nigerian Archbishop said, adding, “Sacramental confession is a necessary preparation for the reception of the Eucharist.”

Reflecting on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi during which the real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is celebrated, Archbishop Kaigama said that for the Catholic faithful, the Eucharist is “the effective balm and medicine even during very violent storms, persecution, controversy, scandalous behaviors arising from human weakness.”

While taking part in the Eucharistic celebration, Christians have “no room for individualism,” he said, adding in reference to the Eucharist, “It is a meal of love and unity that excludes no one, no matter how socially disadvantaged.”

The 62-year-old Nigerian Archbishop who was also celebrating his fortieth Priestly anniversary went on to say, “Since my ordination, the Eucharist has been my sustaining force, my soothing balm, and my source of both spiritual and physical energy and my motivation to forge ahead in my priesthood despite the challenges from within and without.”

“The Eucharist is the noblest of all gifts to me. In the last forty years it has been the oxygen of my priesthood,” Archbishop Kaigama said June 6.

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He decried the high levels of insecurity in the West African nation saying, “As we need spiritual food, so we also need daily physical bread. However, in a situation today when farmers are unable to go to farm due to fear of attacks and killings by bandits, kidnappers and terrorists, our food supply will be grossly limited.”

“A hungry man is not only angry but is today uncontrollably violent,” Archbishop Kaigama said and called on the leadership of Africa’s most populous country to “be proactive with palliatives for the inevitable hunger that will result from this.”