Powerful vibes from a small parish – May 6

Students must be applauded – Apr 22
December 18, 2014
Faithful turning out in their numbers – Jun 17
December 18, 2014

Powerful vibes from a small parish – May 6

Powerful vibes from a small parish – May 6 PDF Print E-mail

Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity

By Vernon Khelawan

As an altar boy in the St Joseph Parish in my very early days (those Latin days), I was always intrigued by the ceremony and traditional rituals of the Roman Church in those early years. At the end of Vatican II, the introduction of many changes in liturgy impacted heavily on the local Church. Some of our own home-grown cultural traditions became integral to local worship.

Music ministry saw the introduction of the national instrument, locally-composed hymns and even local variations of traditional Church music. The Trinidad and Tobago Church now had the ability to grow and flourish.

This hit home forcefully last Sunday during Mass at St John the Baptist Church on St John Road, St. Augustine, when I found the celebration unusually lively and upbeat, with the choir, led by Brenda Castillo, singing arrangements by music director Stephan Khelawan on his guitar, ably supported by Ian Timothy on the tenor pan. If I may be permitted to borrow a current phrase, it was truly a “joyful noise”.

This was Trinidad and Tobago culture being played out to the fullest, a real live example of Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity, in keeping with the Second Pastoral Priority of 2009 Synod mandate. As small as the congregation was – St John is the smallest parish in the Archdiocese and is celebrating its 50th year as a parish next month – those vibrations reflected the power of our rich local culture, which can be displayed in our churches.

If this small parish can convey, in a serious way, the need to ramp up our Church services with exciting arrangements, lusty singing and the sweet sounds of traditional and non-traditional instruments, it should not be difficult for the larger parishes to do even better.

Committing to such a project, in keeping with the Synod mandate of revitalising our culture and identity, will see a congregation pleased with itself and its Church, long after the concert series Make a Joyful Noise has ended.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 May 2012 16:28