Inculturation of Eucharistic Celebration

Inculturation of Eucharistic Celebration: The Eucharist is first of all a sacrament of love and it reveals us God’s love for all human beings – man and woman, young or old, poor or elite, and so on. According to Benedict XVI, “Holy Eucharist is the sacrament of charity and a gift that Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God’s infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that “greater” love which led him to “lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).”
Eucharist in the Context of Chin Unity: Adaptation of Eucharistic celebration must be integrated in the life and culture of the Chin People so as to promote unity and peace where there are divisions among Chin Christian people based of different tribes, dialects, cultures, and beliefs. Inculturation of Eucharistic celebrations within the Chin context would inspire and encourage people to witness the virtues of love and communion, unity and harmony among the Catholics. The Eucharist is meant for unity and reception of the communion is also meant to unite. St. Paul made clear that; “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we are partakers of the one bread” (1Corinthians10:17).
Fernandez clearly confirms that “The liturgy of the Eucharist— challenges us to effectively unite ourselves to others, not only as we present our gifts, but also as we pray that these gifts be into Christ.” In Eucharistic celebration, we gather together uniting ourselves with Christ in a sense of unity in diversity as one Bread and one Body. In this regard, Benedict XVI summarizes, “the important essence of the Eucharist is the essence of universal unity.”
In order for the Chin Christians to be true to themselves, they must change their attitudes to overcome their prejudices and divisions in all circumstances. Chin missionaries and pastors must dialogue with experts in the fields of religious sociology and cultural anthropology so that they would understand and experience harmonious communion. In order to promote such unity and harmony among the Chin people, Inculturation of Eucharistic celebrations into Chin culture would be encouraged.
Eucharist in the Context of Chin Family: Eucharistic communion could be the model of the cultural values for the Chin family. First and foremost, the Church leaders need to identify the core values of the Chin family, and examine how those inherent Chin family values enrich Eucharistic celebrations. The inculturation of the Christian faith in Chin family is the basic foundation of inculturation. In fact, in a Chin Christian family, every evening, everyone gathers together to pray. Gathering together at the dining table and praying together will constitute an atmosphere of a permanent dialogue and understanding between different generations and foster an intimacy between parents and children. Characteristically, the Chin family is well bonded, where every member is cherished and appreciated. Therefore to promote effective Inculturation of the Eucharist in the State of Chin, the family life would be the target to develop apostolic ministries because all the missions of the Church starts in and from the family. John Paul II wrote in his teaching on the value of human life, “within the people of life, the family has a decisive responsibility. Here it is a matter of God’s own love, of which parents are co-workers and as it were interpreters when they transmit life and raise it according to his fatherly plan”
In the family life, children are trained to eat together in union. The presence of everyone during the meal is highly respected. This is the basic Chin cultural value as a close relationship in a sense of solidarity in the community. This communal life becomes special in their social structure of Chin people. This community spirit and values could be best understood if integrated in the Eucharistic celebration among the Chin People. John Paul II expressed, “Family is the normal place where the young grow to personal and social. It is also the carrier of the heritage of humanity itself, because through the family life is handed down from one generation to another generation.”
Thus, in order for the Christian faith of the Chin people to be rooted in the Eucharist, all Catholics should be warmly welcome, paid respect, showed love each other in the celebration of the Eucharist. The image of the Church should be pictured and promoted as a great family of God, where Jesus Christ as the head. Therefore the shepherds of the Chin local Church are challenged to lead and establish a model Church as an extended family of God.