Afro-Centric Mass

My parish is celebrating an “Afro-Centric” Mass in February and I just wondered if anyone had heard of this and if so what does it consist of. Hopefully this thread will not offend anyone or upset anyone. I just wanted to know. Thanks!

never heard of it…but the definition of Afrocentric is…
emphasizing or promoting emphasis on African culture and the contributions of Africans to the development of Western civilization…
perhaps that will help you

It’s probably a Mass that includes traditional African accoutrements.

I doubt you will have to grow an Afro.:smiley:

I have a nice one left over from halloween…

A multi-cultural Afro. Nice.:smiley:

My hubby is of Jewish descent and when he wasn’t in the military he had a nice full afro.:slight_smile: He wanted his hair to grow long and reach his past his shoulder but his afro just kept growing bigger and bigger.

I think that an Afro-Centric(as far as being of African American) mass would be interesting to attend.

Probably a fake African culture thing. It won’t be about St. Augustine of Hippo or Clement of Alexandria.

In my neighborhood they drape the altar with kinte cloth and put banners around showing Black Jesus and Black Mary. They also put out cowrie shells, baskets, and pottery.

Black Catholics I know are embarrassed by it and feel patronized and a little insulted, but it makes Wlhite folks think they’re being inclusive and cool.

I could be wrong about this. In St. Louis (no doubt other places) there is a largely African-American parish at which Masses are perfectly orthodox, but at which the liturgical “extras” are all reminiscent of Deep South Black Protestant stuff. Incredibly beautiful, rhythmic, harmonic, well-rehearsed, haunting hymns; knockout choir robes (and stupefyingly ornate hats on the ladies in the congregation) and a rousing, deeply challenging sermon by an Afro-American.priest. Shouts of “amen” at particularly moving points. Kids dressed up to the nines. All very emotional, joyous yet reverent, worshipful and, well, just neat! Maybe this is what your Afro-Centric Mass will be. For your sake, I hope it is. I’m not black, and I’m as ultramontane as they come, but I think it’s neat!

That would be the way to go about it.:thumbsup:

Thanks for all your comments. I’ll let you all know how it turns out!

Or something that Cardinal Arizne would be ever seen celebrating.

It’s really interesting. We have a very dear friend who is a priest from Cameroon.

I doubt he would be very familiar with an “Afro Centric” Mass either.

I attended one of these Masses in Portland, Oregon, in the mid-1990’s for a Martin Luther King Day service at a predominantly black parish. There was a green, black, and red flag for an altar cloth – in those days, it was the flag of the African National Congress – and matching candles. Before the Mass, a group of children dressed in clothing most modern Africans don’t wear were dancing around with some sort of burning weed which smelled similar to marijuana smoke. The music was done by a local gospel choir and actually wasn’t bad (at least the songs praised Jesus instead of ourselves!) but the homily was pure politics. Although the parishioners were quite friendly, the homily by the visiting priest made me feel very uncomfortable at being one of the few white people in the church. The Church should not be a place of division, and having racially-themed Masses does not help.

An “Afro-centric” Mass? Strange, I thought Christ was supposed to be at the center of the Mass. Silly me!

why do we need a racially themed mass to begin with?

I prefer the Christo-Centric Mass.:slight_smile:

I think their best bet would be to get an indult to celebrate the Zaire Use. It would be stupid, but it would be the most authentically Afro-centric of any Latin rite option.

This sounds great! :thumbsup:

There is a predominately black parish in Rock Hill, about 75 miles from me. Secular newspaper reports say that the mass is very moving and much more emotional and energetic that masses in other parishes. Will try to get up there one Sunday and check it out.


Well said.:thumbsup:

We have large numbers of African-American Catholics here in south Louisiana. We have entire parishes in which the congregation is black. It’s no different from a Life Teen Mass. A properly celebrated NO Mass is still the Mass. The music is the only thing that changes. In my area, Baton Rouge, the music is gospel oriented. Their choir (our local African- American parish) routinely sings for special events at our cathedral. In New Orleans, it’s jazz and Dixieland.

As a matter of preference, the jazz, Dixieland, and gospel music is far more preferable to me than the “muppet music” of most NO church choirs or the “praise” music (aka suitably disguised rock music) of the Life Teen masses.

If polka masses are allowed…

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