06/17/2022 Bangladesh (International Christian Concern) – The Holy Spirit Major Seminary in Bangladesh hosted a national training on liturgy and church music last week. The annual event, commissioned by the Catholic bishops of Bangladesh, returned after a two-year hiatus and boasted 50 participants, including two priests, 11 nuns, and laypeople from eight different dioceses in the country. The trainers presiding over the event educated attendees on liturgy, devotion, and liturgical music. They also showed participants the correct notation for many songs and showed which songs to properly select for various occasions — baptisms, weddings, funerals, and feasts. Those trainees at this event will go out to train choirs throughout the country.
This kind of education is tremendously valuable in Bangladesh because it serves to unify its Catholic community of about 400,000 and educate leaders about traditions and right practices. One of the trainers at the event, elaborating on some of the impacts it would have, explained that Catholics sometimes tend to prioritize singing songs to saints over singing songs to Jesus. “For example, St. Anthony is a popular saint, but he is not more important than Jesus. So when we sing songs for the saint during Mass, it belittles our faith.” An attendee also attested to the event’s impact, describing how she was able to correct many songs that she had been singing with incorrect notations and lyrics for decades.
The unity and passion of the Christian community in Bangladesh should serve to encourage all Christians. As the challenges facing Christians in other South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka become worryingly severe, Bangladesh’s lively and active Christian community, a tiny minority in a country of over 160 million Muslims, is a beacon of positivity. We pray that God will continue to preserve and prosper Christians in Bangladesh.
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