In East Africa we try to find creative
ways to celebrate and inculturate missionary feasts such as the Epiphany,
Pentecost and World Mission Sunday. One way is to pray the Our Father
together in different languages especially in one’s first or heart language that
might be an African language such as Swahili, Kikuyu, Luo, Luganda or Chewa or
an international language such as English or French. This recalls the first
Pentecost Sunday described in the Acts of the Apostles and shows the
universality of our church. Different African languages can also be used for
the Prayers of the Faithful during the Eucharistic Celebration, a "Sunday
Service Without a Priest," the weekly Bible Service of a Small Christian
Community (SCC) or any prayer service. Also the congregation can use different
African (and world) languages in exchanging a sign of peace.
way to symbolize our missionary solidarity with people around the world is to
substitute the word "food" for "bread" in saying the Our Father. Many
African languages do not have a word for bread that is still unknown to many
African people whose staple food is yams or corn meal or unsweetened bananas.
Even in many countries in Asia the staple food is rice. Thus in many languages
the translation of Matthew 6:11 is "Give us this day our daily food."
This global solidarity also reminds us of the millions of people around the
world who only have one good meal a day and other people who experience famine
such as in African countries that regularly have severe drought.