Worshipping In An Ancient Tongue (Eritrean Catholicism)

By | September 2, 2019


The Church is divided in to two liturgies The West and East. Even though we are Catholics, we follow the Eastern Church Rite. The Eastern Liturgy. The origin of our Christianity. What is now Eritrea, Ethiopia is divided by boundaries…but that is a geographical, political issue. You know, if you go to like Ethiopia, Eritrea, you will see monastries, churches From around 12th Century So, even though our great grandparents accepted Catholicism Basically, our ancestors were Orthodox [Christian Orthodox] And after receiving Catholicism, they cannot follow the Western Rites leaving the Eastern They have been practicing the Eastern Rite, the Eastern way, so they cannot…shift That is why we still follow what we call Ge’ez Which is the mother tongue of that time We have our own phonetics. We write from left to right like English. Maybe you’ve seen the Phonetics from Sennai. I mean it goes way back in history, it is one of the oldest languages The priests dress the same as those in the US But hymns, mass, songs..everything is totally Eastern. We have a saint, St. Jared Who is the father of Orthodox..or the Catholic Eastern Church The hymns, the songs, the liturgy..And the rhythm of the drums All of this was invented by him in the 13th Century. Which was long long ago I mean..it is a very rich church culture The [mass] is a little bit long Western church stays for only one hour. Ours stays for three to four hours Q: In terms of basic rituals, are you familiar with the Western Churches Rites? A: Not all of them. You learn that through seminary from white people or white priests coming from Europe and America So the mass would be in English so we are abided to learn that. So we study it..but not like, my mom or my dad. It would be hard for them to follow the Western church.

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