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The Parish Feast Day celebration and its significance

Jul 8, 2015, 11:01 AM | Article By: FR. EDU GOMEZ - Parish of the Resurrection, Brikama

Many parishes have during the year and in the most recent past celebrated feast days. The feast day celebrations are dated in the parish calendar and the feast celebrated together with well wishers.

Many onlookers have questioned the why and how of the feast day celebrations. In the text of the Acts 4:32-37, the moral and background of the feast day celebration is referred.  The early Christian community who embraced their new life and faith, felt that their unity was in gathering their resources where there would be a common fund to help them in their needs. Every one according to the text, brought whatever they had to the apostles and these sold them raised funds for their needs (Acts 4:38). The spirit and heart of the new community of the Resurrection did not decide to keep their belongings to themselves but rather shared among themselves.

In the modern parish community that see themselves as united, they carry out the feast day celebration as a means to bring people together to worship, give thanks and praises at the holy mass celebration. After mass the community gathers everyone for both entertainment and fundraising. Therefore what make the celebration significant are three fold, worship, community entertainment and fundraising.

In many parishes a lot of success has been registered especially in Brikama, Fajikunda, Lamin and Kololi of late.

The communities see the need to come together as worthy and so they do all they can to prepare and do it well.

The parish feast celebration cannot be carried out devoid of the three aspects of worship, entertainment and fundraising. If one sees it as mere entertainment and eating and drinking then one has failed to see its value and meaning. So also for fundraising only, money is important for the needs of the Church but it cannot be the sole reason for the parish feast celebration.

A lot of churches in our time are trying to be self reliant but this can only be if a serious effort is made to bring people together to join hands and support each other in the name of Christ Jesus.

In his final mandate to the apostles, Jesus said “Go then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teach them to obey everything I have commanded you” Matt. 28:19-20.

This mandate of Jesus Christ is what the Church is carrying out in our modern era and so when established, look for the ways and means of sustaining it.  Parishes must therefore seek to sustain themselves and also be able to address the felt needs of their members as the early Christians did.