BY BENJAMIN TAKAVARASHA
UNITED KINGDOM-BASED Zimbabwean Catholic musical group recently mesmerised worshippers at a Marian Shrine of Walsingham labelled “England’s Nazareth” that dates from the 11th century.
The group was on a retreat organised by a charity organisation called BeholdYourMother and was led remotely by Bishop of Chinhoyi, Raymond Mupandasekwa, who is the patron of BeholdYourMother.
The group sang one of the hymns in Shona with drums and rattle, leaving the audience spellbound.
They made a deep impression that led to two invitations as they were asked to sing at the shrine’s main mass of the day and at midday at the Basilica on Saturday and Sunday.
The congregation consisted of pilgrims from across the country and the service was live-streamed across the globe.
As the group sang on both days from the section of the basilica reserved for them, the appreciation across the congregation was palpable.
The group was requested by the Global Catholic Network, the largest religious media network in the world, to have several hymns of its choice recorded.
They have, however, managed to record four of the hymns.
Ironically, the drum is the main musical instrument in Zimbabwean Christian music liturgy and the generic instrument in the country.
All the more so, it is an instrument historically of African tradition, or as some would say, pagan worship.
The drum was introduced into Christian worship in the early 60s at the behest of Bethlehem fathers, in particular, Bishop Alois Heane, in the old Gweru diocese (serving the Midlands and Masvingo areas).
Initially, there was disapproval from some for the introduction of the drum as an instrument in Christian worship, associating it with pagan worship and as such an act of sacrilege (Leviticus 19:31,20:6).
Thankfully, in spite of the opposition by some, the drum was adopted across all Zimbabwean Catholic dioceses and subsequently adopted by other major Christian denominations.
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