By Emeka Mamah, Kaduna
CATHOLIC Archbishop of Kano Diocese, Most Rev. John Namaza Niyiring has banned the use of the slogan, â€œHoly Ghost fireâ€ by members of his congregation even as he urged them to return to the churchâ€™sÂ traditional ways of worship.
The ban is contained in the current edition of the diocesan news letter, The Northern Star. The Bishop drew the attention of the congregation to some aspects of celebrating the mystery of faith pointing out that the two principal aspects of masses are the liturgy of the word where Christians listen to Godâ€™s words with their heartsÂ and the liturgy of the Eucharist which they receive with their â€œbody and blood of Jesus Christâ€.
Niyiring therefore, urged priests to highlight on the doctrinal content of the gospel during their homilies at masses and accord less emphasis on singing praises and soliciting for money, while the sermon are made as short as possible.
The Bishop also directed that church music and liturgical dance should be chosen in consideration with the dayâ€™s scriptural readings and the ability of the congregation to join in singing even as â€œostentatious and theatrical dance performancesâ€ should be stopped forthwith.
He further spoke on the celebration of the the sacrament of matrimony within Sunday masses, the holding of night vigils or permanent house fellowships in family houses or homes and urged priests to guide the congregation in those areas.
Niyiring specifically asked priests in the diocese to guide the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Groups and the Holy Name Fellowship to be true witnesses to the churches â€œunchanged faith and unbroken traditionâ€ just as he banned priests from keeping the blessed sacraments in their rooms or travelling with them in their cars
â€œI know the Holy Ghost as the third person in the holy Trinity or Blessed Trinity. Do you have any fire there? What does it signify, the symbol of the Holy Spirit? What is the connection between that phrase and the Holy Spirit that descended like tongues of fire, on the apostles?
â€œWhen people say fire, what do they mean? I have sought for explanations why there is a Holy Ghost fire, thenâ€¦â€, he added.