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Eucharistic Communion and Rituals of Communion in Igbo Culture

An Integrative Study of Liturgy, Faith, and Culture

Mary-Reginald Anibueze

This book elucidates the dynamism of culture and how cultural expressions are often intertwined with religious expressions. The Catholic Church, while conscious of profound cultural diversities of her members, earnestly seeks to inculturate the gospel message in different cultures for a better expressed, experienced, and lived Catholicism in the modern world. Relational and theological expressions of Eucharistic communion increase in wealth and meaning when Christians of different races and cultures are able to understand the global call to unity and interconnectivity in the world today. Relating the clear theological and relational aspects of Eucharistic communion to the traditional rituals of communion expressed in Igbo culture, enriches both the encountered faith and lived culture. The rituals of communion in Igbo tradition studied, Emume Oji (Ritual Breaking of the Kolanut), Iri Ji Ohuru (New Yam Festival), and Igba Oriko (Reconciliation Ceremony), are still prevalent and valued among the Igbo people. These rituals pilot and determine the wellbeing of present and future generations of Igbo people. An integrative study of liturgy, faith, and culture, establishes the theological and relational aspects of both the traditional rituals of communion in Igbo culture and the Christian understanding of Eucharistic communion, for a truly inculturated Eucharistic theology.