New Trends of Fundraising in Christian Worship

The Nigerian Pastoral Experience

by Emmanuel Chinedu Anagwo (Author)
©2022 Monographs 236 Pages


The last two decades have witnessed unprecedented trends of fundraising at the Eucharistic liturgy. Accordingly, this book, titled New Trends of Fundraising in Christian Worship: The Nigerian Pastoral Experience, discusses the modern means of raising money and generating income at Christian worship by offering insightful liturgical analyses on the subject matter. It attempts to evaluate the true position of fundraising activities, as part of thanksgiving offerings, during celebrations, by drawing illuminations from the sacred scriptures, from the Church’s tradition and her teachings, and from the Igbo-Nigerian Traditional Religion. Advocating the urgency to curb the excesses of prevalent abuses in the liturgy, this book is timely as it serves to educate, enlighten, and re-orientate Catholics and others on the biblical and liturgical principles of fundraising for the Church’s missionary enterprise.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abbreviations
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Chapter One Introduction
  • Background to the Problem
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Aim and Objectives of the Book
  • Research Questions
  • Scope of the Book
  • Significance of the Book
  • Method of the Book
  • Definition of Terms
  • Fundraising
  • Liturgy
  • Christian Worship
  • Design of the Book
  • Chapter Two General Perspectives of Fundraising
  • Dynamic Nature of Fundraising
  • Evolution of Fundraising for the Church in Nigeria Today
  • Rationale for Ethics of Fundraising
  • Active Participation and Fundraising during Worship
  • Relationship between Liturgy and Fundraising
  • Pastoral-Liturgical Reflection
  • Evaluation
  • Chapter Three New Trends of Fundraising: The Nigerian Pastoral Context
  • Types of Fundraising at Christian Worship
  • Word-Based Fundraising
  • Sympathy Fundraising
  • Inspirational Fundraising
  • Charismatic Fundraising
  • Attraction Fundraising
  • Merit Award-Based Fundraising
  • Stratified Fundraising
  • Need-Based/Anonymous Fundraising
  • Methods (Traditional and Modern) of Fundraising
  • Sunday (Offertory) and Weekday Collection
  • Parish Project/Project Sunday Collection
  • Levying and Pentecost Tax
  • Thanksgiving Offering
  • Tithing
  • Harvest/Bazaar
  • Launching
  • Cathedraticum
  • Pledges
  • Media and Telephone Appeals
  • E-Fundraising
  • Evaluation
  • Chapter Four Abuse of Fundraising in Christian Worship
  • Abuse in the Liturgy Vis-à-Vis Liturgical Abuse
  • Abuse of Fundraising in Christian Worship
  • Towards Reclaiming Fundraising from Abuse
  • Implications for the Church in Nigeria
  • Evaluation
  • Chapter Five Exegesis on Masses for Various Needs 49
  • Oration of Masses for Various Needs and Occasions
  • The Location of the Text
  • Compositional Technicalities of the Common Preface IV
  • Presentation of the Text of the Common Preface IV
  • Analysis of the Text of the Common Preface IV
  • Part One
  • Part Two
  • Part Three
  • Part Four
  • Emergent Themes from the Liturgical Exegesis
  • Fundraising as a Form of Thanksgiving
  • Donation as Collaborative Ministry
  • The Biblical Concept of Fundraising
  • Fundraising in the Old Testament (OT)
  • Fundraising in the New Testament (NT)
  • Church Fathers on Fundraising during Worship
  • Magisterial Views on Fundraising during Worship
  • Liturgical Sources on Fundraising
  • Contemporary Theologians on Fundraising
  • Theology of Fundraising in Christian Worship
  • The Spirituality of Fundraising
  • Evaluation
  • Chapter Six Liturgical Inculturation from Igbo-Nigerian Values
  • Money and Worship: Values from Igbo-Nigerian Society
  • Overview of Igbo-Nigerian Traditional Worship
  • Material Offerings in Igbo-Nigerian Traditional Religion
  • Material Offerings at Eucharistic Celebration
  • Areas of Convergence
  • Areas of Divergence
  • Enrichment with Igbo-Nigerian Cultural Values
  • Evaluation
  • Chapter Seven Practical Recommendations and Conclusion
  • Recommendations to Guide Fundraising
  • Ongoing Liturgical Formation for the Lay Faithful and Priests
  • Adopting the Slogan “All Fingers are not Equal”
  • Biblically-Based with Gospel Values
  • Fundraising as a Sacred Rite
  • Fundraising to be Eucharistic-Oriented
  • Liturgical Decorum and Time Management
  • Appropriate Time for Fundraising
  • Announcing the Specific Intention before Hand
  • Accepting Donations from Foreigners
  • Accountability and Publication of Account
  • Pastoral Plans to be Championed by People of Integrity
  • Provision of Guidelines and Implementation of Sanctions
  • Promoting Self-Support, Autonomy and Communion
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • About the Book
  • About the Author
  • Index
  • Series index

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It is certainly correct to agree with S. Perry who rightly states that “Gratitude is the music of the heart we play towards those who show us kindness in one way or the other. It should therefore be as sincere as possible”. And the best way to express this gratitude is to tell it rightly, to speak it gently, to act it genuinely; to the right person, at the right time, always with common sense, in-depth sincerity and human act. Accordingly, I am grateful that this book is successful because of the various assistance rendered to me in the course of writing it. I am most grateful to God who gave the inspiration to write the book and gave me the protection and good health needed at the time. Relatedly, I thank my past and present students in the Sacred Liturgy Department as well as fans of my liturgical writings, who spurred and challenged me to address these trends, besieging liturgical patrimony and heritage from our generation.

I remain grateful to my emeritus local ordinary, Most Rev. Dr. Hilary Paul Odili Okeke, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, who provided the opportunity for my pastoral ministry in the academic setting and my local ordinary, Most Rev. Dr. Jonas Benson Okoye for his fatherly guidance. My deep appreciation goes to Rev. Fr. Prof. Ikenga K. E. Oraegbunam for his assistance and useful suggestions before writing the beautiful and insightful foreword. The Catholic Bishop of Aba, Most Rev. Prof. Augustine Ndubueze Echema and Rev. Fr. Prof. Patrick Chukwudezie Chibuko planted the seed of liturgical consciousness as my teachers and mentors in the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port Harcourt, Nigeria. They always wished the best from me through their thoroughness, critical assessments against the backdrop, for me, to cherish excellence towards academic, spiritual and pastoral ministries. The Auxiliary Bishop of Port Harcourt, Most Rev. Dr. Patrick Eluke is a father, brother and confidant whom I owe a lot in recent times.

My gratitude also goes to the Acting Rector of CIWA, Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Jude Abidemi Asanbe, the Dean of Theology Faculty, Rev. Fr. Prof. Ferdinand Nwaigbo. I am equally indebted to Rev. Frs. Drs. Peter Danjuma Uchu and Victor Usman Jamahh, who are my worthy colleagues in the ←13 | 14→Sacred Liturgy Department. I am grateful to all the academic staff of the Institute for all the teaching and learning experiences we shared together. Specifically, I am thankful to Rev. Fr. Dr. Ignatius M.C. Obinwa whose regular interactions, conviviality, comradeship, deep insights and encouragement helped to make the work more focused and coherent. I appreciate the unequalled kindness and ever-ready assistance of Mr. & Mrs. Emeka Umunnakwe in actualising this book project.

I also appreciate Rev. Fr. Dr. Anthony Oyeniyi who sheltered me in his parish, Catholic Church of Pentecost, Ilasan-Jakande, (Lagos Archdiocese), Lagos State, Nigeria to spend part of my Summer holidays from 9th to 23rd September, 2021. Not only through his insightful and lively discussions and essential documents handed over to me, I was able to collate, read and synthesize the materials garnered in the course of some years now on this subject matter. I am also grateful to my biological family members. They include Ezinne Theresa N. Ogige, Mr. Augustine U. Anagwo, Mrs. Monica Nkiru Adumekwe, Mrs. Rita Nkem Ezenwa, Mr. Joseph Chidiebele Anagwo, Mrs. Perpetua Chika Orji and my late parents, Mazi Gilbert and Madam Felicia Anagwo (Nee Egboluche) and my late sister and brother, Lady Kate Ohaekwe and Mr. Cyriacus Chukwuemeka Anagwo. I cannot forget my ever-supportive in-laws, Mr. Mike Ezenwa (Maco), Mr. Damian Adumekwe and Chief Emeka Orji (Kotoka) for their financial and fraternal support. My deep sentiments of gratitude also go to Rev. Fr. Francis Ubong who painstakingly proofread the entire work. Lastly, I am indebted to the numerous others for the pieces of advice and assistance I received from them in the course of writing this book, especially the editorial team, African Theological Studies of Peter Lang International Academic Publishing Group. I particularly register my appreciation to Dr. Hermann Ühlein (Senior Commissioning Editor) and Suresh Selvamani (Production Manager). May God bless them all. Daalunu!

Emmanuel Chinedu Anagwo, PhD (Sacred Liturgy), PhD (Philosophy of Education), STL, MTh, MED, BTh, BPhil, BA, DIP. Edu, DIP. Lat.

Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA),

Port Harcourt, Nigeria,

1st October, 2021,

Solemnity of Our Lady Queen & Patroness of Nigeria.


Divine worship is God acting to bring His life to humanity and to get humanity to participate in His life. The idea of worship is not simpliciter an activity of assembling together in a holy place, singing choruses in common and listening to a preaching. While these activities may foster worshipfulness, the act of worship itself is much more than an activity. Worship is the deeper and transcendent connection between God’s heart and the heart of a believer. Christian worship specifically involves God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ and through whom man/woman responds to God by, among other things, joyfully ascribing all praise and honour, glory and power to the Triune God. In Christian worship, man/woman recognizes God present in the world and in his/her life. This exercise admits of no aberration even while working for the means that would aid worship, such as money.

Surely, the Church needs money in order to foster worship and make the environment conducive for it. She needs money to, for instance, set up and maintain places of worship, presbyteries, retreat/pastoral centres, seminaries, religious houses, etc. She needs money to run her institutions, remunerate the staff, and take care of the clergy and consecrated persons (Presbyterorum Ordinis 21). Money is necessary for the training of personnel, mission work and works of charity, etc. In fact, giving is how God intends his work to be financed (2 Cor 8-9). The Church needs money and such need does not in any way weaken her authenticity as Church; for money is not necessarily evil but could indeed be a blessing from God (1 Chron 29:12).

Fundraising by the people of God for the work of God is not of any recent origin. The Sacred Scripture is replete with antecedents and examples. Moses, at God’s command (Exod 25:1-9), called on the Israelites to make contributions to the work of the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments (Exod 35:4-19). The people responded positively, bringing much more than was needed such that they were restrained from bringing more (Exod 35:20-36:7). David asked the people of God to make contributions in preparation for the building of the temple by his son Solomon (1 Chron 29:1-5). Jesus Christ himself was positive about ←17 | 18→giving (Matt 5:42; 25:31-40; 6:1-4; Luke 11:41; Acts 20:35). As he watched people putting money into the treasury, he did not condemn the act but rather praised the poor widow for giving all she had to live on (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4). He only railed against unjust collections (Matt 21:13-14) and placing unnecessary burdens upon the shoulders of the poor (Matt 23:4). While Christ did not directly appeal for fund, he received for himself and his apostles, all manner of provisions from the people (Luke 8:1-3). When the Jerusalem Church found herself in serious financial constraints on account of persecution and the famine of 44 AD, the other Churches in the Mediterranean region had to raise fund and come to her assistance (Acts 11:27-30). Paul, who himself, received aids for his ministry (Phil 4:10-20), organized collections in Macedonia, Achaia and Corinth for the Church in Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:1-4; 2 Cor 8 and 9). The examples can go on and on.

St. Clement of Rome (circa 90 AD) wrote to those who went to prison voluntarily to ransom others. Writing in 390 AD on the spirit with which the Christians gave, John Chrysostom had this to say: ‘They did not dare to put their offering into the hands of the needy, nor give it with lofty condescension, but they laid it at the feet of the apostles and made them masters and distributors of the gift…. Thereby the givers did not become arrogant.’ So, not only that everyone gave his support contributing something, the mind with which they gave is worthy of note, namely, without any air of arrogance or condescension to the poor. They also gave freely, without any compulsion. For the early Christians, their collections had a sacred character. They considered their fundraising for missionary and charitable work to be a leitourgia, that is, a sacred function (2 Cor 9:12; Phil 2:30). They considered their giving and fundraising as an act of worship, their material offering representing their offering of themselves to God. Their collections were also a koinonia, a ‘community’ of goods, a symbol of Christian solidarity and a means for engendering that solidarity. For all this, they gave willingly, out of love and with joy. In fact, in the post-Vatican II Church, the Code of Canon Law at Canon 222 states that the faithful should provide what is necessary for divine worship, apostolic and charitable works and the sustenance of its ministers.

The above mindset is, however, not always the case in modern-day fundraising in the Church. Rev. Fr. Dr. Dr. Emmanuel Chinedu Anagwo, an expert and a Senior Lecturer in Sacred Liturgy, observes that there are ←18 | 19→recently sundry abuses that have crept and still creep into Christian public worship. These abuses and how they can be curbed constitute his subject of discussion in the book ‘New Trends of Fundraising in Christian Worship: The Nigerian Pastoral Experience.’ The author was driven into reflection by the ‘wanton and persistent abuses in the liturgy that have gripped Christian (Catholic) worship in recent times’. Fundraising during Mass takes various forms and appears under various names such as seed-sowing, family thanksgiving, Sunday of blessing, covenant thanksgiving, project Sunday, effort Sunday, state harvest, regional harvest, sign-for-me cards, raffle tickets, family tree, cathedraticum, etc. The author’s concern derives from the reality of the emergence of condemnable practices connected to fundraising activities which pose the risk of undermining the essence of Christian liturgy. Such practices include, inter alia, multiple monetary collections in one liturgy, undue emphasis on the fundraising activities to the detriment of the main aspects of the liturgy, employment of improper methods and phraseology in raising funds. The author quickly observes that ‘nothing is wrong when fundraising is properly conducted especially outside the confines of worship’.

The book is organized in seven chapters setting out in chapter one the background, the problem and the aim, among other preliminary discourses. The work in Chapter Two takes up the discussion of fundraising in general perspectives placing it, as it were, within the ecclesiological, ethical, liturgical, and theological traditions. Chapter Three exposes the new trends of fundraising, stating the types and methods of operation within the autochthonous and local pastoral context. Chapter Four dwells on the abuses proper together with their implications for the Church in Nigeria. Chapter Five of the study is on the liturgical exegesis on the oration of Masses for Various Needs in the light of thanksgiving and fundraising, concentrating, of course, on the themes and theology of the Preface IV. The purpose is of course to further explain the theology and spirituality of fundraising within the liturgy. The Chapter also systematically demonstrates the evolution of fundraising precisely as a history of an instance of collaborative ministry within the Church. The sixth chapter takes up the very important subject of inculturating fundraising in Christian worship in relation to some practices in Igbo traditional religious contexts with the aim of enriching the Eucharistic Liturgy with Igbo cultural values. Chapter Seven contains ←19 | 20→practical recommendations that would resituate and reinstate fundraising as really an act of Christian worship after shedding the existing aberrations.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2022 (July)
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2022. 236 pp.

Biographical notes

Emmanuel Chinedu Anagwo (Author)

Emmanuel Chinedu Anagwo has completed his PhD (sacred liturgy), PhD (philosophy of education), STL, MTh, MED, BTh, BPhil, BA, DIP. Edu, and DIP. Lat and hails from Akokwa in Ideato North Local Government Areas of Imo State, Nigeria. As a Catholic priest from Nnewi Diocese, Nigeria, ordained on 4th August 2001, he currently teaches sacred liturgy at the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port Harcourt, Nigeria.


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