Friday, March 05, 2010

Ancestral Worship

Being born and raised as a Catholic does not means that we are not allowed to pay respects or worship our dead ancestors, as the Church recently tells us.

Since last year during the Chinese New Year mass typically held on the First Day of the Lunar New Year, the priest has announced that Catholics can participate in the ceremony of paying respects to our dead ancestors.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Most of the modern families are of mixed beliefs these days; where the both parents are of different religions and therefore, it is inevitable when you see altars of worship in the houses of Catholics.

The Church understands this and tries to blend into the culture; by giving a new idea to respect the Scriptures at the same time.
Being Catholics does not mean we are not able to fulfill filial piety as well, and we have to acknowledge the fact that we are here today because of our ancestors.

It is therefore not wrong to pay them respects.
Sure, in the Bible, it is mentioned that we are not to worship any other objects or deities except God himself or we are Pagans.

Therefore, it is an important to note that when we pay respects or participate in the worship ceremony of ancestors with our family/relatives, we are merely acknowledging our ancestors and we should not believe that their spirits still dwell within the ancestral tablets on the table nor should we see the tablets as direct representations of our ancestors themselves.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
That would be a violation as we are praying TO the tablets; and believe that they hold divine power.

We are also allowed to hold joss sticks, and place them as a form of respect for the ancestors and also for the ceremony.

Fruits are also offered as a symbol and as part of the ceremony.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
It is definitely a new evolution approach taken by the Church to blend into the different cultures in the world and to be friendly to the cultures practised around the world without prejudice.

I think it's pretty interesting and it is definitely a good way to show that we respect other religions and cultures without any discrimination.
Furthermore, the respect for ancestors is compulsory as we are standing here today because of their existence and teachings in the past to form us, the future generations who will continue the legacy of the family and of mankind.

1 comment:

Stan Lim said...

Hey Christy,

I totally agree to your views in this article.

Some Christians are holier than thou on this matter.

As a liberal Christian, I believe in giving respect in any form without compromising my faith to God.