An Igwebuike Approach to the Study of African Traditional Naming Ceremony and Baptism
Numerous African Independent Churches have obviously taken the initiative of adapting the Christian religion to the mentality and lifestyle of the African people. These adaptations have been achieved in the area of liturgy: sacred music, dancing, drumming and the use of African art and local materials at worship. These communities of believers have adapted the devotional prayers and hymns to suit the African mode of worship and needs. However, with recent developments in the area of inculturation, the Catholic Church has also advanced considerably well in the area of Africanizing the Christian message. These advancements notwithstanding, there still remains a wide ground to be broken. And one of these areas of concern is the possibility of a putting together a liturgical rite that combines the rites of naming ceremony and baptism at the same ceremony. This piece, therefore, discusses the importance of such a synergy and the difficulties in its realization. It strongly believes that there is the need for a cultural renaissance for a deeper africanization of the Christian message in such a way that the experience of the gospel message not only finds expression through elements proper to the African culture, but becomes a principle that animates, directs and unifies culture, transforming it so as to bring about a new creation. For the purpose of this study, the Igwebuike Indigenous method of inquiry was adopted to emphasize the relevance of culture as a vehicle for the conveyance of the Gospel message. The theological theory of inculturation has been patronized so as to bring out the theological imperatives for the study.