The Arati in the Liturgy Indian or Hindu?



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The arati being performed at Mass at the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, Bangalore, Maundy Thursday, April 2007

Source: http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=32115


Pope John Paul II visited India February 1-10, 1986.

I attended the Papal Mass for dignitaries and special invitees at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, as well as the open-to-all celebrations at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on February 5.

Pope John Paul II once again visited New Delhi, India, 5-8 November, 1999.


February 2 or 5, 1986, Bombay, Delhi or Madras: The forehead of Pope John Paul II being marked with a bindi

Traditionalist groups put out this photograph with the comment that the Pope had had his foreheadanointed by a Hindu ‘priestess of Shiva’.*
*

From the Internet, a Traditionalist YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8nrMDtX9_0 11:45 with audio taken from Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin’s podcast:

During his visit to India in 1986, John Paul II participated in many practices of the Hindu religion. These went beyond simple inculturation and into heretical syncretism, if not worse. One of these instances happened on February 2nd when he received the Mark of Shiva at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi. A certain catholic apologist (Jimmy Akin) first denies John Paul II received this mark. He then further states if John Paul II did receive this mark, so what it doesn't make him a heretic! What does the Catholic Church have to say about behavior like this?
http://www.thephora.net/forum/showthread.php?t=53791 goes even further to say, “This is a photo of the pope receiving the mark of a prayer "aarti" to the Hindu female goddess Durga by a professing Christian Hindu woman.
So what was it, an application of the ‘bindi’ or ‘tilak mark’ on the forehead of the Pope or an ‘arati’ ceremony?

We will return to that issue on pages 11-13.

Meanwhile, you may want to see

BINDI OR TILAK MARK ON THE FOREHEAD-INDIAN OR HINDU?

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/BINDI_OR_TILAK_MARK_ON_THE_FOREHEAD-INDIAN_OR_HINDU.doc

In recent years, the use of the tilak or bindi has emerged in Catholic liturgies across India, riding piggy-back on the arati, the waving of a flame around a person or object during a religious ritual.

Sacrosanctum Concilium and Inculturation of Liturgy in the Post-Conciliar Indian Catholic Church

By Jon Douglas Anderson

"Theology and Inculturation in India" Directed Study, Summer-Autumn 2009, with Dr. Michael Sirilla [Associate Professor of Theology], Franciscan University of Steubenville

http://wisc.academia.edu/JonAnderson/Papers/237033/Sacrosanctum_Concilium_and_Inculturation_of_Liturgy_in_the_Post-Conciliar_Indian_Catholic_Church EXTRACTS

Fr. Amalorpavadassintroduction of arati into his 'Order of Mass for India' included not only the waving of fire, but also of flowers and incense. He noted that all three may be used separately, but are used simultaneously or in conjunction only when worship is thus being offered to God alone. In one passage of his commentary, he described various forms, contexts and uses of the practice of arati:

Arati of flowers (garlanding, placing flowers around, showering petals and waving a tray of flowers with incense stick or oil lamp in the centre).

Arati of incense (in an Indian bowl meant for it).

Arati of fire/flame (with oil or camphor).

[Performing] all three together is called Maharati and is done to God alone. It is done by waving the above from left to right three times before the person/object to whom/which homage is done keeping the person/object always on one’s right hand side.
There are four signs of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist:

a) The gathered community;

b) The president of the liturgical assembly;

c) The Word of God (the lectern and lectionary);

d) The Eucharistic Species (the altar);

To all these Arati is done and homage paid at different moments during the Eucharistic celebration.
Although he makes no reference to it herein, Amalorpavadass’ assertion of Christ’s fourfold presence in the Eucharistic liturgy echoes Sacrosanctum Concilium article 7, which likewise renders explicit this important liturgical truth:

[Christ] is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of his minister, 'the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross,' but especially in the eucharistic species…He is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. Lastly, he is present when the Church prays and sings, for he has promised 'where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them' (Matthew 18:20) (SC 7) (emphases added).

As Christ is present during the Eucharistic liturgy in all of these forms, it is particularly appropriate, given the underlying logic of the 'Order of Mass for India,' that some form of arati should be offered to each of them, and that the most reverential form—the Maharati—should be reserved for the Eucharist itself.

We learn from the commentary of Amalorpavadass that this is precisely the case. He explains that there are, in fact, just such ritualized gestures offered to each (during the Indian Rite of the Mass- Michael):

To the Celebrant-President … Pushparati with a tray of flowers (with a burning wick or incense stick place in it) is offered to the priest as he reaches the sanctuary after the bhajan singing (prior to arati he may be given the tilak with sandal paste and kumkum)…
Addressing himself first to the sitting posture prescribed for observance of the Indian rite Mass, Amalorpavadass articulated several reasons for the desirability of following this prototypical Indian custom, appealing not only to its cultural resonance and historical foundations, but moreover to its most favorable psychological and spiritual effects:

[…] The squatting posture facilitates a greater contact with 'Mother Earth' through which man can enter into communion with the whole universe (cosmos) which is permeated by God’s presence*



*D. S. Amalorpavadass, "The 12 Points of Adaptation in the Liturgy and Their Commentaries." (Bangalore: National Biblical, Catechetical, and Liturgical Centre, 1981).

So that’s the New Age basis for Amalorpavadass’ conjuring up the squatting Indian Rite Mass!?!
In another context Jon Anderson elaborates on a 1978 survey on “liturgical innovations” “(nearly a decade after the introduction of 'the twelve points,') and stored in the records of the NBCLC in Bangalore”:

58% accept them with enthusiasm. They consider that the 12 points enable them to worship God in keeping with the spirit and genius of India. They are conducive for a deeper experience of the Mystery and helpful for maintaining a prayerful spirit throughout. The use of symbols, the chants and bhajans sustain involvement and a contemplative spirit…

89% felt that such elements have contributed to a deeper prayer and worship. They appreciate the Indian atmosphere. They reported in particular that the chants, bhajans and some symbols and gestures helped them to pray better.

Finally, among the remaining respondents, Theckanath reports a mixture of qualified, detailed endorsements and specific criticisms, as well as a minority who expressed outright opposition to liturgical inculturation:


Some oppose inculturation (17%). They feel that it creates confusion. Distinctiveness of Christian worship may be watered down. Some 8% have reservations on the "passive" posture of sitting on the floor throughout the Mass, and others on panchanga pranam, arati, etc. Some others mention that the postures at Mass should [only] be those adopted for daily life. 12 % feel that all of this amounts to Hinduization. They say that the Christian identity will be lost if inculturation is pursued.

He adds, “The common denominator I discovered in the course of my own field research was simply that everyone I asked, from prominent bishops and theologians to the humblest parish priest and lay parishioner had some opinion of 'inculturation,' whether good, bad, or (rarely) indifferent… although one may rightly wonder about the accuracy of statistics and the debatable representative nature of the survey’s sample—whether it might not be skewed toward a relatively more 'elite' clientele which has been exposed to seminars at the NBCLC.

My comment:

I would be more interested in the "12 % (that) feel that all of this amounts to Hinduization (that) say that the Christian identity will be lost if inculturation is pursued". God bless that 12%. May their tribe increase. -Michael  
Jon Anderson continues:

Use of ‘Arati’ in the Mass:

The traditional practice of 'arati', another "Indian* form of homage," is most typically performed by the waving of an open flame before individuals, objects and images worthy of reverence, respect, and/or worship. Because of its prominent and ubiquitous use in inculturated Catholic liturgies, Amalorpavadass took particular care to highlight the multivalent symbolic significance of fire and its uses in worship:

After the community is reconciled/purified it becomes aware of the presence of the Lord. This presence of the Lord is symbolically expressed by the lighting of the lamp. Through the rite, the community is made aware of the illuminating presence of God in their midst. Lamp/flame, though a created object, is a sign of God. In Biblical tradition too, Light/fire is a special sign of God.1 *'Hindu' is the right word.
Describing the oil lamp—a symbol truly ubiquitous in Indian spiritual life, from Hindu temples to the family household, as well as one used for centuries in very many Indian churches—and the touching of the flame (something borrowed directly from Hindu ritual practice and adapted for use in inculturated Indian Catholic liturgies), Amalorpavadass again was at pains to describe their symbolic efficacy and fittingness:

[The oil lamp] is an auspicious symbol of the presence of God and as such it is always used for all social and religious functions…Great care should be taken to see that the flame does not go off due to wind or lack of oil. The lighting of the lamp is done by going round the lamp keeping it always on one’s right.

As the celebrant touches the flame, the community from the place where they are seated (for the sake of convenience) extend their hands towards the lamp and bring their palms towards the eyes or forehead as a sign of acceptance of Jesus Christ as their light. It is not worship of the lamp of Flame/Fire but worship of God symbolized, signified by it. In the Incarnational economy one cannot have communion with God except through signs, and the signs are many.2

In my personal experience at several Catholic ashrams, the flame was, in fact, brought to each individual worshiper so as facilitate his or her actual touching of the flame. In any case, Amalorpavadass here does well to highlight the Incarnational (and thus necessarily physical) nature of Catholic worship, which not only lends itself naturally, but actually demands the engagement of the senses with material symbols of the power, presence, and activity of God.

Once again, however, despite the insistence of Amalorpavadass that Catholics most certainly do not worship the fire, Victor Kulanday (http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_PAGANIZED_CATHOLIC_CHURCH_IN_INDIA-VICTOR_J_F_KULANDAY.doc) sees no redeeming quality in such a practice, accusing those promoting it of inappropriately introducing foreign rituals and illegitimate pagan deities into Catholic liturgy:

Fire Worship: This is done also as a part of the Mass. A temple lamp is lighted wick after wick, offering it flowers etc. and the priest worships the fire in the Hindu way: touching the flame with the tips of his fingers and then brings his fingers to his eyes! [The] congregation is also asked to worship in the same manner. Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Muslims, NONE worship the fire EXCEPT the Hindus to whom Fire (Agni) is a god. And now the misled Catholics of India also do.

Aarathi: This is a superstitious practice to wave lighted camphor along with flowers etc. at a person to ward off evil or the effects of evil eyes. Aarathi is a Hindu goddess* and the invocation is to her. In the Indian mass the celebrant is welcomed with a ceremony based on goddess Aarathi.3

*I don’t believe that there is any truth in this claim that Arati is a Hindu goddess -Michael
Clearly, Amalorpavadass held in high regard objects such as the oil lamp traditionally used in Hindu temples and elsewhere, gestures such as the anjali hasta and ritual practices such as arati, "studying them with sympathy" and finding in them an opportunity to "respect and foster the genius and talents" of the Indian people in the spirit of Sacrosanctum Concilium article 37, whereas Victor Kulanday regarded these same elements of worship as being "indissolubly bound up with superstition and error," appealing to the self-same article of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
Surely, the juxtaposition of these passages within the same article, to which appeals have been made on one hand by advocates and on the other hand by opponents of liturgical adaptations, underscores both the widely divergent uses to which they have been put and the overriding importance of their proper interpretation and implementation. It also highlights again the absolute need for a "competent territorial ecclesiastical authority" to adjudicate such disputes.
Kulanday’s objections notwithstanding, Amalorpavadass’ introduction of arati into his 'Order of Mass for India' included not only the waving of fire, but also of flowers and incense. He noted that all three may be used separately, but are used simultaneously or in conjunction only when worship is thus being offered to God alone. In one passage of his commentary, he described various forms, contexts and uses of the practice of arati:

Arati of flowers (garlanding, placing flowers around, showering petals and waving a tray of flowers with incense stick or oil lamp in the centre).

Arati of incense (in an Indian bowl meant for it).

Arati of fire/flame (with oil or camphor).

[Performing] all three together is called Maharati and is done to God alone. It is done by waving the above from left to right three times before the person/object to whom/which homage is done keeping the person/object always on one’s right hand side.
There are four signs of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist:

a) The gathered community;

b) The president of the liturgical assembly;

c) The Word of God (the lectern and lectionary);

d) The Eucharistic Species (the altar);

To all these Arati is done and homage paid at different moments during the Eucharistic celebration.4


Although he makes no reference to it herein, Amalorpavadass’ assertion of Christ’s fourfold presence in the Eucharistic liturgy echoes Sacrosanctum Concilium article 7, which likewise renders explicit this important liturgical truth:

[Christ] is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of his minister, 'the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross,' but especially in the eucharistic species…He is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. Lastly, he is present when the Church prays and sings, for he has promised 'where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them' (Matthew 18:20) (SC 7) (emphases added).

As Christ is present during the Eucharistic liturgy in all of these forms, it is particularly appropriate, given the underlying logic of the 'Order of Mass for India,' that some form of arati should be offered to each of them, and that the most reverential form — the Maharati — should be reserved for the Eucharist itself. We learn from the commentary of Amalorpavadass that this is precisely the case. He explains that there are, in fact, just such ritualized gestures offered to each:

To the Celebrant-President…Pushparati with a tray of flowers (with a burning wick or incense stick place in it) is offered to the priest as he reaches the sanctuary after the bhajan singing (prior to arati he may be given the tilak* with sandal paste and kumkum); [later] the celebrant receives the tray of flowers and does arati to the community, another sign of Jesus Christ; [during the Liturgy of the Word there is] double homage to the Bible…[which] as a container of God’s Word is now given homage with flowers (garlanding) and with incense. Incensing is done by waving it three times in the form of a circle around the Bible. Garlanding a person as a sign of respect and welcome is a typically Indian gesture; [finally, during the Liturgy of the Eucharist] the Maharati or the triple arati of flowers, incense, and fire is done to the Eucharist as the whole tray is lifted up by the celebrant. At the end of the doxology, the community does Panchanga Pranam as a sign of identification with Jesus Christ in his total self-oblation to his Father and his brothers and sisters. The celebrant himself prostrates (Sashtanga Pranam) which is the greatest form of self-surrender and oblation.5



*See BINDI OR TILAK MARK ON THE FOREHEAD-INDIAN OR HINDU?

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/BINDI_OR_TILAK_MARK_ON_THE_FOREHEAD-INDIAN_OR_HINDU.doc
Evaluation of and Reflection on Postures, “Actions, Gestures and Bodily Attitudes”:

The use by Indian Christians of traditional customs such as the removal of footwear and rites such as arati may reflect what Rev. Dr. Paul M. Collins, an Anglican priest and Reader in Theology at the University of Chichester, has called "unintentional inculturation." His discussion of this factor …in relation to worship is inevitably set against the background of a shared cultural and ritual heritage. An instance of such shared heritage in India is manifested in the tradition of greeting visitors or people of particular significance on a given occasion…the use of garlands and flowers to welcome and honour visitors or particular individuals, and also the use of a sacred flame waved in front of such persons, the rite known as aarti.

One of the issues facing the practice of contextualization/inculturation in India is the attribution of some rites to high caste praxis or to those who favour political or religious 'saffronization.' Undoubtedly an evaluation of rituals in relation to social standing and power-play is crucial. However…it is an over-simplification to attribute aarti to Brahminical practice. The reception and interpretation of rites and ceremonies from any shared heritage is an intricate and complex undertaking, which may require the discernment of local usage in relation to local or wider power dynamics or other external influences.6

There is, without doubt, a wide variety of and significant variance across India in the use of such rites of welcome.

What is important is to recognize that the adoption and/or adaptation of arati by some Catholics is more cultural than religious (though it is certainly appropriate for use in religious contexts) and that, due to its nearly ubiquitous use by Indians across the social spectrum, the rite cannot be ascribed either a high-caste, Brahminical status or attributed to a religio-political agenda of "saffronization", "Hinduization," or "Paganization," Kulanday’s pejoratives notwithstanding.

Whatever objections may be raised against Amalorpavadass’ form of the 'Order of Mass for India' (and have been raised by detractors such as Kulanday), one cannot but admire the genuine reverence which such sustained ritualized gestures convincingly convey, even to non-participant observers, let alone the profound meaning they must surely hold for faithful participants and, perhaps above all, for the celebrant himself. Regardless of the Hindu or otherwise non-Christian origins of some ritualized practices adopted and adapted for use in such inculturated liturgies, the 'language' of Indian postures, "actions, gestures and bodily attitudes" speaks clearly: Christ is present in the Mass (in multiple ways); Christ is lovingly, adoringly and reverently worshipped because truly, Christ is God. Whereas some post-Vatican II liturgies in the west have devolved into overly-active 'festivals,' wherein there is often too little emphasis on solemnity, too little "real [or] actual participation," and too few opportunities for reverent silence, the spiritual contemplation and proper interiorization promoted by the inculturated Indian Mass developed and disseminated by Amalorpavadass has avoided these pitfalls. On the contrary, the very postures, "actions, gestures and bodily attitudes" thus utilized promote at once a physical relaxation and attentiveness, together with a certain psychological and spiritual quietude and receptivity to the mysteries conveyed in the Mass.



Read Jon Anderson’s paper and my response to it at

INCULTURATION OF THE LITURGY AND SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/INCULTURATION_OF_THE_LITURGY_AND_SACROSANCTUM_CONCILIUM-JON_ANDERSON-AND_MY_RESPONSE.doc.
The arati and the application of the bindi or tilak go hand-in-hand:

At the Holy Cross Church, Juhu, in the Archdiocese of Bombay on the occasion of the birthday of parish priest Fr. Lawrence Fernandes, 5th August 2014.

Sedevacantist, Traditionalist as well as Catholic media reported the 1986 incident both with and without the photograph some dating it as February 2, Bombay, others as February 5, Madras. Still others place it at Delhi.
See my report from which I cite certain passages below

HINDU RELIGIOUS MARK ON THE FOREHEAD 13-THE POPE WEARS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/HINDU_RELIGIOUS_MARK_ON_THE_FOREHEAD_13-THE_POPE_WEARS.doc

*http://www.lastgeneration.us/pope%20and%20mark%20of%20shivta.gif (is an example)

http://www.oocities.org/prakashjm45/aarticontroversy.html/http://www.geocities.ws/prakashjm45/aarticontroversy.html (is another)
*There was a discussion in the April 1996 issue of “This Rock” (this answers the question on page 7):

Q: Someone in the schismatic group the Society of St. Pius X told me that when the pope was in India he had his forehead anointed by a Hindu "priestess of Shiva" and that there is a photo to prove it. Is this true?

A: There is a photo of the Pope having his forehead anointed by an Indian woman, but she was a Catholic, not a Hindu priestess! She was giving the Pope a traditional Indian form of greeting known as "Aarti," which has no more religious significance than a handshake does in Western culture.
A letter dated November 22, 1994, from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications explains the custom and its role in Indian society:
"Indian Catholics . . . use 'Aarti' when a child returns home after receiving First Holy Communion and when a newly married couple are received by their respective families. Nowadays, 'Aarti' is often performed to greet the principal celebrant at an important liturgical event, as it was on the occasion shown in the photograph. On such occasions, 'Aarti' is usually offered by a Catholic married lady and certainly not by a 'priestess of Shiva' as has been alleged."
The letter, by Archbishop John P. Foley*, went on to note:
"Use of the 'Aarti' ceremonial by Indian Catholics is no more the worship of a heathen deity than is the decoration of a Christmas tree by American Christians a return to the pagan rituals of Northern Europe."
Your friend in the Society of St. Pius X should check his facts before spreading such malicious gossip about the Holy Father (cf. Acts 23:1-5). He was simply about to say Mass and received the traditional Indian form of greeting for the celebrant. *The original report of Archbishop Foley’s defense is not to be found

Source: http://archive.catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9604qq.asp, http://www.grigaitis.net/articles/scandals.html



http://jimmyakin.com/was-john-paul-ii-anointed-by-a-priestess-of-shiva

http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/did-pope-john-paul-have-his-head-anointed-by-a-hindu-priestess

http://jloughnan.tripod.com/shiva.htm (see article immediately below)

http://www.cin.org/users/james/questions/q003.htm

http://www.christianforums.com/t60746/, http://www.angelfire.com/ma/romewatch/page18a.html

See http://www.kelopi.net/did-pope-john-paul-ii-receive-the-mark-of-shiva-no-youtube/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8aDMFTBcfZg 2:35

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aDMFTBcfZg 2:35
http://jloughnan.tripod.com/shiva.htm (more information):

In the photos produced as "evidence" for the allegation, there is no way of actually SEEING what the mark was. All that can be seen is a woman putting her hand up to the Pope's forehead. How can this be "evidence" that what was produced at the time was "the mark of Shiva" or anything else at all? Anyway, this event (whatever it was) in no way impinges on the dogma of Papal Infallibility, which means that the Pope is incapable of teaching heresy as dogmatic truth, not that he is incapable of sin, of scandal, or of exercising bad judgement. Furthermore, the burden of proof of any allegation rests on the party making the allegation - not upon the defender of the Pope.



Aarti?

Preparatory to the PASTORAL VISIT OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II TO NEW DELHI on 5-8 November 1999, and LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS celebrated by His Holiness POPE JOHN PAUL II, a document was prepared by Piero Marini, Titular Bishop of Martirano, Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. The document was dated 23 October 1999. The following is a small extract:

"...The Votive Mass of Christ the Light of the World is being celebrated precisely because the whole of India celebrates the Festival of Lights on 7 November. It is a happy coincidence.

"The festival is so called because of the illuminations that form its main attraction. The month of Karttika (the lunar month coming between October and November is the twelfth of the year), the most favourable time and atmosphere in the whole cosmos for a great celebration encompassing God, neighbour and nature in harmony.

"This month marks the end of rains and the beginning of new life; people of all walks of life begin afresh. People have time to build up their divine and human relationship under the benign gaze of nature. In the backdrop of this holistic atmosphere the ancestors of India started the non-sectarian feast of lights to celebrate life and thank God for all his blessings and the righteousness of his dealings with human beings.

"The Christian relevance of this festival of lights may be conceived thus: Jesus, who is the light of the world (John 8:12), by his death-resurrection-ascension, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, transferred us from the grip and Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light (1 Peter 2:9) and made us 'Children of the light'. Paul says: 'Live as children of the light' (Ephesians 5:8).

"The Gospel imperative is therefore: Let your light shine so that all people may glorify God. Jesus says: 'you are the light of the world' (Matthew 5:14). Christians celebrate this feast to thank God for this wonderful gift

"Adaptations for India:

"The Mass at the Stadium will have three Indian dances. Two will be at the entrance. The first will be a tribal dance leading the priests and bishops to the podium before the arrival of the Holy Father.

"The second will be a prayer dance leading the Cardinals after the arrival of the Pope into the Stadium.

"The third will be an offertory dance leading the persons with the offertory gifts to the altar.

"At the Doxology when the Holy Father takes the chalice and paten with the host, the Aarati, which is a sign of veneration, will be performed by a group of young ladies. The Aarati will consist of the following: Pushpa arati, waving a tray of flowers with deepak (light) in the center and the showering of flower petals; Dhupa Aarati-the homage of incense; Deepa Aarati-the homage of light, waving of camphor fire and the ringing of the bell..."


MY COMMENTS

1. Apparently, the Pope had been misguided by Indian Church leaders about the significance of the application of tilak on one’s forehead inasmuch the same way as Rome had been earlier misguided by them* about the meaning of rituals like the arati as well as other symbols and practices that were eventually permitted in or have found their way into the Indian rite of Mass.

Apparently, the arati was imposed on the faithful of the Indian Church by means of a well-orchestrated fraud.

*A brief extract (From "The Golden Sheaf", "The Second Publication in the Cardinal Gracias Memorial series – A Collection of articles from The Laity monthly dealing with current ecclesiastical aberrations and written by Indian and international writers of repute" edited by Dr. A. Deva, published by Elsie Mathias for the [Cardinal Valerian] Gracias Memorial publications of the All India Laity Congress [AILC], released at the Inauguration of the Fifth Annual Convention of the A.I.L.C., May 14, 1980 at Tiruchirapalli):

Notorious 12 Points

By Fr. Peter Lobo

The sad story of the notorious 12 points of inculturation is too well-known to deserve repetition. Yet I shall summarize it from the letter of Bishop Gopu of Visakhapatnam in the New Leader 9-7-78:



The 71 members of CBCI were consulted by post at the introduction of those 12 points into the Liturgy, but only 34 Bishops approved them. Despite the need of having two thirds majority for major decisions like this one, an application was forwarded to Rome on the 15th April 1969 and within 10 days Rome's approval was obtained, and the 12 points were imposed on the country, says the Bishop; and he adds:

This approval was based on a misunderstanding, even at this late hour this mistake can be corrected.

I would rather say: It must be corrected. The CBCI must acknowledge its mistake and assuage the hurt feelings of millions of the silent Catholics of India by withdrawing altogether the 12 points so craftily introduced.



For details, see http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_GOLDEN_SHEAF-A_COLLECTION_OF_ARTICLES_DEALING_WITH_ECCLESIASTICAL_ABERRATIONS.doc and

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_TWELVE_POINTS_OF_ADAPTATION_FOR_THE_INDIAN_RITE_MASS-WAS_A_FRAUD_PERPETRATED_ON_INDIAN_CATHOLICS.doc
2. It appears that Catholic Answers/This Rock have committed a colossal blunder.

The "anointing of the forehead" that they refer to is not the welcoming with "Aarti" which they go on to explain, but the application of the tilak or bindi!
3. Furthermore, they and Archbishop Foley are incorrect in their statements that the arati or arati "has no more religious significance than a handshake does in Western culture" and is akin to "the decoration of a Christmas tree" or is areligious. One does not go around performing arati in the manner that Westerners -- and Indians too -- offer handshakes! Arati is reserved for solemn Hindu religious events!
*But initially it was Rome, on the “recommendation “of a few of the Indian Bishops (others had strongly objected to the proposals) under the leadership of Cardinal (then Archbishop) D. Lourduswamy and his brother Fr. D. Amalorpavadass of the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC), that gave the go ahead to and then encouraged the Indian Church to have the arati included in the liturgy:

PASTORAL VISIT OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II TO NEW DELHI

CELEBRATION PHASE
OF THE SPECIAL ASSEMBLY FOR ASIA
OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS

5-8 November 1999



http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/documents/ns_lit_doc_05111999_new-delhi_en.html EXTRACT

IV. The Eucharistic Celebration at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

During this celebration the Holy Father will present to the Catholic Church in Asia the Apostolic Exhortation crowning the work of the Synod of Bishops for Asia. The presence of a number of Cardinals, Bishops and priests concelebrating with the Holy Father will signify the participation of all the particular Churches of the continent. Taking part in the celebration will also be a great number of consecrated persons and lay faithful. […]



Adaptations for India:

The Mass at the Stadium will have three Indian dances. Two win be at the entrance. The first will be a tribal dance leading the priests and bishops to the podium before the arrival of the Holy Father.

The second will be a prayer dance leading the Cardinals after the arrival of the Pope into the Stadium.

The third will be an offertory dance leading the persons with the offertory gifts to the altar.

At the Doxology when the Holy Father takes the chalice and paten with the host, the Aarati, which is a sign of veneration, will be performed by a group of young ladies.

The Aarati will consist of the following: Pushpa arati, waving a tray of flowers with deepak (light) in the center and the showering of flower petals; Dhupa Aarati—the homage of incense; Deepa Aarati—the homage of light, waving of camphor fire and the ringing of the bell.

The two Holy Masses concelebrated by the Synod Fathers at St. Peter’s Basilica were the most significant moments of the Synod.

These Masses were enriched in the spirit of the liturgical reform of Vatican II by the various languages and ritual expressions of Asia. In these celebrations the Particular Churches of Asia expressed their faith, history and tradition through prayer, song, dance, ritual gestures and at the same time they demonstrated their solidarity with the Universal Church, which is manifested by the presence of the Holy Father.




OFFICE OF THE LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF

LITURGY AND BEAUTY

Experiences of renewal in certain Papal Liturgical Celebrations

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/2004/documents/ns_lit_doc_20040202_liturgia-bellezza_en.html#2.2 EXTRACT

#3.5 More recently, for the Eucharistic celebration for the beatification of three great missionaries on 5 October 2003, the following cultural elements were inserted: members of the faithful from different parts of the world accompanied the Book of the Gospels with flowers and incense; as a sign of veneration for the Gospel a ceremonial umbrella was used, typical of the culture of various Asian countries and some regions of Africa; following the proclamation of the Gospel groups of the faithful representing different regions of the world venerated the Book of the Gospels in a way typical of their particular culture; at the presentation of the gifts, the offerings for the sacrifice were carried to the Holy Father in the traditional African fashion; and lastly, the sung Amen following the doxology at the end of the Eucharistic prayer was accompanied by a liturgical rite, the “Arati”, which is part of Indian culture. (We shall shortly see that arati is not ‘Indian’ but ‘Hindu’ –Michael)

February 2, 2004

+ PIERO MARINI


Titular Archbishop of Martirano
Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations
Church Revolution in Pictures

http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A045rcDancing5.htm EXTRACT

New Delhi, India - November 7, 1999 - Visit of Pope John Paul II
At a Mass celebrated at Nehru Stadium, Indian young women bringing the Offertory gifts perform a dance before a large audience.
Indian music and dance mark Papal Mass in Delhi

http://www.ucanews.com/story-archive/?post_name=/1999/11/08/indian-music-and-dance-mark-papal-mass-in-delhi&post_id=14778

November 8, 1999

Songs and dances reflecting India’s rich cultural heritage provided a backdrop to the Mass which Pope John Paul II celebrated with 60,000 people on the third day of his visit to India.

Before the Mass a group of 60 young women danced to a Sadri-tribal-language song as they led 180 bishops, about 800 priests and altar servers to the specially designed dais at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Nov. 7.

The dancers, dressed in cream-colored saris with red borders and red blouses, and wearing white beads around their necks, swayed their hands to the rhythm of drums and singing of the choir.

Cheers from the crowd greeted the pope when he arrived at 9 a.m., while the choir sang the papal anthem.

The pope circled the stadium in the "pope mobile" for about 15 minutes, occasionally raising his hand and waving to the crowd.

Forty young women performing a semi-classical dance then led cardinals of the papal delegation, archbishops and more altar servers to the dais.

The dancers, who wore rose, crimson and blue saris with silver-gray blouses, continued to perform as the pope made his way up to the altar using a special elevator behind the dais.

Once seated the pope held a candle from which five women lighted their candles and then lit a five-wicked Indian brass lamp in front of the altar.

The Scripture readings were in Hindi and English. Three nuns offered garlands and flowers to honor the Book of Scriptures and the lectern before a deacon read the Gospel.
The pope then began his 20-minute homily by referring to Diwali (the festival of lights), declaring that "we too exult in the light and bear witness to the one who is the true light that enlightens every man."

He said that the next millennium will "witness a great harvest of faith in this vast continent." He described the apostolic exhortation "Church in Asia" (Ecclesia in Asia) as "a guide for their spiritual and pastoral life."

The pope, who was visibly tired, held the text of his talk with shaking hands, and read slowly.

Men and women in their national dress then read the prayers of the faithful in seven Asian languages -- Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese.



During the offertory which followed, six Bharatanatyam classical Indian dancers led 10 people from different parts of Asia for the offering of gifts.

During the doxology at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, seven white-clad young nuns performed "arati," a sign of veneration with light, camphor, flowers and incense, to the accompaniment of a Tamil spiritual song.

After the concluding prayer, the pope led the Angelus and a prayer to Mary. Then he greeted the people in Hindi: "Bharat ko ashirbad, Shanti" (blessings to India, peace).

Finally, he handed over the text of "Ecclesia in Asia" to 32 representatives of local Asian Churches. The representatives showed the documents to the congregation, who signaled acceptance of the post-synodal exhortation with a sung acclamation and applause.

The pope concluded the ceremony by blessing the congregation. A planned second circuit of the stadium in the pope mobile was canceled.



See the Traditionalist report with picture above. It incorrectly says, "women bringing the Offertory gifts perform a dance" but the picture shows the arati being performed. The "Bharatanatyam classical Indian dancers" may have led the Offertory procession and not performed during the Holy Mass proper. The other dancers performed tribal dances preceding and outside of the liturgy itself.
'Bharat ko ashirwad aur shanti'

http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/nov/07pope1.htm

November 7, 1999



Interview given by Fr. Pravin Fernandes, coordinator, Catholic Communications Centre of the Archdiocese of Bombay on the Pope’s visit: “Another symbolic gesture of worship to Jesus Christ present in the form of bread and wine is the Indian aarti. We have a tray decorated with flowers, incense sticks and lamps raised in a circular motion in praise.
V. Venkatesan, in The Hindu newspaper group’s "Frontline" magazine, November 13, 1999, reported, “A huge Indian brass lamp stood in the foreground, while bright diyas (earthen lamps) painted on the rising stage decorated the terraced sanctuary. A group of tribal men and women from Ranchi danced to folk tunes as they ushered in the procession of priests and bishops. Bishops of the Oriental rites lent a special colour to the solemn ranks of the clergy.

Other Indian characteristics included the singing of a Tamil devotional song and an Aarti ceremony.

Source: The Pope in India http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl1624/16240830.htm
Whenever the Church mentions arati, they must say “Indian arati” or “
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