Eucharistic Communion and Rituals of Communion in Igbo Culture: An Integrative Study of Liturgy, Faith, and Culture

Doctoral Dissertation


The timely call of the Second Vatican Council for incarnating the Gospel message in different cultures demonstrates an authentic response of the Church to the command of Christ, which is to spread the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Thus, the Catholic Church while conscious of prevalent 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. Part of the Gospel message that needs to be incarnated by the Church in various cultures is the call to Eucharistic Communion of all believers. Eucharistic communion, the core of a Christian’s relational life, expresses communal solidarity, mutuality, and interpersonal relationship. 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. In line with the clear expressions of the theological and relational aspects of Eucharistic communion in terms of thanksgiving, meal sharing, fellowship, reconciliation, and unity, this dissertation relates these themes to the traditional rituals of communion expressed in Igbo culture, for an enrichment of Igbo Catholicism. The study investigates some traditional rituals of communion in Igbo culture, and explores the significance of these communal rituals when integrated into the liturgical life of Igbo Catholics. The rituals used for this contextualized study are rituals that are still prevalent and valued among the Igbo people; rituals that pilot and determine the wellbeing of present and future generations of Igbos. These traditional Igbo rituals of communion that communicate thanksgiving, meal sharing, fellowship, reconciliation, and unity, help to establish a link between the Christian faith and cultural practices which in turn underscore how Igbo Catholics can be truly Christians and yet fully cultural. Therefore 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.


Attribute NameValues
Alternate Title
  • Eucharistic Communion and Inculturation

Author Mary-Reginald Anibueze
Contributor David Fagerberg, Research Director
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Theology
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Banner Code

Defense Date
  • 2016-03-04

Submission Date 2016-04-05
  • Inculturation

  • Liturgical Inculturation

  • Igbo people

  • Eucharistic Communion

  • Igbo religion and culture

  • Rituals of Communion

  • Igbo

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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