Sunday, 12 March 2017

Flame 2017

Yesterday I participated in the Flame 2017, a one-day prayer and worship organised by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation of England and Wales.  It was held at the Wembley arena.  This is the first time I attended such a programme.  Fr Marco had invited me and I agreed thinking that it was some sort of a prayer service - in silence and in small group or something like that.

However, it was anything but what I initially imagined it to be. But on the whole I liked the concept and the attempt to get young people together in prayer and fellowship.  The best I liked about it was that it was not all about God and piety and some pious rituals.  It was centred around the support of the Catholic Church for the migrants and refugees.

While there was plenty of music and singing (rock and rap - that too quite loud!), drama, interviews, a couple of talks, there was also the concluding adoration service.  It was not more than half an hour, during which there was a moment of silence.  That silence was quite 'loud'!  Nearly 9000 young people in utter silence, praying was truly amazing.  However, I also realised that the silence was a bit 'stifling' in as much as youngsters would not have carried on for any longer than the duration it was!  There was naturally a more spontaneous and joyful participation in the singing and music than in the silence.  On the whole, it was good.

A gathering like this back in India would have solely focussed on the ritual and prayer.  There'd be plenty of talks - long ones at that.  It would certainly have been more pietistic.  I suppose that such a mode of prayer would not really appeal to youth of this generation in the West - at least not the majority.  Therefore little doses of everything is ideal - something better than nothing.  

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