It was another period for Christians to uplift their spirits and obtain anointing, spiritual grace and fulfilment as the Catholic Church recently held third season of its annual praise concert tagged, â€˜Catholic Praise Concertâ€. Held at the St. Leo Catholic Church Ikeja, the Praise Concert is a one-day, Gospel music concert which has become an annual Catholic evening of Praise offering to God for Christians. It features some of the best-known musical talents in the gospel music genre. It featured praise, worship, dance, and special highlight performances.
Creative Director and Producer, Catholic Praise Concert, Peter Egbumokei explained that â€œThe Catholic Praise Concertâ€ is a festival of praise; it is an offering of praise to God. It is an evening when we put aside all our ungodly differences, to gather as Christians. Even though it is a Catholic Church programme, it is opened to all denominations and even to non-Christians. The word of God says that the Spirit inhabits our praise and it is only the living that can praise God and basically we gather ourselves to do just that.â€
Egbumokei who said this yearâ€™s event was the third edition, noted, â€œWe have had a previous edition in 2014, 2015 and the 2017 edition is the season 3 of it. It has been getting bigger and better. This year we have a larger lined up of artists, we have more than 20 artists from different genres and from different Christian denominations to perform.
â€œBasically we are bringing best talents from all over because God deserves nothing but the best. Itâ€™s a Catholic event and we do things the best way no matter what people want to say. Others might have started earlier on but even in the Bible it says that the race is not for the swift, neither is it to the strong. It is the Holy Spirit that gets us going and takes us to the destination where God wants us to goâ€, he said just before the concert kicked off.
â€œIt is not history that we as Catholic are doing this today because we have done the first and second editions and this is the third edition and we also had the unusual praise last year, so it is no longer a case of we donâ€™t, we do now. And like one of our priests once said, â€˜the Catholic Church is like a sleeping giant and when it wakes, everybody had better bewareâ€™.
The unique thing about the Catholic Praise Concert, he said was that â€œCatholic means universal and we are having a universal Christian praise offering unto God. We have a mixed of Catholic and non-Catholic ministering at this concert. We have traditional and, cotemporary that is what is missing in most other Christian concerts, which are usually made up of highly contemporary gospel artistes.
â€œAnother thing is that our concert is not religious entertainment but a liturgical celebration. It is not a feel-good activity for Christians; it is not a Christian substitute for the secular but a liturgical praise offering to God. And we are starting and ending with the Holy Mass and there was adoration too. It is actually a concatenation of the richest and deepest spiritual event that takes place in the Catholic worship on a daily basis and we are bringing and amplifying it at this event. It is an all-night event where you are not paying anything but you are getting everything from God.â€
Speaking on the significance of the Holy Mass held at the concert, Parish Priest of the Host Parish, St. Leo Catholic Church, Rt. Rev. Msgr. John Aniagwu said, â€œWe are starting and ending the all-night praise concert with Holy Mass to indicate how important Mass is to the Catholics. It is the greatest act of worship that has ever been invented by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.â€ In course of the concert, there were different segments of prayers that continued to remind the congregation that the event they are engaged in, was a Catholic programme.