Church not in a fight against tradition – Clergyman

Preacher or Pastor

The Universal Church was not established to fight traditional practices but to serve as an enlightenment to mankind to do away with things that contradict modern norms, Reverend Kwame Banahene, Associate Pastor, Tema Community One Presbyterian Church, has said.

He said the Church therefore recognises some of the symbolisms in traditional practices such as naming and marriages ceremonies, “we are not antagonistic to such practices, but the church as a family also has traditions and we encourage our members to adhere to them”.

Rev. Banahene said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema, as the nation celebrates the month of March, with a special focus on Ghanaian Heritage.

The Presbyterian Pastor recounted that, in the past, children were given names on the 8th day of birth and during the naming ceremony the child was brought out early in the morning and laid on the bare floor where dew dropped from atop of the roof onto the child.

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He said the traditional significance was “to inform the child that naked it came and naked it shall return to the maker when the time was nigh”.

Rev. Banahene indicated that, afterward, the child was lifted up and then the traditional leader performed the naming ceremony dips his finger into water and dropped it on the tongue of the baby and the same process was repeated with an alcoholic drink to symbolize truth from lies.

He said the head of the family would then announced the name of the child to all present, then gifts are presented to the child and the mother.

Rev. Banahene explained that these traditional symbolisms are important but within the church system, it has been modified to signify the Christian faith in Ghana.

He further noted that, the only change was the use of alcohol as that had been replaced with non-alcoholic drinks since “Christians were not permitted to take hard liquor.”

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He added, the Church did not mostly have a laid down processes for naming as it all depended on the family.

“As to when and what day they would want the naming to take place and it could even be on the 8th day, the Church would still do it for the family” he said.

Mrs. Gloria Diawuo, a Marriage Counsellor advised that, parents should ensure that they named their children on the 8th day after birth if the child and mother were healthy and without any complications.

She indicated that, in the past children were named on the 8th day as a symbolism that the child had come to stay.

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