Carnival service at Archbishop’s House

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(Originally published to the T&T Newsday on Friday, February 24 2017)

A clean, wholesome version of Carnival was celebrated yesterday afternoon on the grounds of Archbishop’s House, Maraval Road, Port-of- Spain.

The event, first held last year, was attended by children from the Lady Hochoy Home and Marion House for Boys, among others. Seated on white chairs in the driveway as cars drove past around the Queen’s Park Savannah, the children enjoyed a performance by the cast of the play, Carnival Medea — a Bacchanal, a calypso from Lord Superior, a pan performance by Johann Chuckaree, and readings from the Bible about moments of celebration and joy.

Chief Celebrant at the Carnival Service, Father Robert Christo, told Newsday that a reading from John 2: 1-12, was chosen because it talks about “Jesus celebrating the wedding feast, celebrating joy.” “Celebrations have always been a part of Christian tradition, this is why we must celebrate and encourage the clean, wholesome, fun parts of Carnival (while) condemning the behaviour, the lewdness, the excessive drinking.” Christo explained that through this and similar services, the Catholic Church is providing “an alternate way of celebrating the festival. We must recognise that if we don’t control Carnival, Carnival will control us. This is about interjecting something very positive, uplifting, in the midst of the more lewd aspects of Carnival.” Newsday also spoke with Rhoma Spencer, co-playwright of Carnival Medea. She said Christo saw the play at the Little Carib Theatre.

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