KOCHI: Call it cultural assimilation. Drawing inspiration apparently from the observance of ‘Ramayana Masam’ during the Malayalam month of Karkatakam, the Catholic Church in Kerala is planning to observe December as the ‘Bible Reading Month’ - coinciding with the Christmas fast. It is an initiative of the Bible Commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC).
According to KCBC, the plan is to observe Bible Reading Month in December every year. “December is chosen to highlight the theme ‘word become flesh’. As birth of Jesus Christ celebrated in December, the month is appropriate for the initiative. The faithful await Christmas with prayers and fasting. Reading Bible will enrich prayers,” said KCBC deputy secretary Fr Varghese Vallikkattu.
The KCBC Bible Commission has prepared a chart going by which the entire Bible can be read in a month’s time. Special Bible reading and thinking sessions will be held at families, family unites, parishes and church-run organisations.
Fr Vallikattu was not hesitant to say that the church was inspired by the ‘Ramayana Masam’, practiced by the Hindu community. “It is an Indian tradition to spent an entire month for reading religious books such as Vedas or Ramayana. Ramayana Masam, is one such practice inspired us to think of a month for Bible reading,” said Fr Vallikkattu.
“The initiative is also aimed at popularising bible reading among the faithful as well as general society. The drive is also aimed at propagating different versions of Bible like audio Bible, mobile Bible, desktop Bible and sign Bible for the differently-abled and Braille Bible,” said Bible Commission secretary Fr Joshi Mayyattil.
The programme will be launched at the prize distribution ceremony of Logos Quiz competition on November 29 at the Pastoral Orientation Centre (POC), the headquarters of Catholic Church in Kerala.