WelCom February 2018: Members of St Mary of the Angels’ Korean Community – a vibrant part of the central Wellington parish – celebrated ‘Chuseok’ by singing the traditional song ‘Arirang’ during the Offertory at 11am Mass on 1 October last year. They also celebrated by sharing food and giving thanks to their ancestors, especially to the many martyrs who died for their Catholic faith in Korea.
Chuseok is one of the biggest and most important holidays in Korea when families gather to pay respect to the spirits of their ancestors. It was one of the traditional practices rejected by early Korean Christians. The practice was permitted after 1939 when Pope Pius XII decreed such customs were no longer considered superstitious, but were an honourable way of esteeming one’s relatives.