No more Nzamuranza

Maddy Kennedy

School Liturgy is a time-honored tradition at BSM. It is a time for students, faculty, and staff to get together and celebrate their beliefs through the words of scripture and the gift of song, but this year students may have noticed the absence of the popular hymn “Nzamuranza” before the reading of the Gospel.

Although “Nzamuranza” has its roots in African culture, the choir first learned of it at the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2007, and since then it has replaced the use of the traditional Hallelujah in school Liturgies until this year.

“Nzamuranza” is a high-energy song that the whole congregation is excited to participate in, and sometimes this energy takes away from the true focus, which is the message of the Gospel. “The purpose of singing Hallelujah is to prepare us for hearing the word of God, and a traditional Hallelujah is simply more relevant for this period of time during the Liturgy,” said Liturgical Minister, Barb Uschold Anderson.

“Nzamuranza” will still be used in Liturgies but at a different part, as a gathering song at the beginning or end of the Liturgy. “It really brings the community together, and that is the purpose of a gathering song,” said Ms. Uschold Anderson.

Members of the choir have begun practicing alternative songs for this part of the Liturgy such as the Honduran Hallelujah. “We are adapting to something new,” said choir director Nancy Stockhaus.