A musical canvas to celebrate cultural diversity

A canvas in brilliant tone colours. This is what the regional church is working on which Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will be visiting this weekend.

Music is an integral part of worship in the New Apostolic Church around the globe. This is particularly apparent in southern Africa. The online shop of the New Apostolic Church Southern Africa alone lists 36 CDs. And number 37 is in the works. Its release is planned in the first quarter of 2019 and will have a special focus.

Amalgamation doubles potential

Together in Christ is the name of the new CD. And the name says it all. A still young District Apostle Area is presenting itself in all its cultural diversity. Almost exactly two years ago, the District Churches South East Africa and Cape amalgamated.

This new district is far from being the largest African district. Nevertheless, it covers a vast region: Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Réunion, Rodrigues, Seychelles, St Helena, South Africa with its nine provinces, and Swaziland.

A colourful musical canvas

“The amalgamation of the District Churches Cape and South East Africa did more than just expand the working area of the newly formed New Apostolic Church Southern Africa,” District Apostle John L. Kriel writes in the foreword to the new CD. The merger “also vastly increased the diversity of cultures and languages prevalent among the members to be found in the various countries and regions.”

Together in Christ is a joint effort, a kind of musical canvas, that reflects the district’s diversity for the appreciation of all members of the Church. The idea of the CD was not to achieve tonal excellence, but rather to capture the nature and character of the music used to express devotion to Christ.

One CD, 13 languages

From a stylistic point of view alone, the CD offers an energy-laden mix of styles—from Western Classical and Contemporary styles to African Spirituals. Accompaniment ranges from piano to orchestra and from organ to African traditional percussion. There are also delightful acapella renditions.

The recordings were made in the South African provinces of Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, as well as in the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, and Madagascar. The tracks feature 13 different languages: isiZulu, isiXhosa, Setswana, Tsonga, Malagasy, Portuguese, Shangaan, English, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo, Damara, Lozi, and Herero.

There is music in the air

This is how the brothers and sisters in southern Africa prove what Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider recently made clear in his strategy interview: “The New Apostolic faith can be practised within the most diverse of cultures.”

The Chief Apostle has four important appointments on his agenda this weekend in the South African capital of Pretoria. On Friday, 7 December he will conduct a divine service for ministers and their families. On Saturday there will be a meeting with 27 Apostles and 36 Bishops. The highlight will be the Sunday service, which will be broadcast throughout the District Church Southern Africa.

And of course there will be music. A concert has been planned for Saturday afternoon that will also focus on a special highlight. Included will be the performance of 50 children, who will present a preview of next year’s event. Because the New Apostolic Church Southern Africa has declared 2019 as the Year of the Child. One of the highlights: a district-wide music event at a children’s service in May—with the Chief Apostle.

Article info


Andreas Rother
South Africa, Music