6 July 2024 at 00:00:00 JST

A structure full of symbolism: the altar connects the one bank of the river with the other. This is how young people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo celebrated their preparation for the service for the departed. Here is the story behind the image.



More than 4,400 people attended the divine service last Sunday. The young people from the megacity of Kananga had brought chairs with them to sit on and set them up on both sides of the Nganza River. The altar at which Apostle Adrien Ngolaminga conducted the youth service had been built on a specially constructed wooden bridge directly over the water.


The divine service was based on 1 Thessalonians 4: 14: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” The service was conducted in preparation for the divine service for the departed this Sunday.


And this is how the young people understood their special sanctuary: the two banks of the river symbolise the realms of the living and the dead, between which God positions Himself to give them a river of grace that ultimately leads everyone to the first resurrection.


But there is an even deeper meaning to the image: the service for the departed bridges this world and the beyond. The sacraments, which have been instituted for both sides, are administered on the living via proxy in order to unfold their salvation-bringing effects on the dead.

Author: Katrin Löwen, Andreas Rother


nac.today: New Apostolic Church International