The catholic mood of this year’s annual Celebration of Cultures Mass was evident not only by the ethnicities represented, but also displayed by the rainbow of colors on the festive traditional clothing worn by the hundreds of worshippers who came to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Sept. 17.With the theme of “Jesus the Light of the World,” the events of the day started with powerful Indonesian dancers performing a prelude to worship dance called Hidup Cerah. Representatives from various ethnic groups later lined up for a procession of cultures, a walking snapshot of the different nationalities that make up a significant part of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.The celebration continued with leaders of the Tetaviam, Chumash and Tongva Native American tribes who offered a “Blessing of the Four Directions” complete with burning sage fanned with feathers. “Jesus, elder brother bring us home,” ended the prayer that was recited with music from one lone flute.Along with Archbishop José Gomez, more than 40 concelebrants were present, including chaplains and spiritual leaders of the various archdiocesan ethnic ministries: Japanese, African American, Croatian, Polish, Chinese — almost too many to count. Much of the Eucharistic Celebration was offered in various languages — the first reading was in Arabic, the second reading in Mandarin Chinese; songs were led in Vietnamese, Tagalog, Spanish and other tongues.“Today, I am reminded again of what makes our great church of Los Angeles so important and vital,” said Archbishop Gomez in his homily. “We are a living sign of what God wants the Catholic Church to be — a family. We are all his children and no one is a stranger to any of us.”Echoing the theme of the day, Archbishop Gomez continued, “We are called to bring the light of Christ to the world…and we prove our love when we serve the needs of our neighbors…to be a child of the light means to be a peacemaker.”In addition, the archbishop encouraged worshippers to “cultivate their own inner spiritual life…and to let that faith burn brightly for others to see.”The prayer of the faithful was offered in a myriad of languages and dialects and during the presentation of gifts, ethnic representatives placed on the altar linens with cultural symbols and designs.After communion, Bishop Alexander Salazar of the Archdiocesan Office of Ethnic Ministry joined Archbishop Gomez in recognizing the chaplains and spiritual leaders. “Thank you for your commitment and we pray God will continue to bless you and guide you in your journey,” said Bishop Salazar. “We share a language of love and may we continue to find Jesus in every aspect of our lives.”Michael Lau, president of the Office of Ethnic Ministry saw the day as, “a microcosm of what the world should be: people of different skin colors and languages living in harmony, living as brothers and sisters of one God. We can disagree and take issue with each other, but we need to learn to accept and live with each other.”After the final song, worshippers left the Cathedral to attend a nearby festival of cultures; outside a rousing mariachi band played. Connie Aguirre and daughter Natalie, parishioners at St. Mary Church in Whittier, were pleased to join in prayer at the Cathedral. “This was our first time coming to this Mass,” she said. “It was wonderful to be reminded of all the people of the world who live here in Los Angeles.” {gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2011/0923/multiethnic/{/gallery}