Explanation of the African National Eucharistic Congress Logo

The logo captures very dramatically and colorfully the theme of the African Eucharistic Congress: African Celebration of the Eucharist. The open hands on which the African continent rests symbolize the generosity, hospitality and solidarity with which Africans celebrate important feasts. Africans like to celebrate with singing, dancing and clapping of hands. The out-stretched hands represent these African elements. The out-stretched hands also represent prayer. When Africans pray, they like to lift their hands and direct them to the heavens as sign of total dependence on God’s providence. Theologically, the open hands symbolize God’s protection for Africans- Africa is resting in God’s hands. Africa is, as it were, curved on the palm of God’s hand.

Africa symbolizes the monstrance containing the Body of Christ. Africa in its full color: green for the rich and fertile soils in which the grains and fruits grow, that supply bread and wine respectively, which become transformed into the body and blood of Christ in the celebration of the Eucharist. The green also symbolizes the variety of vegetation and crops that sustain the African people. The waters surrounding Africa symbolizes life. In African culture, water has great religious significance- it is used for cleaning, healing, blessing and in other ceremonies. In the Eucharist, the mingling of water and wine helps us to share in the divinity of Christ Who “humbled Himself to share in our humanity”. Another very important feature on the African continent is River Nile. The Nile flows from the “sanctuary” where the Blessed Sacrament is- in the heart of Africa. The waters nourished the Child Jesus, Mary and Joseph when the Holy Family had fled from King Herod who wanted to kill the Baby Jesus.

The Blessed Sacrament is symbolized by the white circle with letters IHS (Iesus Hominum Salvator = Jesus Savior of Humanity) and the cross. The rays from the white circle, the Host, symbolizing the light of the world represent the gifts that African people take to the rest of the world. The Eucharist is to bring light to Africa and bring to an end of all kinds of afflictions plaguing Africa for instance, wars, disease, poverty, economic and psychological marginalization plus injustices by both internal and external forces. (Logo recreated by: USCCB Creative services)