Messages there are reinforced by a broader, national publication, The Catholic News, which also covers Arima events in occasional articles on its own website. On the other hand, by selecting a parishioner, a non-Carib, as the radio commentator, this also allows the Church an inside edge, that is, an edge over the Caribs who are politely treated as mute participants from whom, and about whom, we rarely hear during the ceremony itself. Over the years, the Church has utilized the Festival to offer sermons that seem to promote a very basic theme, one that could be summarized as: "you aren't Caribs now so much as Catholics, and Trinidadians, so forget the past and remember your devotion to the Church." Sometimes the message is subtle, and sometimes it is abrasive and blunt, like today's ceremony by chief celebrant Father Clyde Harvey, although even here, as we shall hear, the message can sound quite confused, perhaps deliberately so.
[ADDENDUM, posted 28/08/2006: I had forgotten to bring attention to one of the other gems of exaggeration and distorted representation featured by the church, and its radio commentator, during this mass. Soon after the mass commenced, I was initially delighted, though a bit puzzled, to hear of "the proclamation of the gospel in Amerindian". In Amerindian? The entire congregation would do so? I wondered what that could mean. Well, what it means in fact is that the church's own choir would now play at being Amerindian, and without much in the way of effort or imagination either. What they did was to set the Hallelujah to stereotypical tom-tom music. My personal recommendation to the church and its choir: leave the job of being Amerindian to the Amerindians.