F. Kabasele Lumbala teaches liturgy at the Catholic Faculty of the University and at the theologate of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, both in Kinshasa, Congo. He shows how liturgy, baptism and confirmation, eucharist, marriage, annointing of the sick, and ordination have all been influenced by African life and culture. Black Africans consider themselves as "oaks grown from ancient stumps." Everything falls under the sway of the ancestors.
Lumbala discusses new rituals of penance growing out of the view that repairing wrongs is a community affair. Those separated by a fight or a long-standing enmity must give a public gesture of communion, such as both parties washing their hands in the same basin. Or if the belligerents had vowed never to see each other until death, they might descend together into a hole dug for the occasion, lie down, and then rise up together speaking positively. These African rites of reconciliation demonstrate how the church can adapt significant cultural traditions for its own purposes.