The beginning of the Kithu Dana Pubuduwa and the beginning of its arts ministry came not at different times but more or less together. In the history of the Sri Lankan Catholic Church Priests in distant and recent history like Fr. Jacome Gonsalves, Fr. Marceline Jayakody, and Fr. Ernest Poruthota who rendered a great service in the conversion of the Christian spirituality which was European in shape and made it more close to the Sri Lankan culture. The Kithu Dana Pubuduwa also was able to follow their example and develop art forms which were definitely Catholic but one which went together with Sri Lankan Art culture.
There were two predecessors in the Pubuduwa Arts Circle. Keerthi Thaaththa in the pubuduwa parlance (Chandra Keerthi Kularatne) was the lyrcist par excellence and Dennis thaaththa (Ivor Dennis) was the Muscian set the songs snd hymns to music. The "Pubudu Geethanjali" or the Pubuduwa Hymn Book is in existence due to their great service. Under their guidance the Pubuduwa music ministry has grown from strength to strength. Also the “Audio-visual service “of the Pubuduwa has been able to most of the hymns on compact discs (CDs) for the listening pleasure of the Pubuduwa membership and others. Upto now the "Pubudu Geethanjali" has 500 hymns in it. Some of the hymns have been permitted to be included in the official hymn books of the Church.
Kithu Dana Pubudu Jaya sakravaya
The Pubuduwa has been the first to be able to introduce the playing of traditional drums and other oriental instruments to the Catholic Church thus making the participation in the liturgy more beautiful and deep. The group of drummers in the Pubuduwa carries the title "Kithu Dana Pubudu Jaya sakravaya". This group has been given the responsibility performing at official Pubuduwa functions and thus glorifying God.
The Pubuduwa Dancing Troupe
A Christian dancing culture integrated with the national culture of dance came on to the stage due to the display of natural dancing talent of our youth in the Pubuduwa Dancing Troupe.The dances also included a few dancers who performed “Bharatha Natyam” displaying unity in diversity. Their performances helped open the hearts of the people who participated to be uplifted to glorify God.
It is not a small task that the Pubuduwa Dance Troupe achieved by not limiting the mission of praising God only through preaching, praising and praying in a limited space but opening it out beyond a meeting hall to a wider audience. The Pubuduwa Dance troupe also has taken a revolutionary step in taking to the streets to raise a relevant voice in support or against a particular social or political situation prevalent in society.
This is another very important section in the Arts Ministry of the Pubuduwa. This is because it is the responsibility of this section to record, preserve and make available to the present and future generations the ability to be informed of the happenings of the past. For the Catholics who heard the scripture readings only once a week on Sundays the ability to read the scripture readings for all 365 days of the year was afforded through the weekly publication of "New Man" initially and later through the weekly publication of "Walk in the Spirit". Also a newspaper named “Dekma” was published to give a Catholic outlook on things happening in the social, political, economic and cultural in the country.
The Kithu Dana Pubuduwa Web Section
In order to spread the word of God, the Pubuduwa experiences and its vision to the entire people of the world Ranjana Kaviratne amma of the Divasi Ekathuwa took steps under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. As a result "The Kithu Dana Pubuduwa Web site" was inaugurated by Swami thaththa (Rev.Fr.Oscar Abayaratne) on Sunday 30th August 2003. This was an important turning point in the Pubuduwa Arts Ministry. The Audio-visual section of the Arts Ministry was taken to a new level. In a world of highly developed technology where the same technology was being abused to harm the mind and heart of man, the audio-visual section of the website launched the web-radio calling it "Divasi Handa" - translated as "The Prophetic Voice". Through this channel 'Revelation of God's Word', Pubuduwa teachings, Aids to prayer, and other spiritual material was broadcast. Also in order to present the programs over the "Divasi Handa" in an attractive manner a Pubuduwa announcing and communication section comprised of youth (girls and boys) was formed. It was of great assistance in developing the Arts ministry to a new level. They also were of great assistance in the conduct of large meetings of the Pubuduwa.
Social Media Presence
The "Facebook" becoming popular in society and the use of the Kithu Dana Pubuduwa Facebook page became a challenge to the Pubuduwa trying to guide the social media onto the correct path. We are in an age where the cool blowing of the christian faith is necessary. The Arts Ministry of the Pubuduwa has been of great assistance to bring near the cool flow of righteousness to put out the fire set aflame by jealousy which is threatening to turn humanity into ashes. We like to stress that the Kithu Dana Pubuduwa which is celebrating its jubilee of fifty years in existence is not limited to prayer, meditation and preaching but that it is the mirror image of a revelation much broader. It has gifted many cultural groups and programs which have in their make-up, qualities of national plus Christian cultural characteristics.
During the recent spread of the corona epidemic when holding of meetings were restricted the pubuduwa carried out their meetings , teachings, retreats and spiritual direction via ZOOM platform. Especially the steps taken to distribute via WhatsApp the daily Walk in the Spirit Reflection in all three languages, Aid to Personal Prayer (My Hour), the first Sunday message to the communities, the weekly message for the Prayer meeting was indeed a giant step taken by the 'audio-visual' section of the Pubuduwa.