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Re:Sextons

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  • Charly V. Padanilam, Houston, TX, indiano
    In olden days the faithful believers came forward to assist the Priests in Churches for the Holy services and they did it as a part of their life in faith.
    Message 1 of 4 , May 31, 2008
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      In olden days the faithful believers came forward to assist the
      Priests in Churches for the Holy services and they did it as a part
      of their life in faith. Later the faithful people who were not
      having sufficient income become the sextons (Kapiyar) and the Church
      leaders helped them with some financial assistance and that made the
      situation to drag them as almost at the level of the helper/servant
      of the priests. Later the post of sexton becomes the post of the
      people who needs a financial assistance and then the people and the
      society degraded the post of the sexton. So people find that to become
      a sexton of the church is not a status symbol and that made the
      majority to be away from that post (Paid Kapiyar).

      In outside Kerala people are not short in assisting the service, as
      many are available for executing the assistance in Holy service, they
      are doing the work of a sexton in the church as a service, but not
      doing any labor work for the priests.

      We need to change the status symbol of the sexton from the present
      position as it has been misinterpreted. Sexton is an important
      person in the Holy service and it should be recognized respectfully.
      So we need to select sextons for the Church and to be trained in the
      seminary and those who are trained should be appointed in the
      churches with a decent salary and they should not be at the level of
      a servant to the Priests. This is what we need to do. If the
      service is satisfied and if the sexton is suitable then he should be
      given a chance to become the deacon and priest in future. And the
      service as a full time sexton for one year in a Church should be
      mandatory to become the candidate for the seminary. That could also
      help to upgrade the post of the sexton in our Church. The sexton
      can lead for the prayer meetings and that may enrich the spiritual
      growth in the Churches. Sexton can teach in the Sunday school, Divya
      bodhanam etc.

      Charly V. Padanilam, Houston, TX.
    • Jose Kurian Puliyeril, Abu Dhabi, indiano
      Dear and Respected Brethren, This refers to the posting of Mr. Charly V. Padanilam in Digest No- 3137. In our Churches in India, we have sextons with the
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 1, 2008
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        Dear and Respected Brethren,

        This refers to the posting of Mr. Charly V. Padanilam in Digest No- 3137. In
        our Churches in India, we have sextons with the beginning of the Parishes.
        In Kerala, the sextons have some other responsibilities also in addition to
        assisting the Priests during the worships. They are supposed to collect the
        monthly subscriptions, ring the Church bell in the morning and evening etc.
        The duties and responsibilities varied from parish to parish. In Malayalam,
        they are known as Kapiyars, and from my childhood time, the elders and
        youngsters alike used to address him as Kapiyarachen, as a mark of respect.
        Kapiyar literally means 'one who rows with the priest' and it heard that the
        term came to Malayalam usage from the Portuguese Language. All the sextons
        in India are paid employees of the Church. Their salaries are usually
        fixed/upgraded by the Parish General Body. (Tips paid by the parishioners
        are additional income of the Sextons) But it is a must to see that they are
        well paid to maintain their families and hence the pay scales of each and
        every parish are to be revised, if the current and existing pay scales are
        inadequate. There is no problem to get a Sexton whenever a Parish might
        require. I don't think there is a misinterpretation for the position of
        Sexton. In many of our Churches in Kerala, the authorities have allowed the
        Sextons to undertake some or other jobs without disturbing his own
        assignments to the Church. Presently Pre-Seminarians are not selected from
        Sextons and they are supposed to spend one or two years in the Dayaras of
        the Diocesan Metropolitans to get all sorts of training. Only those who have
        gained the training with a Bishops Palace/Dayara/Aramana, will be admitted
        to our Seminaries as the new Seminarians.

        Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
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