Re: Lengthy Church Services
- Dear friends,
Our present Liturgy is long and we may get so used to it that it might become a lengthy mechanical lip gymnastics with the mind wandering elsewhere. I admit that there are many occasions when my mind has wandered and many others when I come late, either at the beginning of QUrbana or 5 minutes past that.
I have thought a little about this. Should this be shortened? Why do we have the Sunday Liturgy? Looking at our prayer book I realize:Not just to worship God who does not require our worship to either satisfy his position or ego or maintain his might. It is for our preparation to receive the Eucharist. If we really believe that the Eucharist is the body and the blood of Jesus Christ or the transference of His life and power or the Holy Spirit which the priest received through the uninterrupted laying on of hands from Aaron and Moses through John, Jesus and St Thomas, then is time of any concern? Should we not approach the EUcharist with due preparation and awe?
The Njaayaraazcha Namaskaaram and Vishudha QUrbaana Kramam book says after the prayers for the 6th hour or noon that those who are not partaking the Holy QUrbana must say the prayers starting 'Ninne Prasavicha Mariamminteyum' and one Kauma and the Creed and end their worship.
I think the real intention is that all baptised who attend church must also communicate because it signifies a re-dedication to Christ and His Ministry and standing apart is refusing to share.
The Qurbana service used to be private and only for the baptised.
I think even those who for some reason do not want to share in the Eucharist can leave after Prabhathanamaskaaram. But how do they say the other prayers because the congregation goes directly to the readings from the Old Testament and the Qurbana. Perhaps those who want to leave can say the prayers privately. No one has bothered to explain this to us.
In Marthoma Church years ago I have seen the resident students from St. Thomas School being taken out after the Prabhatha Namaskaaram.
Since the notices etc come after the full service, if any one leaves in between, he would miss these.
In practice, most people come after Prabhaatha Namskaram and many after Tubden irrespective of whether they wish to take part in the bread and wine.
The songs of Prabhaatha Namaskaram, especially those of this season are splendid.
I love the song "Daivathin puthrane Mariyam udhanathin shesham thottakkaran pol kandaal thottathil."
Every time I take the trouble to attend the Prabhaatha Namaskaaram, I find myself listening more deeply to these songs. You can find in any church a few who are addicted to these. They have a meaning more than the superficial meaning of the event around AD 30.
Last Sunday I suddenly realized that I was like Mariyam,turning my back on the living God and searching for my Savior in dark and empty tombs.
After ressurrection, Mariyam saw the Son of God in the garden, seemingly as a gardener.
'Why do you weep? Whom do you seek?" "They have taken away my Lord"
He called "Mariyam!."
She ran off to declare to the apostled that the Lord is risen.
It is when He calls us by our name, as He called Mariyam, that we see Him as risen and the cross empty.
No one knows when or how we would hear His call, but the Liturgy helps us recognize His voice and to be prepared to answer, "My Lord and My God."
This is my belief. Listen to the Liturgy is my humble request.
with love and prayers
Susan Eapen, Thiruvananthapuram
- Some of our church members always complains that our service is lengthy. A normal Sunday service with sermon may be arround 2 1/2 hrs only. Most of the members skip the one hour prabhatha namaskaram and some may reach for last half our only. I like to point about a family who always complain about this long service. The aunty was not willing to sit for the marthamariyam samajam after the church. The uncle always cries about giving the nominal monthly collection for the church and skips the other charity collections. Now this family is a member of Heavenly Feast. Aunty goes for whole day Friday prayers even early to participate in the kanji and payar preparation. Uncle knows to pay the monthly deshamsham. Those who complain against the leangthy service, please rethink. Once you participate in holy Qurbana whole heartedly, you will not feel that it is lengthy. God save our church.
Regards, B V Chirathalattu, Vakathanam