Re: Lengthy church services
- This is regarding the issue related to the lengthy services posted by H G Zachariah Mar Nicholovos Thirumeni.
It is a fact that our services are lengthy one and one who can fully under stand the language...IT IS REALLY BEAUTIFUL AND SPIRUTALLY ENRICHING ONE. As far as myself and my family concerned, I can understand about 50% of liturgy in Malayalam and my wife and children could understand merely 10% because the Malayalam words used is very tough 'sahytyam' and most of our common people cannot understand it word by word. However they are involved in it because they are hearing it for years.....without knowing the real meaning.
Think about the new generation people who are studying in CBSE and non resident Malayalees. I know about many of our cousins (though some of them belongs to syro -malabar and Malankara Reeth churches) they prefer to go to Latin services at Trivandrum/Kochi, because there is a perfect time schedule for starting Holy Eucharist and finishing it on time with a slight variation of 15-20 minutes. The language is very simple.
I know many young people at Delhi area belongs to our Church who prefer to go for English services/catechism classes in Catholic or Protestant Churches.
As far as our Church is considered, the situation is very different; leave apart the language problem. There is no punctuality at all. The priests adopt their own way of conducting the service. For instance in our Church...the same Priest... concluded the Good Friday services at 2.30pm last year, whereas, this year it concluded at 4.00pm with same starting time.
He has added some 'Adika Prasangam' in between the services. What is the ultimate result...the poor parishioners were cursing....some from heart and some by exchanging views each other.
The same is with Sunday services...... the starting time is more or less the same and the concluding time varies from 9.00 am to 11.00am for normal Sundays (excluding the lengthy services on Pentecost, Palm Sunday, etc.)
Based on my experience, some of my suggestions:
1. Maintain a punctuality - display the timings and follow it religiously.
2. Avoid (unwanted) repetition of prayers
3. Make language more simple and understandable
4. Avoid " Adika prasangam' .... a speech of 10 minutes is adequate.
5. Display the meanings of the commonly used Syriac words in side the Churches (it is helpful for all people...of all ages....most of our people do not know the meaning of even Amen, barekmor, sthomenkalos, etc etc.....
6. Periodically let the Priests make people understand about various symbolic presentations of our Holy Eucharist being celebrated.
7. Make it compulsory for at least English/ Hindi Qurbana once in a month for the people who are settled outside Kerala. This is very much required for the new generations...otherwise ....the Church will be losing our younger generations very soon.......
8. Even some people will not allow to record the minutes of meetings in English and notices for the Church Perunal and other events in English though they are staying in a non Malayalam speaking place.
This attitude should change. At least there should be directives from our Sabha to use bilingual publications and recording the minutes in English so that the participation of those who are brought up outside Kerala can be encouraged.( This is needed for churches outside Kerala).
Try to study the need of the time and make changes accordingly without compromising the essence of our Prayers.
Hope that our Church and Holy Synod will look into it positively.
With lots of love and Prayers
Rajan Varghese, Noida