Re: Lengthy Church Services
- Dear all,
'No wonder why the Gospel is not preached or cannot be lived. Instead, we
have time to go on for birthday and anniversary prayers and eating in
I agree with you entirely, Mr. George Varghese, Calgary. If we make our worship shorter, it will become a precedent and a pill out of it may be the end result tomorrow. Also, I would like to ask where to cut short. Liberalization of the faith is detrimental like the Roman Church that done in the 1970s. The Holy Liturgy is only a symbolic presentation of the redemptive sacrifice of the Lord in a nutshell. Both epistle readings, explanations of the salvation process, are essential for the budding generations to realize the roles played by the apostles who also laid their lives for the Saviour and the church to grow. we can adopt some ways of bridging these disenchanted groups together without cutting short of the liturgy. Those who want to shorten it will have to sacrifice some portions of the so-called paraphernalia.
1. we used to do the sermons just after reading the Evangelion before. It is
good that we can do the same now, so that the main liturgy part is not reduced. It is also good to understand the lessons and the day's importance by the sermon after the readings. we can still excuse the real late comers till the end of the Creed that takes into mainly the anaphora and the Passions of Lord, death, resurrection, and ascension by the time we reach the intercessory parts that start with 'Basumalco'. He who has very important assignments can leave the church then. As the 2nd coming yet to take place, those who are in a hurry can leave without attending the procession towards the west. However, we cannot cut short of the worship which is vanishing and reaching towards its extinction of Heavenly glorification from this earth, for the sake of the believers.
I would corroborate for the ones who are seemingly aware of the latest trend. Birthday prayers and the like which are lately inducted are the influence of the charismatic denominations. we don't pray for any earthly gains because the Father knows our needs according to one's desert and ability. 'You cannot choose the best, the best will choose you'. Practice only His written commandments and the unwritten laws which are embedded in our physical and inner systems and in Nature, or in other words do the rules of conduct of our life. In Indian Puranas, one character, name forgotten, went into meditation for a long period of time and prayed to Brahman for a gift that he meditated upon. He appeared to at last and asked his demand. His plea was to get the gift of laying his hand on somebody who is to be consumed soon. God cannot break His promise, and ultimately gave the gift.
Then he wanted to test the gift by laying his hand on Brahman......Human mind is like a drunken monkey that put its head in the nest of wild bees. Therefore, only ask which is beneficial to us and others. 'ygan papi, ygan papi....'- I am sinner, I am a sinner....-' is the Orthodox style of prayers. 'Make me an instrument of God, so that I may die as a man of peace' is the style of our prayer. Birthday prayer for one year in advance doesn't last even for one day because he/she may meet an untimely death on the same day. some smart fellows introduced this birthday prayers in the church, so that celebrations and feasts are around the year in the church. Saturday night is the only time free for the flock to celebrate, particularly the 21st birthday. Instead of preparing for the worship we drink and dance and enjoy the time with buchaniyan merriment.
But we fast and pray for the sick and the suffering people during the worship for the forgiveness of sins that make us clean from infirmities and transgressions. When the person is from sins, he is cleansed and the healing takes place by the hand of the Holy Spirit. We are touching this vital points many times in our Liturgy and the 2nd thubden is focused on such people who are under trial and tribulation. It is the time for praying for the departed, not for worldly pleasures. Don't demand all blessings from God, first of all do what God
demand from you.
2. The heretic and pagan elements
such as birthday and wedding anniversary, students examination victories, onam, 'kathakali, Chakkiar Kuth', etc, sports announcements, job -chasing prayers and procurement, camping, picnic, etc that intruded into the church with in a period of last 30 years must be wiped out completely from the church by a Kalpana from the Head of the church. As we live in Jesus and He in us, we have finished placing all our demands by the time the liturgy is finished, Mt.6, 25-34. God the Father knows these; only do become perfect as He is perfect. I can prove these that heretical, pagan and socialization agenda got importance was only for making money, though these were not there when we had no money, except the widow's two pence. Though we try to appease the congregation with the Pharisees' fermented food, thousands are fleeing to charismatic groups. Trying to please the Sunday Club members is suicidal.
But one is free to plead for his grivances and wishes to the the Lord in private, instead of lengthening the worship by washing one's linen in public.
We request Nicholas thirumeni and other hierarchs who read this site to present these burning problems to the Holy Synod and issue a Kalpana from the Catholicose to this effect.
- 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