Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Haasa Week 2003 with H.G. Dr. Mathews Mar Severios

Expand Messages
  • Sony Alexander, Dallas, TX
    This year, our church, St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church, Dallas, Texas had the great pleasure of having His Grace Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, Metropolitan
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 23, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      This year, our church, St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church,
      Dallas, Texas had the great pleasure of having His Grace Dr. Mathews
      Mar Severios, Metropolitan of Kandanad officiating over all our
      Haasa Week programs from Hosanna to Kymtha. I had the fortune of
      spending a lot of time during the week with Thirumeni, directly
      seeing his approach to the various prayers and services. Truly, I
      am amazed and stunned at his level of dedication and discipline
      complete all the prayers, and services in their entirety inside the
      church itself. Nearly every song in the Holy Week was sung and all
      the prayers were read; very little was omitted if anything. This
      year, I saw many different aspects of a Holy Week service which I
      have never experienced. I have jotted down a few of my experiences
      and you are welcome to see if they are similar to yours. If you
      have never had the fortune of having Severios Thirumeni conduct
      these services, it is a truly powerful experience unlike anything.

      Hosanna Service

      Thirumeni conducts the blessing of the Kurth Ola (Palm Leaf) immediately before the Public Celebration of the Holy Qurbana, so that the Kurth Ola
      can be held during the entire Qurbana. After all, the entire
      service is a dedication to Christ and the children that shouted
      Hosanna during Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. In the
      majority of our parishes in this diocese we conduct this service
      towards the very end of the Holy Qurbana in the middle of the
      Kuklion so that those arriving very late can be accommodated.

      Daily Prayers

      In the American Diocese, we have really done a great disservice by
      eliminating the majority of the prayers conducted during the Hassa
      week. Most notably, we omit virtually all the Raatri Prathanas,
      Prabatha Namaskaram, 3rd Hour, 6th Hour and 9th Hour prayers that
      are to be conducted each day of the week. Typically, we only
      conduct the Sandhya Namaskaram and Soothara Prathana in the evenings
      now to accommodate the work schedule of the priests and the lay
      persons. This year, I was amazed that Thirumeni was very particular
      that each and every one of the 7 sets of prayers be conducted in the
      church during the appropriate times, every day. A typical day would
      be to begin the new ecclesiastical day at 7pm by conducting the
      Sahdhya Namaskaram and the Soothara Prathana. Then the following
      day at 5am, the very lengthy Raatri Prathanas consisting of 4 Kaumas
      (except for Good Friday, having 5 Kaumas) along with the Prabatha
      Namaskaram would be conducted. Then at 12pm the Noon set of prayers
      consisting of the 3rd Hour, 6th Hour, and the 9th Hour prayers were
      conducted. Then the next ecclesiastical day would be started all
      over again with the evening set of prayers. This is the first time
      in our church's history, all 7 sets of prayers were conducted each
      and every day and truly it was a complete and meaningful Hassa
      experience.

      Good Friday

      The Good Friday service was truly a moving experience this year.
      Thirumeni has such a commanding presence and voice during the
      services. When he reads the Promions, Sedara, and Ethro, he is
      simply not reading some words on a paper. Rather, he is reciting
      these prayers with anguish, from the heart, as though he is actually
      witnessing the events unfolding. We began our day at 6:00am Friday
      morning with the Raatri prayers. Then we completed the Prabatha
      Namaskaram along with the 3rd Hour, 6th Hour, and 9th Hour prayers,
      Sleeba Aaraadhana, and Kabaradakkam. Our service ended at almost
      4:30pm but this was a very moving experience for both our adults and
      our youth who participated in the service through the
      transliterations. One very moving aspect of the Good Friday service
      was the first procession. There is a particular Allankil that is
      recited during the procession. "As He was coming out of the city
      carrying His Cross on His shoulder, the Hebrew women were gathered
      weeping over Him bitterly…Whither my Son, Whither my beloved One are
      You going ? Where are they taking You away?" Normally, this
      Allankil is recited by the priest during the procession, but this
      year, the congregation recited this during the procession. This was
      extremely moving point in our service which brought tears to the
      eyes of those in the sanctuary. The long Sedara read during the 9th
      Hour Prayers, "On Friday...On Friday..." Was read with such
      reverence that is truly affected those who were listening intently.

      This year, we also completed the entire Kabaradakkam service which
      is sometimes shortened due to time constraints.

      We are at a time in our faith when we want to dilute and shorten our
      Holy Week activities. I really feel sorry for some congregations in
      this U.S. that do not conduct at least the daily Sandhya Namaskaram
      and Soothare Prathana. I would encourage those congregations to
      really think about bringing a priest from India to conduct all the
      daily Holy Week prayers if their parish priest is unavailable due to
      other obligations. Yes, it IS possible. The argument I have heard
      time and time again for omitting these prayers is that no one will
      come at 5am. Lay people, if they want these services, should not
      be constrained by the work schedule of the priest and the
      sushrooshakaran. This year, we had a total of 5 people on average
      for these lengthy Raatri prayers at 5am. My feeling is that whether
      there is 3 people or 300 people in the sanctuary for these prayers,
      especially the Raatri prayers, the experience is still the same.

      Sony Alexander, Dallas, TX
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.