Make a space for spiritual growth in true faith
I am writing this letter in response to a thing Mr. Kochumon Mannichery pointed out in Digest No.2412. He wrote Majority of the Church members are not aware the differences between the main Episcopal churches. Why because most clergy men and the church governing bodies never bothered to teach the faith.
I am only very junior priest in Kottayam Diocese of our Church. The time schedule of my Sunday Service is as follows.
* Morning Prayers (not truncating any part like Prumion-Sedra and Evangelion) 1 hr
* Holy Qurbono 1 hr
* Preaching on Evangelion 10 Minutes
* A class on Orthodox Faith (like why are we facing East while praying, Why do we stand while worship, Why do we pray for departed while many new line churches teaches against it etc) for the whole assembly in the Church, just after the preaching 20 Minutes
Within this short period I have served as a Priest, I am following this schedule wherever it is possible for me. But, in the Parishes where I am assigned to serve, when I started to follow this, the Parish Committees and a few Parish people also objected. They said it may cause people to go to other parishes as this would consume more time. It was really difficult for me to implement this for them. In spite of their initial resentment I succeeded in it. Now, they find it useful and very much eager to listen to such classes.
I teach just after the Preaching, only because I will not get the whole Parish people together in any other event or meetings of youth, Samajam, or prayer groups.
In certain days there will be 2 or more Kalpanas to read, there will be prayers for the Mediation of St. Mary or other Saints, there will be special prayers of gratitude for people celebrating their birthdays and wedding anniversaries. In such occasions, I resort to teach a small subject which will not consume more than 10 minutes and I brief the preaching on Evangelion to 2 or 3 minutes only. So it will not go beyond 15 minutes altogether for preaching and teaching.
I find Preaching and Teaching along with Holy Eucharist a very successful one. I am blessed to get the support of the Parish Committee even if they initially objected. I am not a Vicar of any Church. So the Vicars also are supporting me in my attempt to do this.
But, I should say one thing very openly that you cant blame clergy
for not teaching and preaching unless you make ground for them to do it
successfully. Many parishes stance is that clergy must not try anything in addition to the routine things going on there. They oppose change to the current system. Kindly, give space for clergy to make additions and modifications. Let them to cut down all those unnecessary practices prevailing in the church. Learn, worship and grow together. that is all what I have to say.
Yours in Christ
Fr. Geevarughese Pathinalpparayil