- Rev. Fr. Geevarughese's suggestion is an excellent one. It is very
important, as achen suggests, to use the writings of our fathers and
the liturgical traditions in such renderings or expositions on
various aspects of our faith.
This past August, during the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the St.
Mary's Church in Los Angeles, we presented a depiction of various
events from the life of the Holy Virgin Mary - The Annunciation,
Joseph's rebuke of Mary, The Wedding Feast at Cana, Lamentation at
the Cross, and the Assumption. For the first two, we used the English
translation of the soghyotho (Syriac dialogue poems) on the two
themes published in Sebastian Brock's Soghyotho Mgabbyotho
(Barhebraeus Verlag, Holland, 1982) and translated into English in
Brock's Bride of Light (SEERI Mor `Etho Series). For the Wedding
Feast at Cana, we used the liturgical text of the feast in the
Phanqitho as well as St. Ephrem's poems on the theme. For the
Lamentation of the Cross, the text was from our Hasho Friday
Veneration of the Cross liturgy (the all familiar procession hymn,
the English translation of which is in Mor Athanasius Samuel's
Ma`de`dono, Book of the Feasts.) For the Assumption, we again used
hymns from the Phanqitho. Time did not permit setting the texts to a
metrical form. However, we rendered it an English poetic format with
tableaus representing the theme in which all our children and youth
participated. The evening was organized around this event. Even
though the occasion did not permit the time to present each event in
much detail, we got rave reviews for the presentation.
In the Hugoye: The Journal of Syriac Studies (Vol. 5, No. 2) (
Brock published an article "The Dispute between the Cherub and the
Thief" which presents a translation of the sogitho which we find in
the lilyo (midnight) prayers of Holy Saturday in the week of Hasho in
a truncated form. In the introductory notes, he speaks of the
dramatic potential of the soghyotho and quotes W.A. Wigram's account
of the liturgical drama which he witnessed in his visit to
Mesopotamia in the early 20th cent. There he mentions the performance
of the English translation of the soghitho presenting a dialogue
between John the Baptist and our Lord (based on Matthew 3:14) at a
school in England in the latter part of the last century. So in other
lands, we now see the use of our rich heritage in teaching faith in
In Syriac Christianity, the instructional role of liturgy is always
emphasized. Liturgy provides the primary teaching context of the
Church. Unfortunately, without instruction it is not possible to
appreciate the richness of our liturgical heritage and the larger
corpus of the works of our fathers.
It is very laudable that priests of our day such as Rev. Fr.
Geevarughese are setting apart time during Sundays for such
instruction and thinking about the exposition of our heritage through
innovative means. As our people are scattered far and wide, we need
to give serious consideration to such matters so that we can pass on
the heritage we have received to our future generations and also
attract others to the gospel of our Lord.
PS: I urge any of our readers who have information on the
Kathaprasangam that achen mentions to post it on the forum.
Thomas Joseph, Ph.D.
Web Master, Syriac Orthodox Resources [ http://sor.cua.edu/ ]
Tech. Editor, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies [
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Rev. Fr. Geevarughese
>our forefathers as a model to the children of the Holy Church. I am
> Dear Members,
> We should seriously think of a media to propagate the holy life of
not talking about the routine telecast of the speeches of the eminent
preachers through various Channels.
>on `Kothamangalam Bava.' I have not personally heard it. The Story
> I have heard people talking about a very touching `Kadhaprasangam'
Teller has used the songs from the Church Liturgy without causing any
change to the `Niram' and he has quoted from the Bible also. Many
persons who have heard this still cherish this experience as a very
good one. Thousands of non-Christians also listened
the `Kadhaprasangam' and became the admirers of the Great Saint.