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Re: Suggestion

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  • Dr Thomas Joseph
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 6, 2007
      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) (
      http://bethmardutho.cua.edu/Hugoye/Vol5No2/HV5N2Brock.html), Prof.
      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
      contemporary forms.

      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 [
      http://bethmardutho.cua.edu/Hugoye/ ]
      ID: 0202

      --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Rev. Fr. Geevarughese
      Pathinalpparayil wrote:
      > Shlomo
      > Dear Members,
      > We should seriously think of a media to propagate the holy life of
      our forefathers as a model to the children of the Holy Church. I am
      not talking about the routine telecast of the speeches of the eminent
      preachers through various Channels.
      > I have heard people talking about a very touching `Kadhaprasangam'
      on `Kothamangalam Bava.' I have not personally heard it. The Story
      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.
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