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Are they wrong in reading it as 'My Lord. My Self' ?

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  • Alex Thomas
    Dear all, I am glad to find authoritative responses to my query on Meaning of Moran Mor, Aboon Mor, and Mor and grateful to Mor Deevannasios Thirumeni for
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 28, 2008
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      Dear all,

      I am glad to find authoritative responses to my query on ' Meaning
      of Moran Mor, Aboon Mor, and Mor' and grateful to Mor Deevannasios
      Thirumeni for being kind enough to respond to the query.

      From the responses till today, I think one can comprehend the
      meaning of 'Moran Mor' as 'Our Lord and My Lord' and 'Aboon Mor'
      as ' Our Father and My Lord'. The meaning of Mor is well explained
      but I couldn't find any specific reply about the usage of this title
      as I sought in the latter part of my query. Any way as the Thirumeni
      has given "we can see the meaning of the word Mor as Mr. in English
      language" I assume it as a salutation when used with the names of
      our Metropolitans. I also assume that Mor doesn't change relevance
      whether it is used as a prefix or in the middle of the name.

      Why I was seeking more information specifically about Mor is because
      I have seen Mor used with our Metropolitans' name in some contexts
      where something is published in their names. I don't refer to
      Episcopal Bulls (Kalpana) and other writings or letters from the
      Metropolitans themselves as our Metropolitans will not be using a
      salutation of reverence themselves but I refer to the contexts like
      when we (laity) publish some notices or invitations in the name of
      our metropolitans with their permission. An example I can quote is
      the invitation letter of consecration of our Niranam diocesan HQ.
      (Available in the link
      http://www.syrianchurch.org/news/NiranamHQConsecration.pdf given in
      our message # 11247). The invitation is published in the name of the
      diocesan Metropolitan Geevarghese Mor Coorilose. What I want to
      submit is if Mor is a salutation of respect like Mr. in English how
      it can be added to one's own name by himself. This is not a single
      incident. I have found many Notices, Invitations or write ups in the
      name of our metropolitans, where Mor is used with their names. If I
      am right on my contention, I too understand definitely it will not
      be happening with in the direct knowledge of our metropolitans as
      our learned Metropolitans including Coorilose thirumeni will
      definitely not themselves add a salutation of reverence with their
      own names. But the mistake might have happened with the person who
      published it in his name. Any way if I am right on my understanding
      of Mor as a Salutation only, when a notice of this type is
      circulated outside, and when anyone finds that the person who writes
      a letter concludes saluting himself 'My Lord', what is getting
      destroyed is the name of our Metropolitans and our Church. We have
      to instruct strictly those who publish notices of this type to get
      the final proof vetted by authoritative personnel before printing.

      Any way I request the opinion of fellow members on this as I may be
      wrong in understanding the responses and also in contentions
      discussed in the above paragraph. But if Mor is some thing more than
      a salutation we have to educate our members on its relevance above
      that. Eventhough I was not clear about the meaning of Mor before
      being explained in the fourm, I was understanding its relevance as a
      salutation only. When I try to give the relevance of Mor we use with
      the name of our Metropolitans as a salutation, my protestant friends
      always reply in fun saying 'Sreeman Njan' or 'Mr. Myself' pointing
      to notices in the context I have given in the above paragraph.
      That's why I wish to raise the question 'are they (my protestant
      friends) wrong in reading the names in the above context as 'My
      Lord. My Self'?

      I would like to suggest one more thing. It's regarding the spelling
      of Mar/Mor. I think this is addressed earlier by some other members
      of the forum, any way I wish to present my view. It is well
      explained in some earlier messages of this forum m-A-r and m-O-r
      means the same in Syriac and there is nothing wrong in using any of
      these spellings. But the situation becomes a little bit different
      when someone fails to understand that MAR is a Syriac word. We the
      Jacobite Syrian Orthodox know the relevance of Syriac in the Church
      but we cannot assume that every one outside especially Protestants
      and non-Christians are aware of our Syriac connection. If any one
      among them presumes the salutatory prefix MAR is an English word
      like Mr. I think they may get confused over the usage. Why I felt
      this is because of a debate with one of my RC friends a few months
      back. As we all know RC Bishops in Kerala as against their
      counterparts outside is addressed Mar. Though I don't know exactly
      how they started this tradition, I assume it to be from their past
      connection with Syriac as their liturgical language. Even though he
      was not sure about the language of origin of Mar, my RC friend took
      the stand that the salutation MAR they use is from English a
      clerical title similar to Mr., as he didn't want to admit any Syriac
      connection for their church in the present. I too agreed to his
      contention about this language of origin of Mar 'THEY' use as
      a 'salutation of (ir)reverance' but with in half an hour my friend
      gave me a call and withdrew his contention( as we all know the
      dictionary meaning of Mar in English is not some thing that suggest
      a reverence but an irreverence only). I think this mistake in
      understanding the language of origin of Mar can happen with any one
      outside Orthodox or Marthomite Churches and when it is taken as from
      English the result is not favorable. So I wish to put forward that
      the Church should officially circulate the spelling M-O-R over M-A-R
      for the salutation used with the names of High Priests.

      One more thing I want to submit. My argument supporting the
      spelling 'Mor' may be debatable but we should take care to be
      consistent on the spelling (whether Mor or Mar) at least in all
      places of the same document. Please again go through the invitation
      letter of Niranam Diocese HQ Consecration. The Spelling used for HB
      Catholicose is 'Aboon Mar' then it changes to 'Mor' for HG Synod
      Secretary and HG Diocesan Metropolitan. I agree that we all use it
      interchangeably but when it is intended for public circulation we
      must follow consistent usage as otherwise this may confuse an
      outsider about the use and relevance of this salutation.

      I request alternative contentions or repudiations if I am wrong in
      my views above, but if it is otherwise, expect your concurring
      comments.

      Regards,

      Alex Thomas
      # 971
      Kottayam
    • H.E Geevarghese Mor Deevannasios
      Dear all This is the response to my earlier posting and a counter response in on of the IOC forum by one of their member (which was brought to my attention by
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 30, 2008
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        Dear all

        This is the response to my earlier posting and a counter response in on of the IOC forum by one of their member (which was brought to my attention by the moderators of this Forum).

        "Moran Mor" means Our Lord and is only used for the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch only. In IOC constitution, The Patriarch is noted as the Supreme Head of the Orthodox Syrian Church (not of the Syrian Orthodox Church). The name of our True Church is `idto suryoyto treysath shubho" translated in English as "Syriac Orthodox Church" and the supreme head of the Syriac Orthdox Church is known as the "Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch". In the Syriac Orthodox Church, H.B. Catholicos, the H.Gs Metropolitans (Arch Bishops), and all Episcopos (Bishops) are not equal in ecclesiastical rank to His Holiness the Patriarch. In IOC I think all the Metropolitans are considered equal to the Catholicos and the representative of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the vision of the IOC Forum member and is the difference between our church and IOC.

        We have studied and believed as our forefathers did, especially St. Parumala Thirumeni, that the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch is the Supreme Head of our church and is enthroned as the successor of St. Peter, the chief of the apostles, to shepherd the Holy Church. All other Apostles are not equal to him.

        In St. Luke. 22:32, we see:

        "but have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

        After His resurrection as we can see in St.John.20.3-9

        "Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter and came first to the sepulcher. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. (Why?) Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that he must rise again from the dead"

        All the apostles accept St. Peter's supremacy, including St. John and St. Thomas, for he was blessed by the Most High Priesthood after our Lord's resurrection as we see in St John 21.15-18.

        "Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jona, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

        He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jona, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

        He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jona, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

        We translate it from the Syriac Evangelion to Malayalam as "ente anadukale (or muttadukale, ie. men) meyikkuka,......ente pennadukale (ie. women) ... ente kunjadukale (i.e. children) meyikkuka." It was the duty vested upon St. Peter to rule over the church as a whole as the Good Shepherd. His successors, i.e., the Patriarchs, do the same to this day and "strengthen their brethren"; we accept them as our "Idaya Sreshtan" and address them with the title "Moran Mor" (Our Lord).

        We can see more evidence from Penkeeza kramam. In a Sedra of the 4th Sunday morning after Kyomtho I quote the original prayer in Syriac"

        "Sma menhen Semavun u Yuhanon varheth kad rheebeen vamthah rehtheh thalyo bar Sabdai u qadmeh lsobo bar Yauno .mtho lqabro alymo kadmoyo u lo al nthar thekso lreesh talmeedo ak voleetho."

        "avaril ninnum semavoonum yuhanonum kettayutan avar thitukkaththil purappettu.sabdaiyute puthran aaya yuvav yavunante puthranaya semavune munkatannu.yuvav kabarinkal adyam ethi enkilum pravesichilla. yogyamaya prakaram sishya pramughante kramam avan kathu.(keep the seniority of the head of the Disciples)"

        In Ougen Bava's translation intentionally avoided this. Other wise Bava should accept Patriarch's supremacy. The leaders of the IOC astray their sheep from truth.

        Deevannasios Methrachan
        Manjanikkara
        30-03-2008
      • Dr.George K John
        Dear Mr. Alex, It is very interesting to read your exhaustive mail related to the holy titles used to address our high priests. We are more inclined to read in
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 31, 2008
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          Dear Mr. Alex,

          It is very interesting to read your exhaustive mail related to the holy titles used to address our high priests. We are more inclined to read in between lines than to perceive its broad meanings. In this context I remember a story of Bernard Shaw that is very popular.

          One day while making his evening walk he saw a board in front of a fish shop � FRESH FISH SOLD HERE�. Amusingly he called the shop owner and commented that no one will buy old fish. Owner appreciated the advice and removed the word FRESH. Next day gain Shaw stopped and commented that the smell emits from the shop will tell every one that fish is sold there. Owner removed the word FISH. Ultimately at the end the owner threw the board.

          Our discussions should not remove those holy titles. We use those Syriac titles as a tradition and with utmost respects and not with its literal meanings. If a bishop uses the title Mar or Mor before HG�s Episcopal name we must read it as �Your Lord in Jesus�. As the trinity is ordained on to HG we must call HG �Your Lord� whilst HG uses �Your Lord in Jesus�.

          Let us not use our human intelligence to correct the usages instructed by the holy church. Equating those titles with worldly titles like Mr. Dr. Mrs. Professor etc is indeed suicidal.

          If my words are inapt please forgive.

          Dr.George K John
          ID 0209
        • Abraham Kurian
          Dear Alex, Here s my understanding of the usage. I do not have any validated sources on what I am going to write, but this is how I have come up with a
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 31, 2008
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            Dear Alex,

            Here's my understanding of the usage. I do not have any validated sources on what I am going to write, but this is how I have come up with a rational explanation.

            At the time of consecration as a Metropolitan, the individual is given the name of a Saint as an addendum to their baptismal names.

            Taking the example of LL Mor Clemis Abraham. Abraham was his baptismal name and the name of the Saint bestowed on him during the consecration was Mor Clemis.

            Now the Mor in this case is actually referring to St Clement of Rome or Mor Clemis. Please do note that Mor is also equivalent in usage to St in English and Morth is used for a Female Saint.

            Now the name of the Metropolitan can be written as
            1. Mor Clemis Abraham or
            2. Abraham Mor Clemis

            as you see in various publications

            In both cases the Mor is attached to the name of the Saint (Here St Clement) and not to the individuals baptismal name (Abraham in this case).

            This is the usage pattern I have seen in cases of our SOC Metropolitans both in India and Outside.

            You have rightly pointed out the usage of Mar by the Syro Malabar Church. I think they are considering it like Rt. Rev, Monsignor etc. Note that they do not have names of saints given at times of consecration. So there is really is no point in comparison with them.

            Regarding the usage of Aboon and Moran, as Divannasios thirumeni has already pointed out we use Moran only for HH Patriarch, the representative of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            Aboon can be used for all Metropolitans, note the references in the 1st thubden in the Holy Qurbana or in hymns like "To Ba'shlom ..." My understanding of the usage of Moran Mor and Aboon Mor is as follows.

            Taking the earlier example . Aboon refers to Metropolitan Abraham Mor Clemis who is our spiritual father, but the Mor refers to Mor Clemis. So when we say Aboon Mor Clemis Abraham, we are saying "Our father St Clemis Abraham" here the Saint is not for the individual but the saint whose name was given at consecration and the 'Our father' is for the individual.

            In case of our Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I, The Mor refers to St Ignatius Noorono and the Moran refers to Our Spiritual Lord the
            current Patriarch.

            In short there probably is some misunderstanding on why and what is the proper way, but I would not really attribute it to any wrong intentions.

            As you have said, uniformity in this aspect is welcome.

            Hope this helps

            Prayers and regards
            Abraham Kurian
            Member id 1011


            --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Alex Thomas wrote:
            >
            > Dear all,
            >
            > I am glad to find authoritative responses to my query on ' Meaning
            > of Moran Mor, Aboon Mor, and Mor' and grateful to Mor Deevannasios
            > Thirumeni for being kind enough to respond to the query.
            >
            > From the responses till today, I think one can comprehend the
            > meaning of 'Moran Mor' as 'Our Lord and My Lord' and 'Aboon Mor'
            > as ' Our Father and My Lord'. The meaning of Mor is well explained
            > but I couldn't find any specific reply about the usage of this title
            > as I sought in the latter part of my query. Any way as the Thirumeni
          • Shinu Jesus Abraham
            http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/India/Kerala/Pathanamthitta/blog-247802.html Shinu Jesus Abraham Member ID # 2908
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 1, 2008
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