Re: Onam @Church
- Dear All,
One of our honorable members expressed his doubt about celebrating Onam in the churches. I think any celebration with our prayer gives it more colour and meaning. Onam celebration outside Kerala is different and we have to see it with a broad mind. Onam is not a holiday outside Kerala. Therefore celebrating Onam in the exact day is difficult for those who are working outside. They have to take one day leave for Onam. The School going children will lose one day class. These difficulties are not so simple and people choose to celebrate Onan in a suitable holiday, mostly Sunday. If everybody celebrate Onam in their own ways ,with their limited friends at homes there will not be anyone in the church, including the Priest!
So it is the best practical way to celebrate Onam in the church.
Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala and all Keralites celebrates it with a nostalgic feeling. The myth associated with is not affected its celebration by all the people. Afterall, what we celebrating is the Sadya Isn't it nice to have a vegetarian lunch together after a holy mass ?
But I think the doubt arises whether the Christian can celebrate Onam associated with a different myth in the church premises. That indirectly mean we can celebrate any festivals associated with any myth at any places, other than church premises ! Are we thinking like the old Pharisees ? Then surely God will ask us, which one should be more sanctity ? Church premises or our heart?. We should keep our church and church premises with its due sanctity and our heart pure. The onasadya along with our church members gives us great joy! Same time, please spare the� fellows living outside Kerala whether in India or outside India. They have their own problems as an expatriate, and please don't add any more.
Lastly I want to add that, when Christianity spread to India, our forefathers kept some of the old customs which they followed in their previous religion. By doing this, even though a separate religion, Christians never get separated as a different society. We should follow the path and celebrate the local and national festivals in the best possible way.
- This is a controversial subject; however I support Onam festival because of the following reasons.
A festival is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local
community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that
community.Onam, is the harvest festival in Kerala, and since almost all of our Church members belong to this State, I think celebrating Onam in Churches, especially outside the state, would have positive effects because
1. it offer a sense of belonging among the members,
2. unwind the nostalgic & happy feelings,
3. provide a sense of communal harmony, peace and love which is one
of the characteristics of the Christian faith. This is achieved by
inviting friends/neighbors belong to other communities/religions for the elaborate banquet lunch (Sadya) and celebrations.
However we should celebrate Onam in the following manner:
1. We should by-pass the legend associated with Onam, stories of Onam
2. The flower carpets (Pookalam) should reflect Christian beliefs
3. Instead of Kaikottikali dance, traditional Christian dances like
Margamkali and Parichamuttukali should be encouraged.
4. Usually people wear traditional clothes: men a shirt and mundu,
women kasavu sari and girls 'pavada blouse'; the dress should be truly
Christian if you opt for traditional dress (why not experiments the
`Chatta Mundu' [:)] )
Love in Christ,
Jai Abe Cheriyan.
ID # 0914
It is a nice thought! Usually we have seen so many questions which park almost in the same ground!
Here I start with my opinion!
Let me take Psalms 133:1 - "How good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!"
This first verse expresses the goal, the hope, the prayer of all Christians. What a great thing it would be if all the people could live together harmoniously! What things we could accomplish! What great pleasure we would have! How attractive that would be.
This verse certainly expresses the joy that results in brethren being united, when they have unanimity, when they are "at one."
It is always good to be together! To work together! Get to know each other! Work for the betterment of our church! Unity is something which we lack these days! If we are united no other external forces/ outside church can demolish our church! Now is the time to come together, get united, Pray for our church, work for our Church!
I remember one story! Everyone might have heard of this old story! A man has got 10 sons! When father got old he called all his sons and asked each of them to get each sticks! He asked the younger son to break the stick which he had in his hand! It was so easy to break it! Then father asked his elder son to tie all the 10 sticks together and try to break! It was not easy to break the same! He wanted to show the power of unity to his children.!
I feel these get together and celebrations make our church to be more united! More close! So that we can work more for our church! If there is a unity in our prayer it will be heard!
So my answer is "I support that for the Good reason behind it"
If we really think, it is not our tradition, prob i can agree! But this is a sort of getting together our people! Let us take the positive side!
Thanks and Regards
- Dear members
thanks for the interest shown in discussing the topic.what the respected members expression shows is the present trend of the majority churchgoers;yes,the church has turned out or is in the process of conversion from a worship place to a socio-cultural meeting place;indeed the church should be a centre for community but not violating or diluting it's primary duty.if you look back 10 years back we can't see any "Onaaghosham" in any of the churches;when people are not interested in the Shoonoyo lent but at the same time busy practising Onam programmes both falling in the same month of august;that is the trajic situation that has to be thought about.
and regarding the term "old phareesees ";Jesus has said"what Goes to God,give to God and what is for Caeser give to Ceaser";we should not mix up and gain any advantage; it might bring curse rather than mercy.
I feel pity of holy Church being turned out into another "malayalee council";hope Dear member got the point
with warm regards and prayers
- Hi dear members!
The discussion regarding Onam "celebrations" in our Holy churches could indeed be a controversial one. This is because, of the possible clash between the two styles of thinking, viz. -traditional orthodox way of thinking and the new generation mode of thinking.
Although Onam has a mythology behind it, it is the traditional festival of Kerala. Celebrating it in the Kerala style, commemorating our culture and traditions could be providing a nostalgic and nourishing experience, especially to those abroad. The thing is that, it should be wisely used as an opportunity for sharing the joy and spreading brotherhood in our churches too.
But, the problem comes, when it is turns out into an occasion for mere celebration and extravaganza. Floral carpets and Onam feast are the key features of Onam celebrations.
I think there's no need at all for the first one- to make floral carpets in the church compounds, spending huge sums. This is the situation where Christian values are sacrificed. The second one-Onam feast could be well-utilized. We could assign a small amount for arranging a feast for the underprivileged.
Strikingly, there are churches which spent good amounts for giving food for the poor every Onam. Last year, the youth organization of one of our churches in the Kandanadu diocese did such an appreciable deed. They spent the Onam day with the children of an orphanage, providing them good food and dress. I think that could be the best way to celebrate Onam in the Christian style.
May God Almighty bless us all!
Regards, Dawn Baby Varghese, Puthencruz.
Onam is considered as the national festival of our state. Outside Kerala churches are celebrating Onam in the church because they are away from home land and the church is the best place for them to celebrate. Even in Kerala we do not make attapoo kalm in our house like Hindu families doing. We are just enjoying the day with vegetarian food only. There is no harm to move according to our situations, for example before some years our "Bishops or any other dayaraya pattakkar" were not observing birthday celebrations because it is worldly celebration. Now they are also accepting to cut the cake and celebrate their birth days because we want to celebrate their birthdays. Onam celebration is not observing inside our churches so I believe it is okay to celebrate a national
festival of our state in our churches.
Cecil. K. Varghese
- Hi Jinesh,
You should not mix Onam and churh. It is just a group of malayalies
gathering together ("Kootayima"). As a keralite it is our right to
Usually outside kerala there are different types of malayali
communities. Our churches outside kerala is also a malayali community.
Its very difficult or costly to get a hall or auditorium to do these
types of celebrations. Almost all the ouside Kerala churhces having a
small auditorium or hall. Our kids should know the importance of Onam
and they have to understand how we celebrated Onam in our childhood
There is nothing wrong in celebrating a festival in our church premises.
We use to celebrate VBS or christmas functions inside our church or
church premises. Just consider is such a way. If somehing which help our
kids to enjoy and celebrate then that is good.
Please don't raise this type of silly things. Moderators please don't
entertain this type of silly questions. There are lot of other issues to discuss.
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- Dear All,
Peace be with You
My little undestanding is,We are Hindus by culture (like Arabs,Turkish and Greek people),but Christians by faith. Our forefathers have wonderfully amalgamated culture and faith. We are the living examples and the old church buidings attest it. "Minnukettu" and "mantrakodi" are another two examples among many. Almighty God has granted us enough wisdom to draw line between culture and faith. So that one doesn't encroach another's territory. In order to carry forward our wise traditions we must celebrate Onam. We are Indans / Keralites and not any special breeds.
May God Bless us
- Dear members
thank you all for a worthy discussion regarding the various aspects of onam festival and it's relevance in church;let us conclude by affirming the fact that onam is an occasion for us to come together and glorify heavenly father for the blessings;let us celeberate onam upholding christian values;wishing all a Happy and blessed ONAM
- Yes, a kind gesture towards the underprivileged in our society during a national festival is true reflection of brotherhood and love, thus our Christian faith.
I remember, the Youth Association of St. Gregorios Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, Madiwala(Hosa Road), Bangalore, where I was a member, used to distribute food packets to the underprivileged during festivals like 'Ugadi'.This type of approaches towards other communities, and ofcourse healthy Onam/Christmas celebration in a Christian manner, would definitely a commendable social attitude of our Jacobite Church, by demonstrating Christian values, thus gaining communal harmony and friendship with other communities.Let our Church shine like a bright star in the society in the 21st century.
Love in Christ,
Jai Abe Cheriyan.
ID # 0914