Re: Our Service Books
- Dear Bobby -
a) It is important to go back to the source in Syriac when such
doubts arise. The Syriac text of this hymn included in the Quqalya
of the departed is:
‛abdayk dashkheb ‛al sabrokh.
w-‛al tukhloneh daHnonokh.
qolok Hayo n‛eer enoon.
men qabré l-gaw fardayso
This is translated conforming to the Syriac meter below:
May Thy living voice awake
Thy servants, at rest in hope
and with trust in Thy mercy,
from the tombs to paradise.
It is the "fardayso" that has been translated as "udhyanam" in the
Malayalam translation. It is not ressurection/"udhanam".
In order to fit the Malayalam translation to the Syriac
meter, "udhyanam" has been used in other places as well. e.g.
"shuchiyotu shudhya besqudisha sparshichulla padangal
pookkudyana dwarangal vanavaroththu vasikkenam"
I wonder how "pookkudyana dwaram" is interpreted by those who sing
this every Sunday. The Syriac is very straightforward - "tar‛ay
fardayso" - which simply means "doors of paradise". The stanza would
May the feet that stepped on the sanctuary,
with purity and sanctity,
step on the doors of paradise
and dwell among the angels.
b) I am not sure whether the translation "swargasthanaya pithave"
precedes "aakashangalil irikkunna ..." I understood the latter to be
the earlier translation which was improved upon for the reasons you
mention. I think though that while "aakasham" is literally "sky", it
also suggests "heaven" in some contexts. You are right
about "appam" - the term is "laHmo" - "bread".
c) Until recently, all Malayalam translations of the Nicene Creed
read "mamodisa onnu mathram". Recent translations as well as
practice has modified this to "orikkal mathram". I am not sure what
triggered this change. I hope somebody in Malankara can enlighten us
on the reason. Our congregation had requested a direction from our
Catholicate which however did not come; rather we got the impression
that either usage is fine. I think this is an issue of Malayalam
grammar. The translation should mean "one baptism for the remission
of sins". Here "baptism" is a noun and "one" is an adjective that
modifies the noun. "mamodisa onnu mathram" is gramatically
equivalent. "Orikkal" is an adverb. It would be appropriate as a
modifier for the verb form of "baptism" - "baptise". If the Nicene
creed stated, "baptise once for the remission of sins", this would
have been appropriate; but that is not the case. I may be flawed in
my thinking here and would love to hear of alternate opinions. Such
arguments not withstanding, if the Church hierarchy has concluded
that the long-standing translation "mamodisa onnu mathram" is
inaccurate, the laity should be directed properly through
encyclicals to effect the change across all Malankara parishes.
This brings up a related issue - the proliferation of inconsistent
liturgy translations. It appears that every parish of note has a
qurbono translation published. Some of the changes are well-
intentioned--to correct or improve upon the translation from the
early decades of the last century. But many of these editions are
carelessly compiled with several copyediting errors. More troubling
are the publications that mix Pentecostal style material with
liturgical texts of the Church. I think it is important that the
Church form a dedicated body for review and approval of liturgical
texts and prohibit the use of texts that do not meet standards.
Thomas Joseph, Ph.D.
Web Master, Syriac Orthodox Resources [ http://sor.cua.edu/ ]
Tech. Editor, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies [
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