English Eucharist: A boon for Ernakulam
Fr. Biju P. Thomas,
Kochi Orthodox International Centre
(It is an initiative of the Kochi Orthodox International Centre to revive the younger generation and affirm them in Orthodox traditions and faith)
Malankara Orthodox Church has begun celebrating Holy Eucharist in English language in Ernakulam. Kochi Diocesan Metropolitan H.G.Dr.Yakob Mar Irenaios had celebrated the Holy Eucharist at St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Ernakulam on 11th June 2017.
Celebrating Holy Eucharist in English language would be a great help for the young generation who are more comfortable in English language than Malayalam. Ernakulam has changed to an international hub for studies,employment and tourism. Subsequently, the number of English speaking Orthodox community is tremendously expanding. It is the responsibility of the Orthodox Church to extend spiritual and social support to this upcoming generation.
The language plays an important role for the effective and meaningful participation in the worship. It has been a long cherished dream of the Cathedral church to start Holy Eucharist in English for the people who cannot speak and understand Malayalam service meaningfully.
In fact, many youth have already left the Church. They mainly blame the language problem of the church worship. Some are attending the worship because it has become habitual and customary for them. Most of the beautiful songs, prayers and actions in worship become formal and unreal. This is a real danger the church is facing today. This condition is to be corrected. The only method to rectify this is to educate the people about the importance of worship in human life and the meaning of the actions and symbols that we use in our service. Sacraments especially Holy Eucharist is the centre of Orthodox Church spirituality. The sacramental worship is a special and profound experience of the meeting of heaven and earth. It is unimaginable and incomprehensible. When we understand the real beauty of our liturgy, we can attend the worship with greater appreciation and deeper devotion.
This is a humble effort from the church’s side to attract the people especially the youth to the worship life of the church. Year after year, their number is increasing. If the church fails to attract them to the main stream, it would be a mistake on our part.
(Tommorrow,25th June 2017, Fr. Biju P.Thomas, will celebrate Evening Prayer at 5:30p.m. followed by the Holy Eucharist at Cathedral church.)