MEDIUM OF WORSHIP
There was only one language before the Babel confusion that made a total commotion which served as the birth of many languages. Many changes took place during the course of human history because of our faithlessness and avarice; divorce is another example that explicitly proved the hard-heartedness of people, so also anointing the first king of Israel against the wish of God who used to guide the Israelites through the judges. Playing the role of god has adversely affected the history of mankind in a very detrimental way. We don’t know the language that God spoke to Adam, Noah and Abraham. Abraham was previously known as Abram the Hebrew, Gen.14: 13. The reason for calling him as ‘Hebrew’, assumingly could have been on account of him living in the place called Haran or migrating out of his native place called ‘Or’ of the Chileans and asking him by God to leave that place and journey towards the Promised Land. There is also a possibility that the word Hebrew might have been derived from ‘Abram’. We have to leave it to theologians and biblical scholars to do research work on the question of the language that was used for communication till the time of the Babel tongues which multiplied the original lingua-franca.
Just as there is a physical body, 1.Cor.15: 40, there is a Heavenly body or inner or spiritual man who converse through a spiritual medium. Similar to the terrestrials who communicate in a human language, the spiritual being also has a medium that connect among the spiritual beings of the cosmos. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now ; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies”, Rom.8: 22-23. As long as we are chained within the mortal body, we don’t hear the language of the spiritual medium. “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches….Rev.1: 10-11; 11: 15. This proves that there is a Book of Life and other books, Rev.21: 27; 20: 12, that contains everything what has happened and what is going to happen in the future. Thus it is obvious that the book of Revelation is a copy or an edited form of what are given in the Divine books, despite these is hidden for the earthlings directly. St.John heard the glorification of twenty-four Heavenly elders, praising ‘glory, glory, glory of the Lord of hosts, Rev.4: 4-11, proving that there is a celestial language that is used for glorifying God and other communication, Rev.14: 3; 15: 3. The Ten Commandments were written by Divine hand, not by human one.
Dangers of melodious music:
The importance of language in our worship:
Role of mother tongue in worship:
Those who are born and brought up in foreign countries and undergone baby sitting therapies, especially in Western countries, find it difficult to cope with the Malayalam worship and its monastic culture. Despite we have been participating in this mystic culture for a long time, how many soul winners have we produced so far from our soil? Malayalam service is a safety valve for most of our Malayalee priests who don't like to make any preparations in a new language for their devotees, whereas they are keen to go for their own higher studies and improve their academic qualifications. Besides, some Malayalees boycott English liturgies because they like to make cosmetic worships in their own mother tongue, as they don't have grown up children who may rebel against the mode of our worship and the 'achayan culture' that make 'full of sound and fury signifying nothing' effect.
Most of those who are living in the Western Countries can understand and converse in English language; then why don't we celebrate the sacraments in English, so that our youngsters who are the torch bearers of our church and culture may be benefited substantially and may not become a burden later in our life. Those who don't have any far sight or foresight make much ado about nothing and shed crocodile tears for our church and its members, when the unexpected happens. 'Namukkum kittanam panam' has become the language of our outlook in life. These are the people who feel the pinch when either their children becomes a nuisance to them and the society or they migrate to other churches that multiply their number with out any toil because fools like us work for them. I like to attend the Malayalam service every time, but for the sake of my children I don't like to live as a sentimental fool.
I taught my children to read and write Malayalam language; they may be able to understand a bit, but they can't cope with our colloquial and literary language for our worship and communication. How many of the Malayalam-speaking Sunday club adherents can comprehend the spiritual and literary meanings of the translations of C.P Chandy sir who translated most of our worship into literary Malayalam? One can't hold the harness of our children by birthday celebrations or choir acrobatics or youth group outings. Give food for the soul if you want to make spiritual progress in this age of post-religious spiritual doom, instead of money spirituality that is shallow and skin deep cannot save our new generations. Those children who always live in the extended families that speak Malayalam may likely to be able to cope with our Malayalam worship to an extent; but when they mingle with the local population; our hard-earned home culture evaporates out automatically.
Good sermons or Sunday school lessons in one's mother tongue can really build the foundation of one’s faith and religious morality. Giving sermons and Sunday school classes in one's vernacular, whether English, Teligue, Tamil, Hindi or Malayalam, are helpful for the tender minds to grasp the pure values in their childhood period, rather than imposing something alien to them later. I wrote about 5 years back that the church hierarchy should do spade works in translating all the prayers in the indigenous languages under the supervision of a Metropolitan, but the culture of internal conflicts and intrigues within the church devastate everything that is holy. If we don't do it, we only multiply the 'lost sheep of Israel' as the day passes on.
We have become mere charlatans to use superlative languages in boasting and highlighting everything that is material and mundane. Try to translate all our sacramental and worship books in local languages that help the child to build a sound and good base. The language divide is one of the main reasons for the sheep leaving the church, despite there are many other reasons that become the joint chorus for the ignominious exodus. The celebrants and their retinues think that all who listen to them have become the elects of the Spirit all of a sudden. Our modus-operandi is like the herbal physician who replied that his patients didn’t come back to him, as they were all cured by his single doze of medicine. “Physician, heal thyself first”.
Our clergy find it easy to do the ceremonies in Malayalam, hence they do it in that language; even if there are English versions they deliberately dump our young ones to oblivion by continuing the worship in Malayalam. How can these young dynamites sit in a place for two hours, a great part is wasted in presenting the announcements in a dramatic and joking ways. The birthday and wedding anniversary prayers, choir , the cosmetics for collecting money, and similar other paraphernalia consume so much of time and the young illiterates in Malayalam remain there like stone statues for these two hours. If they come for the matins, it takes 3 hours to exhibit our showcase spirituality. In some parishes, the Vicar is there for their lifetime because they organize and rule over their parishes at their whims and fancies. A three-year term should be the tenure for a Vicar to be in the same parish.
The flock or the society consists of males, females and children. Giving emphasis to any particular section is suicidal. Shedding crocodile tears for the youth is a lip service for getting their support for power politics that includes parish election, camps, picnics, choir and sports. Jack of all trades, but master of none. They are forcibly made ripe artificially before they become mature, and they soon leave the church when being caught in the crossfire of internal politics. The church is for worship, not for pedestrian style acrobatic, cultural programmes or show businesses that are wasted lots of money in the secular and club lives. Why should we squander money and time for the unwanted sections which destroy the very essence of spirituality?
Language is not the real barrier for the worship; it is the spirit that matters everything. “When the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”, Jn.4: 23-26. I have proved in my books that the truth that He spoke was about Himself. This means worshipping the Triune God in Truth and Spirit is the real worshipping mode. “Taken by the Spirit on the Lord’s day” made st.John to unfold the future humanity to us. It is the Spirit who speaks and reveals the truth; it is, therefore, the inspiration of the Spirit is the medium of worship, not any particular language which, of course, serves as a catalytic agent for the synthesis of true worship.
[The contents of this Perspective Article are solely the reflections of the Author - LOL]
|Email this Link to a Friend||Send Your Feedback|
LIGHT OF LIFE
PUBLISHED ON FIRST DAY OF EVERY MONTH