Syro-Malabar Holy Qurbana
I had the privilege of celebrating the Syro-Malabar Holy Qurbana last Thursday, September 12, 2013. This event was initiated by POGI (Pilgrims Overflowing with God's Inspiration) CLC. They asked the Indian Community of the East Asian Pastoral Institute through their guide, Jody Sim, to share the Indian Liturgy with those interested. The Indian community happily obliged complete with their native costumes.
As the people entered the room, each one was marked on the forehead (bindi), between the eyebrows, with a light colored wax as a sign of respect and welcome to the Holy Qurbana. There were about 60 to 70 people (Indians, Chinese, Africans, Filipinos, etc.who attended. The CLC members present were Mike Liberatore (Third Day), Carol Chua and Carol Tong (GIFT), Carol Chan (GWIP), Amity Tan (Come and See), Rose Bautista, Jody Sim and myself
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an East Syrian Church in India which is in full communion with the Catholic Church in Rome. It traces its origins to the evangelization made by St. Thomas the Apostle in the first century. Today it is the second largest Eastern Catholic Church with about 4 million believers.
The liturgy included Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word,Liturgy of Preparation, Liturgy of the Eucharist, Liturgy of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and the Concluding Rites. Dancing and singing, movements of the hands and body signified praise and worship to the Lord God the Father, the Son Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit . The 3 priests in resplendent robe led the prayers solemnly. The bells were rung after each prayer and prayers of peace for each one are said many times.
At the end of the Holy Qurbana, I felt one with the Syro-Malabar Church despite the differences in language and culture--proof that we belong to the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.