Sunday, April 21, 2013

Developing A Meaningful Liturgy

The vision of God as seated on a throne above all other thrones, and of the angels praising God was a transforming experience for Prophet Isaiah. When the members of a community get together in a house of God, they see themselves as joining the heavenly host in singing the praises of God. They repeat the same trisagion as sung by the angels, and strive for the same vision of God and transforming experience as Isaiah had. This vision and experience within the walls of a house of God helps them see the world as the real house of God and live a meaningful life in the light of this vision.
The Jewish community, to which Isaiah belonged, developed this view of worship based on Isaiah's vision. Their poets expanded the praise of angels to beautiful psalms, which were included in their worship. Later Christianity and perhaps Islam also inherited this view of worship. Within Christianity, the various traditions expanded the praise of the angels into psalms in diverse styles and languages. In the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition I belong to, Mor Aprem, a saintly poet of the fourth century, wrote beautiful psalms in Syriac, which were included in the worship. In the following centuries, inspired by Mor Aprem, more fathers wrote psalms, which were also included in worship. The set of prayers, psalms, and Bible readings included within worship came to be known as liturgy. It has come into its present form by its various phases of evolution in the past 15 centuries. Originated primarily in Syriac, its translations into modern languages such as Malayalam, English, and Hindi are used by today's community.
The one concern a lot of members of this community raise about this liturgy is its length. They raise this concern mostly in informal contexts including online groups. When some people call for the need of reducing the time of liturgy, some others oppose it vehemently arguing that any reduction of time will affect the essence of the worship. Those who call for a reduction in time claim that the liturgy in present use is the result of years of modification and expansion, and a shorter liturgy helps the congregation participate in it meaningfully. They also claim that the liturgy can be made shorter just by avoiding unnecessary repetitions.
One group focuses on reducing the length of liturgy, while the other group focuses on retaining its length. Thus both groups focus upon the length of liturgy. This writer is convinced that the solution to the problem lies in a shift of focus -- from length of liturgy to a meaningful participation in the worship. Let me clarify this further with an example of what happened a few years ago in a youth meeting in Houston, Texas. After a lecture, Yuhanon Mor Meletius, a bishop of the Indian Orthodox church, let the participants ask questions, and a young woman asked, "When are we supposed to sit during the worship? Do we have any rules regarding when we are supposed to sit and when we are supposed to stand during our worship?" Mor Meletius answered somewhat as follows: "Standing represents respect. That is why we stand during worship. But this does not mean that we should always stand during the worship. Especially the old and the sick should not be asked to stand at all. Whether we stand or sit, we need to be respectful in the house of God." I think if someone asked a similar question about the length of worship to Mor Meletius, he would answer somewhat as follows: How long we should worship is not the main issue. That the worship should be real and meaningful is the main thing. A prayer rising from the depth of our hearts even for a moment's time is real and meaningful, but hours of prayer rising just from our lips is not meaningful.
So the question we need to ask now is not about the length of liturgy. Let us ask if our worship is real and meaningful. If not, we need to find out how we can make it meaningful. Once we find it out, then we may turn to the next question about the length of liturgy. First things first.         
How Meaningful is our worship?
Let us look at the first question-- how meaningful is our worship? Last Sunday I was in a church which has about 150 families. The worship started with morning prayer at about 7:30, and it was over by 10:30. At 7:30, there were less than 25 people. At 8:00 there were about 50 people, by 8:30, about 100, by 9:00, about 200, and by 9:30, there were about 300 people. The majority of people were not present during the morning prayer. Almost half of the congregation got to the church toward the end of the Eucharist. I don't think that this is an isolated situation. This seems to be how almost all the parishes in this community function. There could be exceptions. Week after week, priests tell the congregation that they need to be at the church at the very beginning of the worship, but in spite of all the exhortations, warnings, and threats, the majority of them continue the habit of coming late.
At the beginning of the Eucharist, a few people walked forward to receive absolution, and the priest prayed for a few seconds placing his hand on each. Toward the end of the Eucharist, the same people walked forward to receive the Holy communion from the priest. Once the Eucharist was over with a farewell from the priest, there was a sermon, announcements, and special prayers for the departed, for the sick, and for those who celebrated their birthday and wedding anniversary that week. 
Out of the 150 families, there were about 300 participants on a regular Sunday, which is not bad. Church is important for them, and they come to church, and they regularly contribute to the church. They pay for the priest to do the church services fully and completely; however, the majority of them do not think that they need to attend the worship service from the very beginning. Even when they do attend, they do not care what is being prayed or what song is being sung. They probably think that whatever the priest prays is on their behalf, and so their absence does not make any difference. It seems that the worship service doesn't make much sense to them. They can't relate this to their real life in the outside world. They feel like their coming late or early to the worship service doesn't make much difference in their life. They feel like they are not supposed to understand the worship service. They don't feel like they are joining the heavenly host in praising God. There is no wonder most of the people come late to the church, for they do not understand worship. How can you engage in something which doesn't make sense to you? If the Holy Eucharist made sense to them, they wouldn't complain of the length of service. But because it doesn't make any sense at all, it appears even longer than it actually is.  
The first priority now is to regain the meaning of our liturgy. The church fathers who created this liturgy knew its meaning. They could relate it to their real life. But today we repeat the prayers and songs in the liturgy like parrots without knowing what it is or why we do it. We need a rebirth of the age of Mor Aprem so that we can really worship God along with the angels. We need saintly fathers like Mor Aprem among us to write psalms.
Our liturgy, which began short, grew bigger down the centuries as more and more prayers and songs were added. Our liturgy must have been very small before Mor Aprem's time. During and after his time, his prayers and songs were included in the liturgy. After another century, more prayers and songs came from Mor Balai. After another century, even more songs and prayers came from fathers like Mor Semavoon Kookoyo, Mor Yakob of Serug, and Mor Severios of Antioch, and our liturgy grew even bigger.  Creativity stopped by seventh century, and no more new prayers or songs were written. 
For the last thirteen centuries, we have been reciting the prayers and songs written by the fathers of 4th, 5th and 6th centuries. Instead of slavishly parroting their prayers and songs, we should have followed their example and written prayers and songs as they did in their time. For example, we have prayers for those who travel on land and water written by our fathers. If they were alive today, they would include prayers for those who travel in the air as well. There were no airplanes in 4th century, but today a lot of people travel in airplanes. New prayers and songs need to be written for our times.
Let us imagine a situation in which you meet Mor Aprem in heaven. You run to him with excitement to greet him. You say, "Mor Aprem, I am so excited to meet you! We have been praying the prayers you wrote, and we have been singing the psalms you composed. We have recited them for over fifteen centuries without making any changes to them. We kept your prayers and songs as precious treasures, and we transferred them from generations to generations. Don't you feel excited?" Mor Aprem can't believe what he just heard. You take him down for a visit to your own church, where you stay invisible and participate in the worship. After the worship, you return to heaven with Mor Aprem. He doesn't seem excited. He says, "I don't feel proud of what you are doing in your churches. When I wrote them, the people of my time really understood the meaning of my prayers and songs, and so they could participate in the worship meaningfully.  Today after all these centuries, in a different time and place, with such a wide gulf in culture and view of life, I don't think people understand them. My prayers and psalms do not rise from your hearts but only from your lips. If you have any respect for me this is not what you would do. Instead of slavishly singing my songs, you will follow my example and write psalms and prayers that suit your time and place and view of life."
The question of how the liturgy which was meaningful for our fathers has become meaningless for us may be illustrated with a story I happened to hear. Once upon a time there lived a doctor who made very effective medicines with rare herbs. As he approached the eve of his life, he wrote down the procedure in detail for his successors of how the medicines can be made. The prescription of one of the rare medicines started as follows: 1. Have the cat in a cage, 2. Assemble the following ingredients. Etc.... Years or even centuries later, one of his successors started making the medicine using this prescription. He looked at the very first item in the procedure-- have the cat in a cage. What to do? There is no cat in the home. He didn't want to skip any of the steps fearing that it might affect the effect of the medicine. He sent his assistants to his neighbors in search of a cat to be caged.
There was nothing wrong with the doctor in creating the medicine or in writing a detailed procedure of how to make it. But there was something seriously wrong in the way it was understood by a later generation. Without even thinking of the purpose of each step, they wanted to follow it literally. There was a difference in the two contexts. In the original context, there was a cat at home, and it was necessary to keep it safely away to keep the medicine free from the cat hairs. But in the later context, there was no cat at home, and so they had no need to bother about the first step. The procedures of a church sacrament are very much like the procedures of making a medicine. The ones who originally created the sacraments knew the meaning of each step in the procedure, but centuries later, when the same sacraments are repeated following their procedures, there is a danger of mindless repetition. Instead of following the procedures literally, we need to strive for a purposeful and meaningful following of the procedures. The difference in contexts need to be considered.   
The Two Contexts of Our Liturgy
Judaism had three times of prayer--Evening, morning, and noontime (Psalm 55:18). We read that Daniel prayed three times a day (Dan. 6:11) But they seemed to have four times of prayer on Sabbath and other holidays. However, some people prayed more than three times. "Seven times a day I have given praise to thee" (Psalm 119:164). Some prayed even at midnight (Psalm 118:62). In Roman cities a bell marked every third hour, which probably helped the Jews and Christians to schedule their times of prayer.  
By the fourth century, there were Christian monasteries, where the inmates devoted enough time for seven times of prayer each and every day. They gathered together to pray every third hour except the one at 3 am. The prayer of each time begins and ends with a Qawmo, like introduction and conclusion. Between the two Qawmos, there are several long and short prayers, songs, and Bible readings. Prayer was the one most important thing in the monastic way of life. Out of the sixteen wakeful hours, they spent three to five hours everyday for prayer. They spent the remaining time for study, manual work, etc. The monastic way of life created such a deep impression upon the psyche of a civilization that they wanted to change the entire church, and eventually the entire world, into a big monastery. People were expected and encouraged to follow the monastic way of life with seven times of prayer a day. The monastic way of life was seen as the standard and norm, and the non-monastic people were expected to follow the same lifestyle in their churches and homes.
Even today there are monasteries, and the inmates have seven times of prayer as it was done in the monasteries of 4th and 5th centuries. However, the non-monastic people, who live a regular life in their homes and work places cannot realistically live a monastic life with seven times of prayer like the monastic inmates. If praying is what the monastic people primarily do, farming is what the farmers primarily do, and woodwork is what carpenters primarily do. If some formers and carpenters are willing to pray seven times a day, they must be welcome to do so. But all farmers and carpenters should not be expected to pray seven times a day. Also they should not be made feel guilty for not praying seven times a day.
Outside monasteries, worship happens in two places: homes and churches. Monastery is a place where people live and work all the time. They go outside a monastery very rarely. In such a setting, seven times of prayer is realistic. A home is different from a monastery. They stay at home at night, but they go to their work places during day time. This context doesn't permit them to pray every third hour. A church is different from a monastery and a home. A church building is a place where people gather once in a week and on other special days for a limited time. Praying every third hour is not possible in this context as well.
Thus there is a clear difference between the original monastic context of the liturgy and the non-monastic context. This problem was recognized long time ago, and monastic prayers were adapted for homes and churches. Non-monastic people were allowed to put together the seven-time prayers into two groups and pray them in morning and evening. On a Sunday morning, right before the Holy Eucharist, the prayers of three times are put together-- 6:00 am, 9:00 am, and 12:00 pm. Each time's prayer begins and ends with a Qawmo. Even when the three times' prayers are put together, all these Qawmos are recited. Thus we recite a Qawmo six times in the morning. The sixth one is often moved to the very end of the Eucharist.
At home, people usually pray two times-- morning and evening. In the morning they have to pray the prayers of 12:00 am, 6:00 am, 9:00 am, and 12:00 pm. In the evening they have to pray the prayers of 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 9:00 pm. They have to begin and end each time's prayer with a Qawmo. Thus in the morning they have to repeat a Qawmo eight times, and in the evening six times.
Putting the prayers of various times together may not sound like a sensible idea if we think about it. Imagine that you live away from your home, and you call your parents once everyday. You are about to go to a remote place from where you cannot make phone calls. You will be back on the seventh day. So how do you make the phone calls? Altogether you are supposed to make seven phone calls in seven days. You don't want to miss any one of them. So you plan to make four calls together before you leave, and three calls after you return. You take your phone, dial the number and call, and after the call you hang up the phone-- the first call. You make three more calls like this in the same order. When you come back you make three calls like this. What do you think of this? No one with a normal state of mind would do so. If this sounds senseless, how can we divide the seven times of prayer into two? Prayer is communication with our heavenly father just like a phone call, and putting together prayers is a very mechanical and thoughtless act.
Well, one might argue that prayer is not only communication with God, it is also a spiritual exercise. Agree. Imagine that you do physical exercise for an hour once a day. You are going to make a trip, and you can't do exercises for seven days. Will you do four days' exercise together before you leave, and three days' exercise after you return? 
Monastic lifestyle cannot be made a model for the non-monastic lifestyle, and the non-monastic people should not be expected to follow a monastic lifestyle. Our present liturgy originated within monastic lifestyle, and they can be used without much change in our monasteries. Prayer is the main thing they do in monasteries, and they can find enough time to recite all the prayers in all the seven times every day. But the monastic liturgy cannot be used as such in non-monastic life, for their life at home and work places doesn't permit them to pray every third hour. However, monastic liturgy may be used in non-monastic setting if it is sensibly adapted. 
Adapting Monastic Liturgy for a Non-Monastic Setting
A few years ago, the leaders of this community realized that it is unrealistic to expect people to pray every third hour, or pray very long prayers at their homes, and they prepared a modified shorter version for morning and evening prayers to be used at home. It is called Kudumba Araadhana Kramam in Malayalam. This is an example of adapting monastic liturgy for non-monastic setting.
This liturgical reform to shorten the morning and evening prayers at home needs to inspire and guide further reforms. The prayers at the church may also be shortened. We may develop a revised morning prayer before the Holy Eucharist with just one Qawmo instead of six. We may also recite fewer prayers and sing fewer songs meaningfully rather than recite too many of them mechanically.
A regular Sunday worship takes three to four hours now. Special celebrations like Nativity, Hosanna, Passover, Easter, and Pentecost last for four to five hours. Good Friday, which usually lasts six to seven hours, has four times of prayers in addition to special prayers of the cross, each lasts more than an hour. Each time's prayer begins and ends with Qawmo, and they have prayers, songs and Bible readings.
I believe the Holy synod, the highest decision-making body of this community, has appointed a committee to reform our liturgy. Even if the committee proposes a reform, it can't be practiced unless it is accepted by the community in general. The Reform committee also needs to make the people aware of the need of such a meaningful revision.
In many churches there are special prayers after the Holy Eucharist for those who celebrate their birthday and wedding anniversary, for the sick, and for the departed. Also in many churches the priest makes a sermon after the Eucharist. A sermon and prayers after the Eucharist do not sound that meaningful because the priest turns toward the congregation and says a farewell at the end of the Eucharist. A farewell is meaningful only if it is the last item, and if the people leave immediately after that. We need to modify the liturgy of the Eucharist in such a way that the farewell occurs at the very end, which means that the sermon and the prayers need to be placed before the farewell.
Once we realize that the non-monastic lifestyle is different from the monastic lifestyle, we will also realize that there can be two versions of liturgy-- a monastic version and a non-monastic version. People in non-monastic setting should have the freedom to choose the monastic version if they want. For example we may have two versions of the Holy Eucharist-- a monastic, long version that takes about an hour and a half to two hours, and a non-monastic, shorter version that can be completed in about thirty to forty-five minutes. In a church setting, the church members may have the freedom to choose their version by majority voting.  
Earlier, I described what I saw in a church recently. Now let me describe what I would like to see there. The morning prayer starts at 8:00, and the entire congregation is already present. No one comes to church after 8:00. The morning prayer lasts for about 15 minutes, and the Holy Eucharist starts at about 8:15. People do not come forward for individual absolution, for all people are prepared to accept the holy communion, and so there is common absolution. The priest gives a sermon of five minutes immediately after the gospel reading. The entire congregation accepts Holy communion. There is a system in place for giving communion to the entire congregation within five minutes. Special prayers for the sick, the departed, for those who celebrate birthday and wedding anniversary-- all these happen within the Eucharist. The priest says farewell, and the congregation departs by 9:30.
Would we rather have a Sunday worship that lasts an hour and a half with all the people present the entire time or one of three hours with the majority of the participants arrive only toward the end? We may ask the same question about the Good Friday and about all the other special festivals. Would we rather have a Good Friday celebration of three hours with everyone in the congregation present all the time or one in which the majority are present only toward the end as it is now. If the prayer of each 3rd hour takes half and hour, and the special prayer of the cross takes an hour, the total time can be three hours. If we can get all the people attend the worship in its entirety, this is worth considering.
But we cannot have a rapid transition from a longer version to a shorter version. Only a slow transition over a long period of time will be accepted by a community. During the transition period, some people may want to stick to the longer version. In order to accommodate both those who want a long version and those who want a shorter version, some adjustments and sacrifices will have to be made. For example, there may be a short version and a long version of Good Friday liturgy, and people should have the freedom to participate in either one. The long version from 8 am to 3 pm, but the short version may be from 12 pm to 3 pm. Those who want the long version will start coming from 8:00 am, and those who want the short version join them at 12: 00 pm. Those who choose the short version should not be made to feel guilty.
A meaningful worship is central to the healthy life of any faith-based community. Without a meaningful liturgy, a meaningful worship is not possible. A meaningful liturgy will enable the entire congregation to participate in the worship in a meaningful and purposeful way. A liturgy that is literally understood cannot be meaningful. In order for liturgy to remain meaningful, the difference in contexts needs to be considered. A liturgy suitable for monastic setting may not be suitable for non-monastic settings such as homes and churches. Also a liturgy suitable for one culture may not be suitable for another culture at a different place and time.


Dear Reader,
   If you took time to read this all the way to the end, you are obviously among the few people who care for worship and the liturgy we use. I really like to hear what you think about what I have said here. Please let me know if you agree or disagree with the main idea here. If you fully agree, cannot fully agree, or if you disagree, please tell me why. Please be frank, and express your honest opinion. Please write briefly, clearly, and to the point. I hope to learn a little more from you. Click on comments underneath, and post your comment. If it does not work, please email me at johnkunnathu at


Dr. Joseph E. Thomas PhD said...

Gregorios Thirumeni had introduced this suggestion in the Holy Synod. His suggestions included shortening/condensing the six Thubdens into one. Secondly use the long “നിന്നാൾ സ്തുതിയോടു രാജമകൾ … series for special intercessory prayers to occasions like Perunnaals only. These intercessory prayers were added to our regular liturgy only during our fight with the Marthomma Church to drive them out. There is no place for it now. It was intended only for special occasions such as Perunnaals. Sermons should not take more than ten minutes. Its contents are to be what that day’s Evangelion means, its context, and how it applies to our life today. These changes would cut the Quorbana time to an hour. There is nothing theologically wrong with shortening our quorbana in those lines.I don’t know why people are tortured with prolonged prayers. Apparently they confuse long prayers with deeper spirituality. My father used say that the Qurbana should not take more than an hour. There are several prayers that have short versions and long versions. The long versions are meant only for Special occasions.

Tony Daniel said...

About a year ago a young gentleman was sent here from our diocese in Chennai, on a fact finding mission. He was sent here to find out why youth from our church preferred to go to churches of other denominations. Some of us put forward most of the points presented in this article. But we were vehemently opposed by a loud minority. The third group, the largest, were the silent neutral.

Some people come to church for nostalgic reasons. They recreate the very same situations they ran away from. They literally drag their children by their ears and make them do the things they were made to do when they were children. And it is for this very reason that these youth choose to go to other churches when they are able to do so by themselves. The youth from families with less rigorous outlook attend church more regularly and participate in various church activities.

Have things changed since the young man’s visit? Not an iota!

Another version of your story
A pujari had a few disciples. He would teach them the procedures of a good puja. The puja involved pouring of milk and ghee on the idols. So he would first diligently tie up his cat before the puja began to prevent the cat from defiling the offerings.
When the pujari passed away his disciples left to start their own pujas.

Then as in your story they then went and got a cat and tied it up before they began the pujas.

One more version

A mother passed on her turkey recipe to her daughter, the daughter passed it on to her daughter.(Let us call them grandma, daughter and granddaughter) The recipe involved quartering the turkey and preparing it and then roasting it.

The daughter insisted on quartering the turkey before she roasted it. The granddaughter for lack of time did not quarter the turkey before she roasted it. She roasted it whole, and she found it juicier and tastier than her mother’s roast. However her mother rebuked her for not following the recipe exactly. So the granddaughter goes to her grandmother and explained the situation. The grandmother replied, “It is OK dear, we quartered the turkey because we did not have a pot large enough for the whole turkey and moreover our oven was small”.

George Joseph said...

The article is worth debating, but I have a question. Many find our worship lengthy, and the reason? We do not concentrate. These prayers are perhaps designed by early age fathers, but look at the contents. They are as relevant now as they weer then. Looks like a magic. But we do not listen. Many attend Church on Sunday when they are not engaged otherwise. Our priority must be to change this. Even if there is a 4 hour long movie, we patiently sit till its end because we are focused. But we are not that focused when it comes to Bible reading or worship. Efforts must commence at all levels like OCYM, MOMS, MGOCSM, Sunday School and the like to inculcate a true culture to be part and parcel of our worship.

Susan Eapen said...

The English version of Kudumba Aaradhanakramam has been brought out by Nagpur Seminary.

To explain my views on the other issues, why do we have the Sunday Liturgy? Not just to worship God who does not require our worship to either satisfy his position or ego or maintain his might. It is for our preparation to receive the Eucharist. If we really believe that the Eucharist is the body and the blood of Jesus Christ or the transference of His life and power or the Holy Spirit which the priest received through the uninterrupted laying on of hands from Aaron and Moses through John, Jesus and St Thomas, then is time of any concern?

We are expected to prepare from Saturday for this.

The Njaayaraazcha Namaskaaram and Vishudha QUrbaana Kramam book says after the prayers for the 6th hour or noon that those who are not partaking the Holy QUrbana must say the prayers starting 'Ninne Prasavicha Mariamminteyum' and one Kauma and the Creed and end their worship.

I think the real intention is that all baptised who attend church must also communicate because it signifies a sharing and standing apart is refusing to share. The others leave as the QUrbana was to be private and only for the baptised. I think even those who for some reason do not want to share in the EUcharist can leave after Prabhathanamaskaaram. But how do they say the other prayers because the congregation goes directly to the readings from the Old Testament and the Qurbana. Perhaps those who want to leave can say the prayers privately. No one has bothered to explain this to us.

In Marthoma Church years ago I have seen the resident students from St. Thomas School being taken out after the Prabhatha Namaskaaram.
Since the notices etc come after the full service, if any one leaves in between, he would miss these.

In practice, most people come after Prabhaatha Namskaram and many after Tubden.
The songs of Prabhaatha Namaskaram, especially those of this season are splendid.
I love the song "Daivathin puthrane Mariyam Uddhanathin shesham thottakkaran pol kandaal thottathil"
Every time I take the trouble to attend the Prabhaatha Namaskaaram, I find myself listening more deeply to these songs. You can find in any church a few who are addicted to these. They have a meaning more than the superficial meaning of the event around AD 30.
Last Sunday I suddenly realized that I was like Mariyam, searching for my Savior among the dead while he stood before me.

Susan Eapen

George Varughese said...

House of God is Holy , Church is Holy, Church is universal, Church is eternal. Church is Apostolic, Only One Apostolic Church. Holiness of church visible church, Church is holy because of its unity with Christ and because of the activities of the Holy Spirit with in it. That is intrinsic holy independently holy, but it is holiness derived dependant up on its relationship mystical union with Christ. Christ is Holy and work of Holy Spirit is Holy the work of it is Holy with in it. That doesn’t mean every body with in the Church is Holy. People are with in the place where the Holiness presents of God and Christ. A company of Holy and unholy in the church, wheat and tares. Church is composed by all true believers. Church is Holy because the involvement of the Holy Spirit. A meaningful and purposeful participation of worship is not depend on the length of the liturgy. A meaningful worship is not possible without a change of heart. Worship should be real and meaningful if we focus on our heart. We have a heart problem. "Bibles says, a broken and a contrite heart I will not forsake." That is God's promise. We can trust His promise. We have to look at our own heart honestly, sincerely see as it is in the mirror. Unless we know ourselves we cannot know God of the Bible. We know more about ourselves, we know more about God of the Bible. The more we know about God we know more about yourself. Lengthy and short liturgy is only a lips service. Many people think their lengthy prayers and many good words and repetitions are heard by the Lord. Look at the prayers of Phrases and the publican. Phrases look at the heaven and prayed as he is closer to God, but the publican stand far off, he cannot look up to heaven, he was looking at his own heart. I am a sinner. I am not worthy to be stand here. He didn’t have the lengthy or short liturgy. All he had his hand and beet his chest. I am a sinner. That should be focus and the atitudes. He go home with justified. When it come to the Lord’s table, a brief sermon, should preach before the celebrate of the Holy Communion, because the preaching of the word of God faith come. "Faith come by hearing and hearing the word of God." God's method of saving His people through His word.
George Varughese.