Mundelein Seminary welcomed His Excellency Mar Jacob Angadiath, Rev. Johnykutty George Puleessery, and Fr. Kevin Mundackal of the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago to campus as we celebrated the Holy Qurbana with our entire community. The Syriac word Qurbānā, literally “offering” (cf. Mk 7:10–12), describes the Eucharistic celebration of the Syro-Malabar Church, a church that, with more than 4.6 million believers, is the second largest of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome.
During the Qurbana, seminarian Joby Joseph (2T, Syro-Malabar) received the Minor Order of Heupadiakona, the second of two minor orders for a priestly candidate in the Syro-Malabar Church, with the Order of Karoya (Lector) being the first. These two minor orders begin a separation from the old self into a new self conformed to the person of Jesus Christ.
“I was honored to have my seminary family, the family I know and love and grow with, bless me and offer me to follow God more intimately,” Joseph said. “Those in the Order of Heupadiakona are commissioned to prepare the sanctuary and assist the priests and deacons for the sacred mysteries. We are also asked to pray more intimately with God, particularly through the Psalter. It was an indescribable joy to share this intimate moment with my family.”
BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE HOLY QURBANA
The Syro-Malabar Qurbānā is said to be modeled off the Lord’s Prayer. There are three parts in the prayer that our Lord taught us: 1) praising the heavenly Father, 2) interceding for needs, and 3) concluding with praising God. In the Holy Qurbānā, one can see these three parts as the whole liturgy is framed in a continual song of praise. Much like the Roman Rite, there are observable Liturgies of the Word and the Eucharist within the Holy Qurbānā. The former is celebrated largely from the bēma, the table of the Word, which in the celebration at Mundelein Seminary, uses the usual altar in the center of the sanctuary. The latter is largely celebrated on and around the altar — at Mundelein, the high altar where the tabernacle is located.
VARIANTS ON THE TRADITIONAL ROMAN RITE
- At those times when the celebrant blesses the congregation, the congregation receives the blessing my making the sign of the cross.
- The sign of peace flows from the altar and is offered to the congregation through the servers. When exchanging peace to one another, the recipient grasps with both hands the folded hands of the offeror. It can also be made by turning face to face with folded hands and inclining the head slightly.
- The posture for showing reverence during the Qurbānā is standing, whereas kneeling is reserved as a penitential action. Therefore, the congregation stands during the words of consecration.
- In the Holy Qurbānā, communion is received by intinction, and thus on the tongue.
- The congregation exercises the privilege of its priesthood (1 Pet 2: 5,9) by giving consent for the celebration at the beginning of the Qurbānā, as well as by saying “Amen” after the words of consecration. For this reason, those receiving communion do not say “Amen,” in contrast to the Latin-Rite practice.