The Holy Eucharist in the English language has been celebrated for the first time at Mar Yosip Parish in San Jose, California.
Reverend Genard Lazar led the service, on 13 February, which attracted approximately 60 faithful mainly comprised of youth members. A number of families also gathered to worship, confess, offer thanksgiving to God Almighty and receive the Oblation for the pardon of debts and the remission of sins.
Exposing on the Gospel reading for the week, John 3:22-end, Rev. Genard encouraged the faithful to remember that “we must learn to decrease, so that God may be increased in every aspect of our daily lives.”
His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California, was also present at the service and stated that the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated in the English language at Mar Yosip Parish every second Sunday of each month.
Adessa Kiryakos, the current youth president of Mar Yosip Parish, expressed her enthusiasm regarding English services in San Jose.
“Having English services at Mar Yosip Parish allows everyone to appreciate Raza Qaddisha every Sunday because we have many individuals who are married to non-Assyrians and their spouses and children can now understand what is being said during the service,” she said.
“It’s also very beneficial to our youth because although they understand conversational Assyrian, understanding the Raza is difficult because of the language barrier. Now they can understand the liturgy better and invite their friends, even non-Assyrians, to participate and take part in the Holy Eucharistic services.”
Likewise, Sub-Deacon Banypaul Beitsayad, also from Mar Yosip Parish, conveyed his support for English services at his parish.
“I love the Assyrian language, but Christ is the God of Assyrians ûand the rest of mankind. So if conducting services in English is what it takes to bring our Assyrian brothers and sisters closer to Him, then we should be happy about it as Christians, as well as nationalists, for witnessing our people drawing nearer to the Lord and the salvation he has bestowed upon us,” he affirmed.
The next Eucharistic service in the English language taking place at Mar Yosip Parish in San Jose will be on 13 March, 2011.[nggallery id=166]