Nourishing our Spirit with Daily Devotions

Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo

The liturgical reform of the Holy Qurbana enacted in our diocese a few years ago, as approved by the Holy Chaldean Synod and recognized by the Holy See, resulted in a remarkable spiritual revival, especially among young adults. Nevertheless, the need persists for a system of spiritual exercises that will provide a daily and weekly practice of devotion, that may cover many aspects of our life of faith.

Morning and Evening Prayers: The system of the Hudhra Prayer Book as printed in 1887 having become practically obsolete in our day, we had to find at the present time a system with content fitting for our contemporary communities, in continuity with our apostolic heritage and its Mesopotamian tradition. In close collaboration with my dear brother priest Fr. Andrew Younan, we finalized the yearly system and selection of texts to be used in parochial and monastic communities, for seasonal and daily prayers. The year 2012 marks the jubilee of the 125th anniversary of the Hudhra’s first edition; it is fitting to celebrate this jubilee with a new and fresh edition of the Hudhra that will present a comprehensive and cohesive selection of its rich harvest. This is what we are posted and set promptly to do.

Spirituality of each day of the week: The history of our salvation clarifies the meaning and position of the weekend: Friday, in relation to other weekly days, is the memorial of the Crucifixion and penitential rites; it also is for honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and commemorating the Martyrs of the Church; Saturday is fitting to be a commemoration day for our deceased who passed away in the hope of resurrection; Sunday the great feast of Resurrection to new life. But what about Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday? Indeed, we must assign a meaning and a role to each one of them.

Monday: Could be considered an extension of the Resurrection event and theme, emulating the role of Emmaus, thus dialoguing with Jesus about his redemption while we journey through earthly life and history.

Tuesday: Could be assigned the theme of ecclesial community, and social families as well, having St. Joseph for patron and model. Other popular devotions of saints, like St. Rita, St. Anthony, etc. may find fitting room in this day’s liturgies.

Wednesday: is traditionally, in the Chaldean calendar, the day dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Queen of Saints and Mother of the Church. A particular Vespers and ceremonial could be developed to express that devotion. Many Marian sodalities may have their opportunity to organize their celebrations on this day, at least once a month.

Thursday: must be considered, in commemoration of Holy Thursday, the day of Eucharistic devotion, including a short Eucharistic Benediction ceremony, monthly or weekly Holy Hour, and prolonged periods of Adoration on special commemorations.

Devotional Formularies: To express and nourish the described system of piety, it becomes of great benefit and impact to formulate and organize Devotional Formularies, aiming at the build-up of our parishes and sodalities all over the world, connecting intimately our dispersed Chaldean Churches. These formularies should contain readings from Scripture, liturgical hymns and ‘Onyatha, and prayers and intercessions to be selected from our rich spiritual heritage, so that they will be recognized as an organic growth of our authentic tradition.

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