Treasures of the Chaldean Liturgy

Shamashe training takes place at St. Michael Chaldean Catholic Church

On Monday, November 24th, His Excellency Bishop Sarhad Yawsip Jammo of the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle held a normal training of the Shamashe of St. Peter and St. Michael Chaldean Catholic Churches. The gathering it usually takes place at St. Michael’s Chaldean Church at 6:00pm.

His Excellency gave a lecture in which he discussed His Beatitude Patriarch Sako’s proposed “revisions” of the Official Reform of the Chaldean Mass.

Bishop Sarhad started by reading a small portion of a letter he received from His Eminence Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect for the Congregation of Eastern Churches. In the letter, dated October 1, 2014, Cardinal Sandri told Bishop Sarhad that Patriarch Sako had been pushing for a reform of the Chaldean Liturgy and had the Chaldean bishops who were present at the last synod sign off on it. The letter stated that the Congregation of Eastern Churches at the Vatican was very confused about what was happening in regards to the Liturgy of the Chaldean Church, mainly because the Church had just gone through an official reform of the Liturgy in 2006. Cardinal Sandri requested from Bishop Sarhad an explanation of the confusing nature of the Patriarch’s “emergency” reform of the Chaldean Liturgy. He also asked Bishop Sarhad to give his opinion on the proposed new mass of Patriarch Sako and other liturgical reforms that he made.

Bishop Sarhad then explained the whole process that a reform of the Liturgy would entail. It would take many years of research and study based on the fact that the Liturgy is something that is a treasure of the Church and the greatest act any human being can perform; so, it must be treated with immense care and responsibility. Cardinal Sandri sent Bishop Sarhad a copy of the Patriarch’s “reform”, and Bishop Sarhad pointed out that there had been two other versions posted on the Patriarchal website both of which had details changed from the official copy received by Cardinal Sandri. Also, there was a version in Arabic on the website which had many other changes and details that were not found in the “official” one that Cardinal Sandri sent, one of which was that all Chaldean churches must remove the body of Jesus from the crosses in all churches.

Another was that the treasured hymns from the Chaldean Tradition, Lakhu Mara and Qadysha Alaha¸ would be optional to say in the “new mass”.

Bishop Sarhad emphasized the sloppiness of this whole process and made it very clear that the Liturgy is not something to play games with. The Liturgy of the Church of the East is something that we have inherited from our forefathers, with parts even directly from the Apostles of Jesus Christ himself. How could people treat such a valuable treasure with such carelessness? Bishop Sarhad explained the whole faultiness of Patriarch Sako’s process to the Vatican and now we wait for the Holy Spirit to guide its Church. Meanwhile, the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle will continue worshipping God using the Liturgy of the Official Reform of 2006.

Next Monday he will continue on his lecture in this matter at the same time and location.

Deacon Simon Esshaki

Watch the video of the lecture: