Kerala's Syro Malabar Church creates history with first Holy Mass for the hearing-impaired

Kerala witnessed today its first Holy Mass for hearing impaired people at St Thomas Mount of the Syro-Malabar Church in Kakkanad, Kochi.

Published: 11th September 2017 04:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2017 04:43 PM   |  A+A-

The hearing-impaired members of the church's congregation listen to the first mass conducted in sign language. (Express Photo | Albin Mathew)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad, headquarters of the Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala, on Monday witnessed a 'silent revolution' of sorts.

In a new beginning for the church in Kerala, and perhaps the church in India, the Syro-Malabar Church, in a first of its kind initiative, conducted a mass for the hearing and speech impaired. George Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, celebrated the mass which was translated into sign language by experts. 

(Express Photo | Albin Mathew)

The mass in sign language is an initiative of the Syro Malabar Pro-life Apostolate chaired by Bishop Mar Mathew Arakkal, Bishop Mar Jose Pulikkal, and Mar Remijios Inchananiyil as members.

Earlier, the St George’s Church in Edappally celebrated the first mass with translation by a sign language expert on August 5. 

“When the Pro-life Apostolate suggested the idea of including the hearing-impaired, church head Cardinal Mar George Alencherry was all for it,” Pro-Life Apostolate secretary Sabu Jose told Express.

Till now, there was no platform in the church for the hearing and speech impaired. With the mass on Monday for hearing and speech impaired, the Syro Malabar Church hopes other denominations will also follow suit.

(Express Photo | Albin Mathew)

Church officials said plans are also afoot to launch a premarital course for this marginalised section. Though in the initial stage, the mass started with ‘translation’, priests who have learned sign language will soon celebrate the mass in sign language. 

The official go-ahead for the mass for the hearing and speech impaired was taken at the Syro-Malabar synod held at Mount St Thomas from August 21-September 1. 

Sr Abhaya, who teaches the hearing and speech impaired as principal in-charge of the St Clare Badhira Vidyalayam, Manickamangalam, was one of the experts who translated the mass into sign language.



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