How to Attend (Geez) Mass Effectively
…… for Dummies
By Abel M. Gebreyesus, BA, MHI, LSSGB
Just a note: I am not going to put this into any book market with the “How to…. For Dummies” series J
Rather, this is a reflection of how I always wonder on how our young people, whether they born or grown up in Canada, appreciate the essence of Geez Mass. When I say “appreciate”, I mean taste, feel and touch the beauty of such a 2000 years of Eritrean and Ethiopian churches language/tradition. While I relish with such divine and ecclesiastical language and melody, I was thinking for a while how about if I pass my 10 point recommendation on how one can appreciate (Geez) Mass. Here you go with my recommendation (a.k.a. my two cents):
1. Any sound, including silence, is a music; so listen deeply and immerse into spiritual journey by listening the awesomeness of Geez Zema (melody). For sure you will like it. If not already by now, then please refer to my last recommendation.
2. Mass is the non-bloody representation of Our Lord Jesus; Passion and death on the Cross. It is the journey to Golgotha; and even if you don’t understand the language, just take the bus of this Journey and will be there eventually. Most important is the journey, not the vehicle.
3. Every time we give thanks to God using our own language, with such beauty which has been part of who we are, for the past 2000 years, is a moment to celebrate and be proud of we are. So ask to get further information about how and why we are doing Geez. There are many new and old school scholars on this subject within our community.
4. God gives preference to your heart not your talk. Translation: even if you don’t well versed in Geez and its melody, you still can be part of the Mass physically and emotionally.
5. Experience is a tutor. If you have already attended 10, 15, 20…. years of Geez Mass, by now you should be able to recite or sing something, anything. Is this unrealistic expectation to yourself?
6. Credit to those who translate as well as who work diligently to have our Mass in three languages for us on Sundays. Every Mass, there is a translation these days via the projector. Follow the translations and enjoy the fruit of the Mass.
7. (Geez) Mass is the best time to be with yourself and with God and appreciate the value of salvation. At least for an hour or two, someone needs a break from the chaotic daily life. That is why Sunday is there.
8. Thanks to a you tube era, build your familiarity by listening some of the best zema (melody) either from Catholic or Coptic churches around the world.
9. Whenever you get a chance, please practice some of the melodies and the language. These days there are many online contents to do that. Don’t you know at least one person who studies or travel to Rome to study Latin language? Geez is our Latin, in a sense it is now a church only language.
Mass is about making oneself ready to God. Holy Mass is the foci-point of our faith. It is place-n- time where God meets us so we prepare to meet God. It is about interest and get deep feeling at the end of the journey to Golgotha – so be interested to be part of the flock.