The word “Qurbana” has different meanings like offering, gift, oblation, sacrifice, presents etc. The word took its origin from the syriac word ‘Kurbono’. As there is no apt word to translate into different languages with the full connotation, the same word is accepted in different languages with a slight change. In the Old Testament wherever the word ‘sacrifice’ or ‘offering’ is intended the word ‘Kurbono’ is used in the Syriac Bible.
1. Holy Qurbana is worship and sacrament
The Holy Qurbana is a systematic form of public worship, most beautiful and exhilarating. It is also an important sacrament. Above all it is the perfector of sacraments. It was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ himself. He specially entrusted his disciples. It is food and salvation for our souls. We are connected to him by his body and blood of Messiah through this sacrament. Therefore it is magnificent and it excels everything and is truly attractive. Melchizedek, the chief priest of God (who lived at the time of Abraham) made offering in bread and wine as foreshadowing this sacrament. Gen:14:18 “Then Melchizedek King of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High”. During the Old Testament days it is celebrated as sacrifice of innocent lambs as a wondrous example. At the fullness of time it was fulfilled in the Holy body of the lamb of God, Jesus Christ. It is being commemorated by the Church through this sacrament till the end of the world. This sacred sacrament is full of several great deep mysteries.
2. Visible and invisible acts
Our Lord once for all died on the cross for us. It will not be repeated. The Holy Qurbana, the remembrance of which kindles our faith, lead us to new spiritual experience. In this past time, present time and the future time are all combined. Eventhough our Lord is invisible now he is sitting on the right hand of the Father in heaven and offers the living sacrifice to God, the creator of all on behalf of us all in calm and peace. We are made part and parcel of this sacrifice. The Lord himself as the chief celebrant is celebrating this sacred act which is mercy, peace, sacrifice and thanks giving. In the Holy Qurbana the celebrant is the priest but he really represent the Lord. Now we can understand that the Holy Qurbana is the union of the visible and the invisible, wonderfully and excellently made united.
3. It is Holy Sacrifice itself
The Holy Qurbana is the remembrance of the Holy Sacrifice done on Calvery once for all. Rom:12:1 “Living Sacrifices: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship”. The Holy Qurbana is actually a spiritual sacrifice. Like Abraham who prepared to offer his son Issac as sacrifice we also should offer ourselves as sacrifice for the remission of our sins. The only thing is that in the Holy Qurbana we ourselves are the animals of sacrifice.
4. It is service of thanks giving
The Holy Qurbana is a sacrament through which we express our gratitude and thanks to God who protect us in wondrous ways. When we pray like the priest “ Oh God make us worthy to offer you this service of Thanks giving as sweet fragrance of incense” then we understand the remarkable magnitude of this service.
5. It is a performance full of meaning
There is great meaning in all things done in Holy Qurbana. It enables to touch the heart of man. The heard melodies in Holy Qurbana are sweet and make us happy. The thoughtful prayers reveal the eternal truths. Every act done has deep meaning. There is intention for all the colours seen, there is aim for every step made. There is significance for every clothes worn. Every word uttered depicts mysterious action the heart and reminds us of the experiences of heaven. All the materials used in this, stands for one or other thing and makes us thoughtful , whereby five senses of man made in full action. Sight gives the eyes delight, songs give ears pleasantness. The incense of fragrance give the nose sweetness. The bread and wine give the tongue tasteness and the skin gives occasion to touch. Body, mind and heart are made in full action. In short, the Holy Qurbana is an act full of meaning. We are made to see the Holy Sacrifice of our Lord with body, mind and soul and as thanks giving enables us to submit ourselves as the Passover Lamb of the New Testament, by eating the manna of the New Testament, renew the covenant of the New Testament with the blood of him.