Malankara World

Great Lent

Prostration/ Kneeling (Kumbideel)

Kumbideel/Kneeling (Bending down) or Prostrating

Kneeling /Bending Down with 8 organs of human body, during prayers/worship, In Malayalam we Call as" Kumbideel " or "Sashtanga Pranamam." Our (orthodox) prayer is Called " Namaskaram" in (PRAYER IN PROSTRATE) in mother tongue Malayalam language. for example : Sandhya Namaskaram (evening prayer), Prabhatha Namaskaram (morning prayer), Ucha Namaskaram (noon prayer) etc.

'Namaskaram' means PRAYING ON KNEES. While praying, we kneel or bend down before Almighty God. The whole participation of human mind, soul and body in prayer /worship is the peculiarity of orthodox worship.

There are the Eight organs of human body to touch the ground while kneeling :

The Forehead/Brain: This is the source of wisdom in human being. To understand ,or to recognize/realize ,Diagnose and act we use brain. We submit or dedicate our brain to Almighty God

The Nose/Breath: We breath through nose for air/oxygen. Breath of Life was is given by God, the creator (Genesis 2:7).The existence of human life is through air/Oxygen.

Hands/Fists: These are operational devices in our body . without the hands we cannot work ,we cannot lift, we cannot cook ,cannot bath ,we cannot drink/eat. We use our fists for common jobs for holding things together. Our hands are Folded together in prayer (KAIKAL KOOPPI) or worship.

Knees: for motion of human body knees are required. Without knees, we cannot walk, run. Jog ,or perform certain motions of our body.

Feet/Legs: Our Life Journey is carried out with feet/ Legs, without feet/legs there are no support/movements in our body. In order to stand well /support the human body we need the feet.

The biblical basis/reference for Kneeling/bending down:-

Old testament

Genesis 18:2 …..Abraham ran from the tent door to meet them ,and bowed himself to the Ground

(Lord appeared to Abraham at the oak of Mamre)

Genesis 4:26 Then the man bowed his head and worshipped God.

Daniel 6:11 ….He knelt down on his knees, prayed and gave thanks to his God.


New Testament:-

Lord Jesus knelt down at the Garden of Gethsemane for prayer (Luke 22:41,Mark 14:35,Mt26:39)

Mark 1:40 the leper kneel down before Jesus!

Mathew 2:11 The wise men (magi) knelt before infant Jesus !

Revelation 7:11 The heavenly angels stood around the throne and elders…fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God!

The twenty four Elders fall down before him Who sits on the Throne and worshipped HIM who lives forever and ever and cast their crowns before the Throne(rev:4:11) also refer Rev 5:14,11:16,19:4

Mark 10:17 an young man kneel down before Jesus!

We do this (kneeling) in our prayers/ or worship, to remember the death of our Lord Jesus on the cross and in order to express our penitence and dedication before God.

We do not kneel down on Forty Days from Easter Sunday to feast of Ascension Of Jesus. Also on Sundays, Important Feasts ("moronaya perunnal") we do not kneel. The kneeling start on Feast of Pentecost and ends Holy Saturday before Easter

During the Nineveh Lent (Three Day Lent) and Great Lent we have special 40 times kneeling with reciting prayer verses at the end of noon prayer

1. Kurielaison! (10 times)

2. Lord have mercy upon us! (10 times)

3. Lord be kind and have mercy upon us! (10 times)

4. Answer Lord, and have mercy upon us! (10 times)

Those who cannot perform THIS CAN EITHER DO IT DURING Evening prayer or morning prayer during great lent/Nineveh lent conveniently.

During The Passion Week (holy week) we kneel down more times during the Liturgical prayer/worship services as our prayers are more devoted to the sufferings /Passions of Christ our Lord. Instead of usual Trisagion (Kauma) we have special Kauma for different prayer/worship(liturgy) times(watch/ yamam) .We recite/meditate and kneel more times due to the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Source: MOSC Forum/ Rinu Sam

See Also:

Some thoughts about Lent for Busy People by E.F. Pemberton
Do not let us forget the real object of our fast. We deny ourselves to subdue our bodies, so that our spiritual life may increase. We fast that we may be stronger to fight against our besetting sin, our bad habits, and faults. If you do not know, find out at once what is your besetting sin, i.e., the sin you most frequently commit; fight hard against it, and pray for the opposite virtue every day.

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