Saturday, July 30, 2011

Many people know that såbanas means "sheet," the kind you put on your bed.  So some people wonder why, at a Chamorro rosary, there is a prayer to the Holy Sheet, the Såntos na Såbanas.  When the rosary is prayed in English, using Chamorro prayers rendered in English, the term "holy sheet" is actually used.  I suggest a change.  Why?

Såbanas is a word borrowed from Spanish.  In Spanish, sábanas means "sheet" or "altar cloth."  So when Spaniards talk about the Holy Shroud of Turin, the one with (it is believed) the image of the body of Christ, they talk about the Santa Sábana de Turín.

So, when used in reference to Turin, såbanas in Chamorro should be translated as "shroud."

The Chamorro prayer goes like this :

Asaina Yu'us, ni i un po'luye ham nu i fegge i masa'pet-mo gi Såntos na Såbanas ni muna' ono i Sen Såntos na Tataotao-mo annai nina' tunok hao gi kilu'us as Jose, nå'e ham, Asaina, na i finatai-mo yan i ma hafot-mo u na' fan ma konne' ham guato i mina'lak i lina'la' ta'lo, annai sumåsåga hao yan mama' sasaina hao yan si Yu'us Tåta, man hahamyo yan si Yu'us Espiritu Sånto, gi todo i manaihinekkok na ha'åne.  Amen.

Lord God, who has left us an image of your suffering on the Holy Shroud which wrapped your most holy body when Joseph took you down from the cross, grant us, Lord, that your death and burial may take us to the glory of the resurrection, where you live and reign with God the Father, together with God the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.  Amen.

It should be clear from the prayer why it is said for the deceased.  The Holy Shroud is a visible reminder of the death and burial of Christ, who rose from the dead, and we pray that the deceased who has died and is, or will be, buried be given the grace of rising, too, from the dead.


* The Joseph spoken of here is Joseph of Arimathea (not Joseph the husband of Mary), who buried Jesus' body.

Is this the Face of Jesus?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the translation of this beautiful prayer. I grew up listening to the Spanish prayer when my grandmother prayed for a loved one who was deceased. I now have to pray for my husband ‘s grandma and I can pray it with him.