Following religious services are provided by Gurdwara Sahib Greenwood
Akhand Path Akand Path (akhand = uninterrupted, without break; path = reading) is non-stop, continuous recital of the Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end. Such a recital must be completed within 48 hours. The entire Holy Volume, 1430 large pages, is read through in a continuous ceremony. This reading must go on day and night, without a moment’s intermission. The relay of reciters who take turns at saying Scripture must ensure that no break occurs.
As they change places at given intervals, one picks the line from his predecessor’s lips and continues. When and how the custom of reciting the canon in its entirety in one continuous service began is not known. Conjecture traces it to the turbulent days of the eighteenth century when persecution had scattered the Sikhs to far off places. In those exilic, uncertain times, the practice of accomplishing a reading of the Holy Book by a continuous recital is believed to have originated.
Sahej Path is also recitation of Guru Granth Sahib, from beginning to end, but it doesn’t have to be continuous. A person or group of persons can read the holy text according to their schedule and complete the reading of Guru Granth Sahib.
Sukhmani Sahib Path
Sukhmani, titled Gauri Sukhmani in the Guru Granth Sahib after the musical measure Gauri to which it belongs, is a lengthy composition by Guru Arjan which many include in their daily regimen of prayers. The site, once enclosed by a dense wood, where it was composed around AD 1602-03, is still marked on the bank of the Ramsar pool in the city of Amritsar.The word sukhmani is rendered into English as “consoler of the mind.” The entire poem has been translated into English more than once under the commonly preferred title, “Psalm of Peace” or “Song of Peace,” signifying the soothing effect it has on the nynd of the reader. Sukh literally means peace or comfort and mani mind or heart.
The Sukhmani comprises twenty-four astpadis or cantos, each comprising eight stanzas. They are composed in the metre chaupai. A sloka or couplet precedes each astpadi. The first seven stanzas of the astpadi explore the theme stated in the preceding sloka and the eighth sometimes sums up the astpadi but, more often, becomes a paean of praise placing the theme in the context of an overall vision of Eternal Reality. This structure is maintained throughout and though, from canto to canto, there may not be traceable progression of thought as in a philosophical work, there is a continuing unity of spiritual and ethical tone.
One of the fundamental texts of the Sikh faith, the Sukhmani presents a complete scheme of the teachings of the Sikh faith. While each astpadi has a fresh vision to impart, a particular aspect of Truth to unfold, the whole text may be regarded as the reiteration of basic themes such as Divine immanence, Divine compassion, abundance of grace, God’s succouring hand, the merit of devotion, of holy company and humility. With such reiteration, the composition as a whole has a remarkable gripping quality reinforced by the striking imagery which in stanza after stanza brings home to the seeker the truths he must own.
Anand Karaj (Wedding Ceremony)
Anand Karaj is the prescribed form of Sikh marriage, the words literally translate as ‘Blissful Union”. The Sikh marriage is a very special ceremony in which two individuals are joined in a equal partnership. It is joyous and festive event which is very family orientated and informal in it’s atmosphere. Sikh marriages are usually arranged with families acting as little more than ntroduction services. The ultimate choice is always left to the girl and boy.
In some cases the boy and girl choose each other first and then seek their parents consent and blessing. The Reht Maryada which is The Official Sikh Code of Conduct specifies that no thought should be given to the perspective spouses caste, race or lineage. As long as both the boy and girl profess the Sikh faith and no other faith they may be joined in wedlock by the Anand Karaj ceremony. The Reht Maryada strictly forbids any sort of dowry arrangement as marriage is not to be viewed as a business transaction. Sikhs are also discouraged from consulting horoscopes or following any other superstitions pertaining to determining a wedding date or time.
The Anand Karaj ceremony can be performed in any Gurdwara or home where Sri Guru Granth Sahib has been respectfully installed. The religious ceremony cannot be performed in a hotel or banquet hall. There are no restrictions as to what time the ceremony should start or what time it should end although they are usually performed in the morning with the religious ceremony taking no more than a few hours.