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New Liturgical begins with ‘Koodhosh-Etho’

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The liturgical Calendar of the Oriental Orthodox Church begins on ‘Koodhosh-Etho’ (Sanctification of the Church) Sunday, falls on 8th Sunday before Christmas, the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord. So this will be the Sunday after 29th of October every year; for instance 2nd of Nov. in 2014. Like we have seven liturgical hours per day and seven days per week, the liturgical year is also 1 planed as seven seasons or periods. Each period of an year, each day of a week and each hour 2 of a day has some commonality in their theme! The seven periods are:

1. Koodhosh-Etho to Eldho (the Feast of Nativity of our Lord)/ Sunday/ Evening: refers the time from the start of Creation till to the birth of our Lord; covers the entire Old Testament.

2. Eldho to the the beginning of the Great-lent/ Monday/ Compline (before bed): refers the time from the birth of our Lord till to His Public Ministry; covers thirty years in the life of our Lord.

3. Great-lent/ Tuesday/ Night: the time of His Public Ministry; refers around the three and a half years that He ministered many those who believed in Him.

4. Feast of Resurrection to the Feast of Pentecost/ Wednesday/ Morning: refers the time that our Loud being with us as Resurrected Being and Presence; covers the forty days till His
ascension and the ten days that the Apostles and believers awaited for the Holy Spirit.

5. Pentecost to the Feast of Transfiguration (Aug. 6th)/ Thursday/ 7am: refers the time of the Growth of the Church through the propagation of the Gospel by the Apostles, Prophets,
Martyrs and holy Fathers, Doctors and Departed of the Church.

6. From Aug.6th to the Feast of exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sep. 14th)/ Friday/ Noon: refers the assurance in Him and believe those who suffered for the Kingdom of God will be glorified.

7. From Sep. 14th to the next Koodhosh-Etho/ Saturday/ 3pm: refers the Futuristic Period as we affirm in the last part of the Nicene Creed, “we look forward for the resurrection of the dead and a life eternal to come”.

It is arranged in such a beautiful way by the Fathers to lead us in a meaningful Christ centered spiritual life and for personal meditation that in every year we begin from the bingeing of Creation of the World to the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we grow with Him, becoming disciples, follow Him in His Public Ministry like His suffering, death, resurrection, ascending into heaven, descending of the Holy Spirit, growth of the Church and finally looking forward the Last Judgement and Second-coming. The same pattern and sequence we can see both in meditation theme of each day in a week and also in each canonical hour of a day!

While Sunday, being the first day according to the creation account of the Holy Scripture, represents the binging of Creation, when we reach to Saturday being the seventh day, represents Sabbath, a day of rest and hence the Church remembers all the Departed souls on Saturday! Likewise, while the Evening time represents the start of Creation, the 9th hour, the last canonical hour of each day, represents the Resurrection of the dead in Christ. This spiritual Rhythm and harmony is seen in every aspect of the liturgical life of the Church!

The Holy Scripture itself begins from the Creation story, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”(Gen. 1:1), prepares the way for our Lord through the Old Testament and in the New Testament it further explains that the ‘Word of God’ became Man in Christ, through His redemptive-works He paved a way to humanity, founded the Holy Church as His own bride and made her to await for His Second Coming, the Last-Judgement and promised eternal Salvation. He assures: ‘He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. And the Church pray and saying: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20). To conclude this part of our discussion, I repeat that the Books of the Holy Scripture, by the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are written and arranged in this chronological order from Creation to the Second Coming of our Lord and the same order we can see in our weekly prayers, daily prayer-hours, further in the Holy Qurbana and in the affirmation of the Faith of the Church as well. This is the beauty of Orthodox liturgical tradition.
Now let me give few notes about the important liturgical days of our Church in November in a brief.

2 Nov.: Along with the Sunday of the Feast of Sanctification, the first day of the liturgical Calendar year, for us it also the 112th Memorial Feast of Saint Gregorios of Parumala.3

5 Nov.: we have the 7th Memorial Feast of our Father Stephanos Mar Theodosius of Calcutta Diocese.

8 Nov.: 18th Memorial Feast of Catholicos His Holiness Baselios Marthomma Mathews I

9 Nov.: Sunday of the Feast of Rededication of the Church. It is specially remarkable that every year the Church sets parts a fortnight before the Advent period for Sanctification and rededication of her members.

13 &14 Nov.: The Church observes Memorial Feasts of John Chrisostom and Apostle Philip, pillars of Orthodox Faith, respectively.

16 Nov.: Announcement to Zachariah about the birth of John the Baptist, the Forerunner of Christ. (Luke 1: 1-25) From this Sunday onwards the Incarnation Event begins. This Sunday and following week denotes the Inter-Testamentel period. 20 Nov. is the 3rd Memorial Feast of Job Mar Philoxinos.

23 Nov.: The great Feast of Annunciation. The Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce to her that she would conceive and bear a son, even though she “knew no man.” According to holy tradition Mary was only fifteen when she was visited by Gabriel. (Luke 1: 26-38).

24 Nov.: The 198th Memorial Feast of Malankara-Metropolitan ‘Sabha-Joythis’ Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius II, the founder of Kottayam seminary & 18th Memorial Feast of glorified Paulose Mar Gregorios.

28 Nov.: The Memorial Feasts of Jacob Baradaeus, bishop of Edessa & Dionysius Barsleebi, great Fathers and Doctors of the Oriental Orthodox Church from 6th and 12th centuries.

29 Nov.: e Memorial Feast of Jacob of Serugh, bishop, theologian and great poet of Oriental Orthodox Church from 6th Century.

30 Nov.: Visitation Sunday. The Church celebrates the visit of Mother Mary to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist (Luke1: 39-56). It is also the Memorial Day of Apostle Andrews.
The important days of the Church Calendar of the month December can be discussed later. May God Almighty bless us to keep the Holy Tradition of the Church!
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1- daily work begins, 12pm: Noon and 3pm: 9th Hour/ end of daily work. However, for convince of community worship, the 9th hour of the previous day along with Evening and Compline complied together as Evening Prayer and likewise the Night, Morning, 3rd Hour and Noon are compiled in the Morning Prayer.

2- A twelve month Calendar having 1st. Jan. as the first day of the year is only one system of looking it, introduced by the Romans and became popular through Roman colonialism. Actually almost every culture of the world has there own

3- Whenever it comes memory of saints on a Sunday, the Church commemorate that Feast on the very next day in order to keep the liturgical importance of Sunday; while all Sundays are observed as Feast of Resurrection of our Lord.calendar year and begins on different dates. Nothing special is happening to Earth of solar system on 1st of Jan.!

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The Impact of Hudhud Cyclone havoc at Visakhapatnam

HUDHUD
All of India rather the whole world came to know about the Cyclone HUDHUD that devastated Visakhapatnam, the city of Destiny also known as the green city at the east coast of India on the 12 th Oct, Sunday 2014. The Cyclonic storms crossed Tamil Nadu, Odisha and A P coast many times during the past, but none had hit Vizag city directly. This maybe the first time such a cyclone in massive proportion has struck the city. The once vibrant city of Visakhapatnam, ravaged by the unprecedented fury of Cyclone Hudhud has been reduced to debris.

The city presently has a population of around 2.5 Million. We are a little over 100 families of Orthodox Syrian Christians from Kerala native who are settled here of which a few are staying here for more than 60 years and all are the members of St. Stephens Orthodox Church, Visakhapatnam. By the blessing of God almighty our Church building and all the members are safe. The Keralites population at Vizag is around 30000. Our sister Church members of Marthoma Syrian church are also safe and sound. Kerala Kala Samithi, the Malayalee Association building and its auditorium has been destroyed. The international Airport building is smashed. This is an industrial cum tourist town and the Major Industries at Vizag such as the Hindustan Shipyard, Vizag steel plant, HPCL Refinery, NTPC power plant and all other establishment like Indian Navy, Port Trust, I T Sector, Tourist spots, film studios, fishing sector and many other manufacturing industries were shattered and operations were stopped at these industries for more than a week due to this obliteration.

Visakhapatnam was a fast growing city which at present is completely damaged with almost all the trees being uprooted and in a way the total green cover becoming almost invisible with the wind speeds of more than 200 Km/ hour speed. The suffering by one and all in the city is beyond anybody’s imagination and the poor bear the brunt. There were more than 50000 electrical poles which had collapsed and the city is filled with debris being cleared now area wise. It was a miracle that the Human life loss was limited to around 40 and thanks to the advanced weather technology observatory which forecasted the wind speed and timely intervention of Government authorities to rehabilitate the people to safer places from sea front. The rural area of neighboring 3 districts of Andhra Pradesh was also extremely devastated especially thousands of hectares of crops and horticulture plantations. It is touching to see the woes the lifestyle has taken in the urban and rural areas which have suffered especially without essentials like proper food, electricity, water, transportation and so on for more than a week. The Railway and Air traffic service have now restored in limited operations. The estimated loss in Vizag city alone immediately known is more than Rs. 70,000/- Crores.

We the Vizag citizens faced the tragedy with courage. The destruction of the property has not deterred their spirit and all show firm resolve to bounce back. The State Government is doing their best to reach all with a helping hand. I personally appreciate the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Mr. N. Chandra Babu Naidu, for his determination and confidence level adding the support from Prime Minister of India and Opposition leaders and other philanthropists worldwide, who were present in the city from Monday and supervised the relief operation. With the help of many somehow the life is limping back to normalcy. The total restoration will take many more months and years.

In this tragic calamity I would mention with regret that the Orthodox Church hierarchy has never expressed empathy to the sufferers of Hudhud at Visakhapatnam or deputed anyone from the Church to convey their sympathy. I suppose the Orthodox Church is not bothered about such a level of National disaster. Our H.H. Catholica Bava Thirumeni and Other Metropolitans of Orthodox Holy Synod or any senior lay leaders of the Church Managing Committee did not offer any assistance to the victims. In my understanding there is not even a Bull (Kalpana) released by the Church hierarchy for peace, solace and to uphold the sufferers of disaster in their daily prayers. The Church did not extend any relief support or consideration to the victims, other than Mar Seraphim and Mar Chrysostemos who called the Visakhapatnam Orthodox Church Vicar Rev. Fr. Jacob Thomas.

I am not overstepping with comments on Malankara Orthodox Church Hierarchy but request that our Church should come out to help and pray for the victims of National and International tragedies in future. I am happy to note that various Government departments, Industrialists and many NGO’s are extending free service to Vizagites to get back to the normal life. At this point it is worth revealing that Rev. Fr. K.I. Varghese, Vicar of Orthodox Church Jagadhalpur, Odisha of nearest Orthodox Church to Vizag visited one of the rehabilitation camps on October 16, 2014 and distributed 300 food packets and Thanks to Fr. K.I.Varghese and all his parish members.

The writer Mr. Sam Cherian Karuvely is a Former Sabha Managing Committee Member of Malankara Orthodox Church
Courtsey Photo: The Hindu –Hoardings collapse due to high wind speed at Siripuram Junction as the very severe cyclonic storm Hudhud passes over Visakhapatnam on Sunday. Photo: K.R. Deepak

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Banglore Diocese plans international school with Kannada medium in Mysore

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BENGALURU: Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan, Banglore Diocese of Indian Orthodox Church, is giving increasing importance to the existing Diocese Mission projects Eluru in Andhra Pradesh and at Bilikere, Mysore in Karnataka.

With the state government giving prime importance to Kannada language in the educational sector, it is timely the Banglore Diocese under the wise leadership of Dr Mar Seraphim is taking due steps in this direction. The government has granted permission to its existing school towards starting classes for Standard X from the present Standard 8 which has presently 410 students. This will be further increased to 430 students which will go towards accommodating the increasing number of students.

As such the Diocese is planning to build an additional building of 9 rooms to accommodate the students.

Mar Seraphim says the school will remain as a mission centre for Banglore Diocese. But we can go in for an international school in future, since we have enough land.

The Diocese which has a good presence in the City of Palaces, has come up with two new projects in Billikere Village of Hunsur Taluk, Mysore, which falls under the Diocese.

At present construction in about five-and-half acres in the district has begun in right earnest. The Diocese is planning to build an international school which will have Kannada school primarily for the local students and others and aims to provide quality education. Construction works amounting to Rs 1 crore has already begun from a corner.

The future plan is to construct on the remaining four acre area with an international school and hostel facility.

DIFFERENTLY-ABLED GIRLS: Mar Seraphim explains that its building to house the differently-abled girls in Mysore is almost complete and the inauguration has been fixed for January 24, 2015. The estimated cost of the institution which can accommodate about 20 girls comes to around Rs 80 lakhs and the Diocese is facing a deficit of 30 lakhs to complete the project.

Those willing to contribute towards the project or Diocese Fund can contact Mar Seraphim on his mobile at +91-94479 63528 or email: marseraphim@gmail.com

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Sana’a Church Vicar receives admiration for exemplary pastoral and mission work

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AHMEDABAD : Fr Mathew Mathew, Vicar, of St Mary’s Orthodox Parish, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen, has received exemplary praise from Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios.

Metropolitan Mar Yulios has in a decree expressed his indebtedness and grateful to Fr Mathew for his sincere and sacrificial service to the Holy Church in general and to the Diocese of Ahmedabad in particular.

Fr Mathew has retired from active pastoral ministry and is being relieved from the Vicarship of Yemen parish with effect from October 14, 2014.

“Though you (Fr Mathews) had retired and spending time with your family, you came forward to help us for more than 4 years when the Diocese was struggling to get servants for His Ministry in our parishes and mission fields,” the Kalpana noted.

Dr Mar Yulios further praised Fr Mathew for his service and ministry in Yemen which was undoubtedly outstanding and will be honoured by the Church and Diocese for ever. The Metropolitan has also wished the Vicar blessed years with his family as he has been relived from active pastoral ministry.

Members of the St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Sana’a, organised a warm send off for Fr Mathew on October 10 after the Holy Eucharist.

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Fr Bijoy Varghese will be the new Vicar of St Mary’s Orthodox Parish, Sana’a, with effect from October 15, 2014.

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MGOCSM Delhi Diocese Annual Conference begins today

LOGOS-2014
NEW DELHI: Delhi Diocese MGOCSM will organize “LOGOS 2014” the Annual 3 day Conference from Oct. 10 to 12 at St. Paul’s School under the auspices of St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Hauz Khas.

“For to me, to live is Christ” – For a perfect spiritual life in Christ. (Philippians 1:21) will be the theme for the coming conference.

Jiji Thomson IAS, Director General of Sports Authority of India, Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, Metropolitan of Kandanad Diocese and Secretary of Holy Episcopal Synod, Fr. Abraham Mathai, Coordinator, MGOCSM Centre, Kottayam and teacher of Shruti School of Music, Jewish Rabbi Ezekiel Issac will be the chief speakers for the conference.

LOGOS has been celebrating the Orthodox spirituality with the youth, a platform for understanding the Orthodox faith. Spiritually inspiring sessions, fun filled games, interactive workshops, grilling Q&A session, invigorating Talent Night and a soul stirring Gregorian Retreat will be the highlights of the conference.

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Church News Features News

Kurien lauds contribution of Syrian Christians in independence movement

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BHILAI : Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Prof PJ Kurien has described late Bishop Dr Stephanos Mar Theodosius, the former metropolitan of Kolkata diocese of Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church and founder of Bhilai St. Thomas Mission, as a Saint, who worked for welfare and uplift of people of the region.

He was speaking at a programme organized during the 106th annual global conference of Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement (MGOCSM) being held at Christian College of Engineering & Technology (CCET) in Bhilai. Speakers at the conference remembered efforts of the late Bishop Stephanos Mar Theodosius, who laid the foundation for mission work in North India. The Bishop was the face of Malankara church in North India.

Prof Kurien highlighted the role of Syrian Christians in the independence movement and called for history to be rewritten with a focus on this. He also stressed on the importance of tradition and legacy of orthodox Christians. About 550 delegates from churches and educational institutions from across the country are attending the four-day conference.

Source: The Times Of India

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MGOCSM Global meet begins at Bhilai Today

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BHILAI: The 106th MGOCSM global conference 2014 will be held from October 2-5 at the Christian College of Engineering & Technology, Bhilai.

The MGOCSM Global conference is held under the patronage of Calcutta Diocese and will be attended by over 800 youth from different parts of the country.

The theme for the conference is “Anointed to be the citizens of God’s Kingdom.”(1 Peter 2:9)

The conference will aim at promoting among youths a sense of responsibility, to imbibe in them religious faith, to make them ardently devoted towards Christianity, its beliefs and scriptures and to lead a spiritual life. The Global Conference will comprise of interactive talks, Bible study, group discussions, cultural programmes, song sessions, prayers and seminars.

The resource persons for the global conference will include: Moran Mar Baselius Marthomma Paulose II, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Dr Zachariah Mar Theophilos, Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius, Dr Yuhanon Mar Demetrios, Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Dr. Abraham Mar Paulose , Fr. Geevarghese Ramban, Fr Dr Varghese Varghese, Fr Dr Bijesh Philip, Fr Dr Philip Kuruvila, Fr Dr Geevarghese K, Fr Dr Thomson Robin and many other clergies from around the world.The student leaders are Jithin Mathew Philip, Aippuru John, Divya Samuel, and Helena Ipe.

On October 2, the opening day, the conference began with a peaceful Torch Rally of 106 motorcycles representing the 106th Global Meet starting at the holy tomb of the Late Lamented Bishop Dr Stephanos Mar Theodosius at St Thomas Ashram, going around Bhilai to MGO Cathedral, MGM Hr Sec School and assembling back at Christian College of Engineering and Technology. The programme began with flag-hoisting and welcome speech delivered by Fr Lijo John. The presidential address was delivered by Dr Zachariah Mar Theophilose. The inaugural address by Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius was followed by theme presentation by Fr Dr Bijesh Philip.

On Oct 3, the session will begin with a bible study by Dr Zachariah Mar Theophilose. The public meeting will begin at 11:15 am with the lamp-lighting ceremony and welcome speech by Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius. This will be followed by the presidential address by Geevarghese Mar Coorilos. The chief guests for the public meeting are P J Kurien, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Guest of Honour being Prem Prakash Pandey, Minister for Technical and Higher Education and Revenue, Chattisgarh and the special guest is Vidyaratan Bhasin, MLA, Vaishalinagar Vidhansabha seat.

The post public meeting session will comprise of an enlightenment class by Dr Abraham Mar Paulose and theme presentation, seminar and Bible study by Dr Yuhanon Mar Demetrios, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos and Fr. Geevarghese Ramban respectively. Later, Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius will lead the retreat.

On Oct 4, Fr Dr Varghese Varghese will present the gathering with a preparatory study about the Holy Eucharist followed by Holy Mass conducted by Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios. This will be followed by theme presentation, seminar and Bible study by Dr Mar Yulios, Fr Dr Philip Kuruvilla and Fr Dr Thomson Robin respectively followed by retreat conducted by Dr Mar Dionysius.

On Oct 5, the Holy Mass will be followed by the closing ceremony at 10 am. The chief guest will be Tamradhwaj Sahu, MP, Durg Constituency, Guest of Honours being Arun Vohra, MLA, Durg City and Smt Nirmala Yadav, Mayor, Bhilai Municipal Corporation. This session will include an evaluation of the meet by the different participating units, official closing and leave taking.

MGOCSM is one of the oldest Christian student organisation in India. It is the student wing of the Indian Orthodox Church, officially known as the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church with headquarters at Devalokam, Kottayam, Kerala.

The Syrian Student Conference, the parent organisation was formed in 1907 and the first conference was convened on January 1-3, 1908 at Balikamadom School, Tiruvalla, Kerala. Annual Conferences have been a regular feature since 1908. From 1912 to 1960 it was called St Thomas Syrian Students Movement. The Movement assumed the present name MGOCSM in 1960, with its motto as Worship, Study and Service.

The strength of the Movement is the wide network of its units centered in educational institutions and major parishes spread all over India and outside India. The Movement has grown as an international one with about 1,500 units all over the world.

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