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Catholicate Centenary Lecture series inaugurated

KOTTAYAM: The official inauguration of the Catholicate Centenary Lecture series, which is to be held simultaneously in 1500 stations, including a few selected Churches, across India, was officially inaugurated by H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulos II, Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, at 3.45 pm at Mar Elia Cathedral, Kottayam.

Metropolitan Youhanon Mar Polycarpose presided over the meeting and exhorted the listeners to make the grand meeting at Marine Drive, Ernakulam on 25th Nov a great success.

There were many priests and hundreds of faithful from various Dioceses from south to north of Kerala as participants of the unique function.

In the inaugural address His Holiness stated : “The year 2012 is a milestone in the history of the Church. Until the 16th century, our Church was enjoying full freedom and it was sabotaged by the intervention of the foreign churches, which came one after the other. But our Church Fathers as well as the faithful fought against such attempts with prayer and fasting and succeeded finally in 1912 by the establishment of the Catholicate. For us, it is symbol of freedom, autocelaphy and integrity.” His Holiness expressed satisfaction in organizing the inauguration of the series of talks in various stages so grandly and applauded the organizers and the large gathering representing almost all Dioceses in Kerala.

The key note address was delivered by Fr. Dr. Jacob Kurian, the well-known orator, Theologian of reputation, Scholar and above all the Principal of Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam. A gist of the thought provoking speech is given hereunder.

“The centenary celebration is to provide awareness of the significance and greatness of the Catholicate to the growing generation.

Malankara Orthodox Church is the only Church, which was established in 1st century, in a region outside the Roman Empire, which could claim the vast and bright history of continuous existence for such a long term.

In other regions, the Christian Church remained withstanding the persecutions, objections etc. from the natives whereas in Kerala, the Church was accepted with open hands and with broadminded attitude of the local inhabitants and the same sort of love and care is enjoyed still from the fellow inhabitants of India. Whereas the Church in India suffered a lot when Christians from foreign countries came and dominated the Church for about 400 years. Our Church Fathers as well as our ancestors resisted with staunch faith and hope and finally we achieved the final freedom in AD 1912.

When we feel proud of the achievements due to the establishment of Catholicate in India, we must take care to achieve more opportunities with farsighted visions. There exists a dount among many of us: whether the Catholicate was established or reestablished.

In the Church constitution it is mentioned that it was a reestablishment of the Catholicate, which was prevelant in the Eastern Orthodox Church. We could say that the Catholicate in Celucia of the third century (in the Persian Orthodox Church originally established by St. Thomas) and the Catholicate/Maphrianate established in Tigris were amalgamated and was reestablished in Malankara in AD 1912 If so, we could address it as reestablishment. In such circumstances, is the Catholicate in Malankara is under the Patriarchate of Antioch? For the reasons mentioned below, we could boldly say that the Catholicate in Malankara is not under the Patriarchate.

1) The Catholicate in Tigris was independent and there was freedom of administration according to the agreement in Capharthutha Synod of the 9th century.

2) According to the two bulls of the Patriarch, who was the chief celebrant of the establishment in 1912, it was free and was not under any other power or regime.

3) It was clearly spelled that it was on the throne of St. Thomas in India.(as announced by the celebrant Patriarch during the function)

4) It assures fellowship with the Patriarchate as well as the share of the global Christian heritage. 5) When the Chaldean Catholicate was in existence in old Persian province, it was the reestablishment of the Orthodox Catholicate, which was free. In short, we use the term reestablishment in the meaning of ‘continuation and completion’ and in such a sense there is no reason for considering being under some other powers.

While considering the freedom and autocelaphy of the Indian Church, we could use the term ‘established.’ The term established denotes something new and which has the originality. The prominence of the Catholicose being the head of the Holy Synod is to be realized as a new theory. By the establishment of the Catholicate, we were declaring the amalgamation of the Apostolic succession of the priesthood that existed here from the first century with the principle of autocelaphy. It approves the fellowship with the Patriarchate and at the same time it stands for the freedom of Malankara Church.

In short it is a reestablishment denouncing the argument of a position below some other position as well as the establishment of new chances of the independent church including the position of president in general. We have to convert the throne of St. Thomas in India and its originality to the perfection of the heritage of Marthoma.

Immediately after the establishment of Catholicate, our Church is recognized and honored by the other Christian Churches elsewhere globally”.

Articles We Believe

The Catholicate Centenary Celebrations: Significance and importance.

The Malankara Orthodox Church, established by St. Thomas, disciple of Lord Jesus Christ, Apostle and Patron Saint of India in AD 52 has sustained so far in its original charisma only because of God’s special care, abundant graces and blessings.

Many Churches which came into existence in almost the same time of the inception of Malankara Church, which became prominent and influential later, disappeared from the face of earth in course of time. In this context, the greatness of the graces and blessings bestowed upon our Church becomes significant.

Malankara Orthodox Church is one among the few Christian Churches in the entire Christendom, which could claim to have plenty of ancient and unique traditions, rich heritage, magnificent system of heavenly services, holy and attractive worship orders and blessed and meaningful rituals of very high standards. It is a truth that it enables us to get proud of our Church. It is well known to one and all that our Church remains as a National Church since its inception till date. Still many foreigners who reached India were only interested to dominate and to take control of our independent Church. All of them succeeded in their attempts. The history proves that the Portuguese, who reached in 15th century, the Syrians who reached in the 17th century and the British who reached in the 19th century had the same intention and aim.

As a result outbreaks happened in the Mother Church and new churches came up combining the faithful who were attracted to their faith and who had surrendered their identity and liberty to the foreign Churches. The children of Malankara church, which longed and still longs to remain loyal to the local heads of the Church, attributed the titles like leader of the tribe, Arkadayakon, Metropolitan etc. to their heads of the Church from time to time.

No one could deny the truth that there were all signs and symbols of the Catholicate visibly or invisibly in the Church from the day of inception till the establishment of the Catholicate in AD 1912. From 17th Sept 1912 the Catholicate remains visible in the Church with all sorts of due significance and brightness. As and when the Catholicate was confirmed by H.H. Moran Mar Ignatius Abdul Messiah Patriarch and elevated H.G. Murimattathil Paulos Mar Ivanios as the first Catholicose in India, on the throne of St. Thomas, with the title “H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Paulose I, Catholicose of the East”, there started the new era of the Church. It enabled the church to attain steady progress and development. The growth of the Church, both in the religious as well as the secular fields was the net result of the establishment of the Catholicate. As a result of the establishment of the Catholicate, our Church confirmed that she could elevate Catholicose or Metropolitans, at any venue in India or at any time, and also to consecrate the Holy Chrism as and when required. The Church has achieved a tremendous growth as a full-fledged one, having Dioceses and Parishes not only in each continent, but also in every nook and corner of the globe.

The Church as a whole pay the tributes to St. Dionysius Vattasseril, LL HH Moran Mar Baselios Augen I, Catholicose, who had struggled and sacrificed much for the establishment of Catholicate in India and to all their Holinesses the Catholicoses who had reigned the Church efficiently from time to time.

On 17th Sept 2012, it completes the centenary of the establishment of Catholicate in India. The present Catholicose H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulos II, is the 8th Indian Catholicose. At present the Holy Church is blessed to have more blessings with the presence, prayers and benedictions of the previous Catholicose, H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didimose I.

Here comes the significance and importance of the Catholicate, Centenary and the related celebrations. For an average member of the Church, it is a great and golden opportunity to take part in the centenary celebrations and to express his or her love and reverence to God for all the blessings we gain from and through the Church. The Church is to be understood as the body of our Savior and we the members are the tiny parts of the great body. It is the privilege and prestige of one and all members of the Church to participate in the centenary celebrations in a way or other or at least through the continuous prayers for the Holy Church so that they could praise God Almighty for enabling all to be the proud members of this ancient and spiritually rich Church.

Many Programmes, which had been chalked out, have been implemented in the parish, regional, diocesan and Church level, aiming the spiritual, social and general progress of the Church. The Logo of the centenary celebrations was released at Niranam Church on 21st Dec 2010 and the official inauguration of the celebrations was held at Parumala on 2nd Nov 2011, the first event of the program was the celebration of the Catholicate day of the year with more colors and glory. It was desired to celebrate the day as the flag day of the Church and Catholicate flags were hoisted in Parishes, Church institutions as well as houses of members of the Church.

Three colorful ‘declaration rallies’ are planned to be held soon.

The first one will be from Thiruvithamcode Church, and it will end at Niranam Church, (these two churches were originally established by St. Thomas.) When the rally will cover the Diocesan centers of the southern Dioceses, special public functions will be arranged at various centers. The rallies are to publicize the rich St. Thomas heritage, traditions and the real glory of the Church.

The second rally is to start from the northern corner of Kerala and will end at Pazhaya Seminary, Kottayam. It will also cover all important stations and centers in between.

The third rally will start from Mylapore and will end at Mangalore. Various programmes have been organized in the Parish, Diocesan and regional levels. The Lenten period in August (from 1st August till the 15th ) was observed as the meditation days of preparation.

In the main cities in India and abroad, public meetings, seminars etc. were arranged with leaders of the local religion, other denominations, WCC. KCC. and NCCI. It is proposed to undertake key essential social services as the memory of the centenary celebrations. The project under consideration will be finalized and announced among our members shortly.

The spiritual organizations of the Church, in their central and diocesan levels are in the attempt to introduce their own remarkable and unique contributions in these regards with a sort of competitive spirit. There are schemes to provide houses to the homeless in the Church and to provide benevolent schemes for the poor and needy. Conducting memorial processions through the places which are the cradles of Nazrani heritage, arrangement of historical exhibition which might declare the Nazrani, Bible classes in Parishes, Presentation of documentary at various locations, and arrangement of competitions are taking place everywhere.

H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Paulos II, Catholicose has released a Kalpana in which exhortations have been placed to observe 100 hours continuous prayer chains from 11th Sept 2012 to 15th Sept 2012, in the Church Head Quarters as well in various Diocesan Head Quarters. The spiritual organizations in various parishes could follow the call and implement the same in their parishes successfully.

The newly constructed Secretariat complex in Devalokam will be named after the Centenary Celebrations’ memorial. The new church under construction in the place of the previous Coonan Kurish Church will serve as the memorial of the celebrations.

The sub- committee from the Holy Synod, consisting of about seven Metropolitans are earnestly engaged in the publication of a few authoritative and solid books on Canons, Liturgy, Faith, Traditions and rituals etc. and it is expected to be a five year project, as a part of the centenary celebrations.

Various committees are working in full swing for the success of the great event on 25th Nov. 2012. The Souvenir Committee is committed to bring out a book type souvenir, which would serve as a guide to our faith, traditions, history and all other needy topics. In addition to this, it is planned to bring out a pictorial souvenir, presenting certain unique and uncommon pictures.

The valedictory function of the celebrations will be held with a Nazrani Sangamam at Baselios Marthoma Nagar, at Marine Drive, Ernakulam on Sunday, 25th Nov 2012 in a large scale where tens of thousands of faithful are expected to attend. The public meeting chaired by H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulos II, Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, will be officially inaugurated by H. E. Dr. A.P.J. Kalam, Former President of India and the renowned Scholar, highly talented Scientist and pride of India has kindly consented to inaugurate the same. Central and State Government Ministers as well as religious leaders like H.H. Dalai lama; H.G. Mar Joseph Powathil will grace the occasion and offer a few words of benediction.

The prayers and co-operation of all members of the Church in every nook and corner of the world are earnestly solicited for the blissful functioning of all events.
May God bless us all

Author Jose Kurian Puliyeril is the Secretary of the Catholicate Centenary Celebrations Central Committee

Articles Youth And Faith

Pesaha of the New Testament Tradition

Pesaha is one of the most important feasts of the Jewish religion. The word Pesaha literally means ‘exodus’.

Church historians are of the opinion that Pesaha must be the combination of two feasts, which existed before the time of Moses. One was linked with the experiences of the time when mankind was herdsmen. The other feast was linked with the experiences of the time when mankind was agriculturists. Whatever be the meanings and significance of the very ancient traditions and rituals, the exodus of the Israelites from the bondage in Egypt and the exemptions granted by the angel from slaughtering the first born of the Israelites gave a wide and vivid meaning and significance for the feast of Pesaha.

Even after reaching the Promised Land, the Jews were so particular in observing the feast Pesaha. The feast reminded the Jews that they are the selected tribe of God Almighty. (Ex. 13: 14) The Israelites not only celebrated the memory of the deliverance but also utilized the occasion to create a feeling that they were going through the same experiences of their fathers. This was a national festival as well as a homely festival. The entire members of each family were supposed to assemble together at Jerusalem for the observance of this feast. They used to sacrifice a lamb at the Jerusalem Temple. They used to dedicate the blood on the table of sacrifice and used to cook the meat for their consumption with the Pesaha food. In three occasions of the public life of our Lord, there are mentions about this feast. (Jn 2: 13, 6: 4, and 12: 12)

Our Lord established the Holy sacrament of the Holy Eucharist during His celebration of the Pesaha with His blessed Apostles, prior to His crucifixion. This is the importance of the Pesaha in the New Testament tradition. (Mk 14: 12-25) The reference in the Gospel according to St. John (chapter 18: 28, 19: 14) reveals that the last supper of our Lord and Savior took place on the previous day of the Pesaha of that year. St. John’s version is that when the lambs of the Pesaha were slaughtered, the Lamb of God was also slaughtered. St. Luke makes it clear that our Lord took part in the last supper as the Pesaha of the year. (Lk 22:7 ff)

The New Testament Pesaha denotes the exodus from sin and death. As the covenant was executed in connection with the Old Testament liberation at Mount Sinai, the liberation through the blood of Lord Jesus and the new covenant are revealed in the New Testament Pesaha. (Jeremiah 31:31)

St. Paul has interpreted the death and resurrection of Lord Jesus on the basis of the Pesaha. (1 Cor 5: 6-8) The Jews were so particular to use the unleavened bread on Pesaha day. Where as our Lord established the Holy Eucharist as the crown of all the sacraments, using the leavened bread.

The use of the unleavened bread immediately after the Holy Eucharist is not at all so important and significant. Our forefathers used to bring unleavened bread to the Church from homes to share among the participants, soon after accepting the Holy Eucharist.

The Jews were so particular to offer the first fruit of their harvest, and from the offered sheaf the flour was taken to prepare the bread for Pesaha. In this context St. Paul explains that Lord Jesus is the first fruit. (1 Cor15: 20-23)

We should not be confused that the Holy Eucharist, the real flesh and blood of our savior with the Pesaha of the Old Testament.

The flesh and blood of our Savior is sufficient for the forgiveness of all our sins and for our eternal life in and with Him. Let us participate in it.

Church News News

Malankara Withdraws the Approval and Acceptance of Mor Severius Moses Gorgun

KOTTAYAM: Baselios Marthoma Didimos I, the Catholicose of the East, on the throne of St. Thomas, had withdrawn the approval and acceptance granted to Metropolitan Mar Severios Moses Gorgun, vide order no, 131/2010. The withdrawal of the acceptance was announced in respose to the explanation submitted to the Catholicos by Mor Severius Moses Gorgun, which became unacceptable to the Malankara Church.

Read the full text of the Order given below

H. E. Metropolitan Mor Severius Moses Gorgun
Syrian Orthodox Church of Europe
Ahornstr, 24b, CH-9240 Uzwil.

Blessings to Your Eminence in the name of the Triune God.

Amidst all the spiritual bliss of the season, some of the recent actions of Your Eminence, cause us great distress and pain. We are referring to the event of the consecration that Your Eminence has done and the responses that Your Eminence has sent to our successor His Beatitude Paulose Mar Milithios Metropolitan on his query about the event

Initially We were rather reluctant to accept the ‘website’ news that you have consecrated a Metropolitan for the Diocese of Ankamali and South Kerala, as a factual one but now that you have confirmed it, we try to come in to terms, with this unpleasant news. To add on, your irreverence and immaturity, you have again puzzled and agonized me by sending such an irresponsible answer as if it is your right.

If you would gratefully recollect yourself about your own consecration as a Metropolitan, with out the due consent of our Holy Episcopal Synod; but then later on; considering the integrity of our Church and in compassionate ground though reluctantly we approved it; with all those sensitivity that had caused, you wouldn’t have attempted that would cause pain.

It was quiet evident in our letter No. 237/ 2009 dated May 12th 2009, that you have no right to interfere in the affairs of the Malankara Orthodox Church and your ecclesiastical jurisdiction is confined only to the Syrian Community in Europe. You have not only wilfully violated that by consecrating a metropolitan to the Malankara Church but also viciously tried to condone it by sending this response to our successor His Beatitude Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios.

Let us again reiterate the fact that with this we have lost all confidence in you. It is our responsibility that we should safe guard the holiness, discipline and integrity of the Holy Church and this left me with no further choice other than withdrawing our approval and acceptance for you.

We would like to let you know that we withdraw the recognition and previlage,that we have confirred on you as the primate of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Europe.vide No. I42A /2009 dated March 16,2009. It goes without saying that all the consecrations that you have done are against the faith and practises of the Orthodox Church hence would be deprived of its validity.

We do hope and that you would refrain yourself from harming the Church by spitefully engaged yourself in vicious actions in the future.
May God bless your Eminence.

Baselios Marthoma Didymus I
Copy to:
1. Heads of all Oriental Orthodox Churches
2. H. E. Cardinal Walter Kasper
3. Members of the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Church

Explanation Letter from H. E. Metropolitan Mor Severius Moses Gorgun

Greetings to Your Beatitude Mor Milithios in our Lord Jesus Christ:

In brotherly love I want to respond to your e-mail. The Syrian Orthodox Church of Europe wants to help all the people who are asking for help. Its my duty as the Primat and Father olthe Syrian Orthodox Church of Europe to help those who asking us. The consecration of the Indian Bishop for Angamaly and South Kerala took place because there is a big need for it.

Be assured that as the Primat of our Church I am very sincere to the Church which consecrated me Metropolitan and elevated me to the head of our Church. We are now through that a own Church in the Oriental Orthodox family and have the holy rite to consecrate bishops according to the need we have without asking other Churches. The new Bishop is told to keep away from the problem between the two factions and he has the order to serve the poor and those who asking our Church for help. What we did should be considered as a brotherly act and not as an act against anyone.

As you also already know I wrote to you during the last two years letters without receiving any answer from your Grace. Through my answer to you you have to know that I have nothing against you. I look forward to have deeper brotherhood and relationship with the Malankara Orthodox Church.

Be assured of my love to His Holiness and the whole Synod. I am open for more conversations.

Yours in the love of Christ our Lord.
+Primat and Metropolitan Mor Severius Moses

Columns Features Opinions

Catholicate Day Celebrations 2010 On March 21

The Holy Malankara Orthodox Church celebrates the 36th day, the sixth Sunday, of the Holy great Lent as the day of the Holy Church (Sabha Dinam) with the affectionate name “Catholicate Day”.

What is the significance of the day of the Holy Church?

Now the Catholicate day celebrations are meant by the official hoisting of the Church flag prior to the day’s worship, declaration of the Oath, resolutions declaring our allegiance, loyalty and respects to the Church and Church dignitaries, and by arranging a public meeting.

Are these the only activities of the observance of the day of the Holy Church? I believe that one and all will not agree to such a practice.

The day of the Church means the day on which we will have to examine our own relation with our Lord God and His Church – ultimately the body of our Savior. Our Lord compares the life in Church as that of a branch of a vine plant which remains in the main stem and brings out fruits.

In St. John 15: 1-2 we read about this in our Lord’s words. 15:1- “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman”. 15:2. “Every branch in me that bear not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bear fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.’ Let us make sure that we do bear fruits in our lives, the fruits of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22 . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.) Let us make sure that we bear all these rather than the by products of selfishness like enmity, hatred, etc. Our Lord has established the sacraments as a means for our abideness with Him. Are we particular to make use of those sacraments meaningfully? During the Lenten season we all are supposed to repent more and to obtain forgiveness for our sins through the Holy Confession. Are we serious about the Holy Confession? Or do we consider as a bare necessity to attend the General Body meetings of the Parishes? Our Lord still wants to hear from each and everyone of us an answer to His frequent question “Who am I for you”. We are supposed to tell Him that He is our Lord and God. Let us all confirm that Lord Jesus is our Lord and God. We might be happy in shouting the slogan “We will transfer the light from generation to generation, which was originally granted to us by St. Thomas and maintain the same ever shining”. At the same time we ignore the faith confessed our father, St. Thomas.

We are supposed to make sure that our relation with the Holy Church is as desired by our Lord God. It is needless to say that the Church is the body of Christ, our savior and we all are small but significant parts of the Holy Body of Christ. We started the Lent with Subukono service, when and where we had reconciled (were supposed to reconcile) with our own brethren. Our relation with our own brothers and sisters, who remain co-cells or parts of the same body of Christ, must be strong and solid on the basis of the unselfish love of God, which connects us together. We all are interconnected with the love and faith in Lord Christ. Each one of the small part of the body must make sure that he or she is perfect in the Love, faith and Hope. Lord Christ wants us all to be linked each other as He and His father are united as one. Let us think of the oneness among ourselves. If we feel weakness or so, let us rectify it on the specific day of correction set apart as the day of the Holy Church.

This year’s Catholicate day is so significant. First of all the day is selected by Catholicate Centenary Celebrations Core Committee as the day of Prayer for the preparations of the celebrations. The special prayer book drafted in this context has been approved by H.H. The Catholicose, the spiritual head of our Church. The same book has been circulated to all Parishes across the globe along with the Kalpana in this regard and His Holiness has asked in the bull to make use of the prayer book during the prayer for the Holy church on coming Sunday. Let us pray for the blessings to celebrate the Centenary of the establishment of the Catholicate in Malankara so meaningfully and aptly.

Secondly five priests out of the seven Bishop Elects will accept monkshood from His Holiness and other Metropolitans of the Holy Church during Holy Eucharist at Parumala Seminary Church.

Let us earnestly pray for the Holy Church, her spiritual leaders, entire clergy and the entire faithful.


Prepare Ourselves For The Great Lent

There is a gap of 18 days from the end of 3 days Lent and the beginning of the 50 days Lent. In fact from the beginning of 3 days Lent, the Holy Church is in its earnest attempt of entering a great important spiritual exercise of 120 days at a stretch. It begins with the 3 days lent which is often revered as the smallest Lent among the canonical Lents, and ends with the feast of the Pentecost.

Feast of Pentecost is nothing else other than the first day in the history of Christian Church on which Holy Spirit was granted from heaven in abundance. The Holy Church of the first century including the blessed Apostles St. Mary Mother of God and other faithful waited for the blessing of the Holy Spirit as they were advised by our Lord and Redeemer at the time of His ascension to Heaven. The number of the people who waited for the Holy Spirit with ‘one mind and one prayer’ was 120, as recorded in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. This number ‘120 must have been a divine number for the first century Church Fathers and the same reason must have influenced them to mould a rigorous program for the future generations for the spiritual revival and development.

The three days Lent, which we have observed recently is considered as the forerunner of the greatest and longest Lent of 50 days. At the end of the 50 days Lent we experience and live in the passions of our Savior, His death on the cross, proclamation Gospel to the departed and the very blessed resurrection.

50 days of fasting, prayers, meditation and real repentance ends in the divine glory and celebration of the victory over Satan, the evil forces and death.

After Easter we observe the Pentecost on the 50th day or the 120th day from the first day of 3 days among the five canonical Lents 3 days Lent is the only pre-Christian Lent or the lent in which our Lord or the blessed Apostles had no involvement. But Lord Jesus has highlighted the Lent by referring the 3 days spent by Prophet Jonah in the belly of the grand fish, when and where the Pharisees and Saducees wanted a sign from our Lord. Our Lord told them “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whales belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (St. Matthew 12: 40) When we observed the 3days Lent we were supposed to meditate the stay of our savior in the heart of the earth, His creation, for three days and three nights for the salvation of the entire humanity and the universe.

We sing the hymn during our worship “our wrath to the people of Nineveh was not considered due to their cry and tears” We should not forget the truth that our tears are the vital part of our Lents and fasting. Originally we had fasting from morning till evening and the same was converted as Lents when our ancestors were taught by the foreign Churches to observe Lents instead of fasting. It was only because of their poor underrating about the teachings of our Lord, they had taught like that. While observing fasting we identify ourselves to the poor and suffering in the world. We realize the pain of starvation. And of course we must give alms to the deserving when we fast and pray. We must shed tears while observing the fasting. We must realize that the tears are the precious gifts in heaven. The prayers exhort us that one and all who might fast, will be in heaven. The prayers as well as the fasting are two feathers to fly up to heaven.

During the 18 days gap there comes two Sundays. On the first Sunday the Holy Church honors all the departed clergy and on the second Sunday all departed souls are honored. Actually the Holy Church is seeking the co-operation and assistance from the departed clergy and the entire faithful to proceed further, when and where we have to fight with the satanic forces.

When a war takes place in between two armored forces, each fighting troop will seek the assistance and help of other supporting troops like the medical core, engineering troops etc. Likewise the Holy Church seeks the support and participation of all its counterparts during the Great War against the Satan and evil forces. Our Lord has given us fasting and prayer as useful weapons to fight against the Satan. Let us make use of them meaningfully.

News Obituary

Obituary: Thomas Alummoottil,Thengely

THIRUVALLA: Thomas Alummoottil, (73) Thengely, Tiruvalla, Kerala passed away at 10.30 am, on Thursday, 24th Sep 09. He was father of I. Thomas, the Secretary of St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi.

The funeral will take place at the cemetary of St. George Orthodox Church, Thegely on Saturday 26th Sept 09.

The funeral prayers at the home will take place at 2 pm and at the Church at 3 pm.

He is survived by wife Mariayamma, daughters Susy (New Delhi) Remani (Kerala) and Suja (Abu Dhabi) and Sons in law, Babu Chugathil, Tiruvalla (New Delhi) Babu, Nediya kalayil, Kidangannoor (Abu Dhabi) Soni Arikileth, Omallur (Abu Dhabi) and daughter in law Moni, Paryil Padimon (Abu Dhabi)

Metropolitans Dr. Mathews Mar Severios and Youhanon Mar Policarpose will lead the funeral services.

Church News News

Catholicate Centenary Celebrations: Design Logo and Win Prize

KOTTAYAM: Designs of Logo of centenary celebrations of the installation of the Catholicate of the East in Malankara Orthodox Church are invited from all who could design.

The logo must include the picture of St. Thomas, mark ‘100’ with due importance, and highlight the caption of the celebrations “Truth shall make you free”.

All entries with the designer’s details are to be forwarded to the Chairman of Central celebrations Committee.

H.G. Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan, Central centenary celebrations committee office, Catholicate Aramana, Devalokam, Kottayam.

You could also submit by Email at : The design should reach on or before 15th October 2009. The one who designs the best will be awarded with a prize.


IOC’s Transformation as ‘OIC’

By 2012, Indian Orthodox Church will be completing 1960 years of existence as a church and 100 years as a Catholicate. It must be the dream of Holy Church’s 1960th anniversary and Catholicate re-establishment’s Centenary Celebrations. Though the dreams of the Catholicate re-establishment’s centenary celebrations have varied aspirations and dreams of a vivid nature, we could say that the sum and substance of the dreams reaches the total transformation of the IOC (Indian Orthodox Church) as OIC in all aspects. The change desired is not in the structure or name or so, but only in the meaning of the term. The term ‘OIC’ is familiar to all Orthodox faithful. We could attribute two types of explanations for OIC. The term OIC is often referred to the Order of the Imitation of Christ. This is commonly used by the Monastic orders of our Holy Church. But it is desired that all Orthodox faithful must be imitators of Christ. All Christians are supposed to grow to the perfect imitation of Lord Jesus Christ. The very incarnation of Lord Jesus is the revelation of God Almighty’s nature of being Love. The Holy Bible introduces God as perfect love, which is greater than the love explained by St. Paul in his first epistle to Corinthians chapter 13, verses 1-13. In 1 John 4:16, we read, “And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God and him in God.” St. John is establishing that the world came to know the depth and width of the love of God only through His begotten Son, who incarnated to enable humanity to live in God. Our Lord’s teachings and entire life on earth was the perfect expression of Godly love. He exhorted us and taught us to love God and love our brethren. His will about all the human beings is that we all must be in perfect love or all our deeds, words and thoughts must be filled with love. Not even a single word, deed or thought should be there from the entire humanity without his everlasting love. This is the will of God and is the expectation of God about His children on earth. God established the Church where members are the parts and parcels. All of us are united in the love, hope as well as peace of God, where Lord Christ is the head and providing continuous instructions to all the parts of the body so that it could grow to maturity. We might be confused in identifying the will of God. We all are supposed to be humble in our word, deed and thought. To be humble means it is the expression of our perfect obedience of God Almighty. If one could obey God without questioning or arguing, it is the perfect simplicity and humbleness. St. Mary, Mother of God was so humble in her word and deed and she obeyed God and His commandments so sincerely. So she was exalted the most by God Almighty. No one else on earth is as exalted as St. Mary, Mother of God.

The second meaning for OIC is “Orthodox Indian Church”. We must give priority and significance to Orthodoxy and we must prefer to introduce ourselves as an Orthodox church rather than anything else. Orthodox means obeying Jesus and His commands without additions or deductions. At a time, we were in good contacts with almost all Orthodox Churches in the world. Though there was no attempt to change this attitude, quite recently it seems that we are not so particular in keeping up the relations with the Orthodox Churches across the globe. We cannot ignore the fact that so many Christians all over the world are seriously studying about the Orthodox style of worship and many are attracted to the various Orthodox Churches all over the world. We, the ancient Orthodox Church in India have a serious role in bringing coordination among the world Orthodox community. Our relations with all Apostolic and Orthodox Churches are to be so strong and energetic. We have to give priority for everything in the light of Orthodoxy. In other words we must adopt an Orthodox style of viewing and evaluating all matters of faith, rituals and traditions. We either lost many of our rich traditions or we do underestimate many of the traditions and rituals. We are bound to trace back the intention and meaning of each of the rituals and traditions and we have to revive them in our practical use. Many of our rich traditions have become routines and none of us are aware of the deep meaning of them. In fact no one is interested too. With a small example I shall try to explain this factor. As far as we are concerned, Censor is an unavoidable thing for the worship. But how many of the faithful (including the clergy) are aware of the full meaning of each part of the censor. All of us know that the 12 bells on the censor denote the 12 blessed Apostles. Originally the bells used to create musical sound while waving the censor. It was to remind each and everyone that the sounds of the Apostles are still echoing in the Holy Church. If someone might try to give awareness to such things, others might not accept what is reminded. This is what is happening in the Holy Church, which claims the rich back ground and ancient tradition. We as a Church must make initiatives to analyze all the traditions and rituals in the proper way and manner and try to re-introduce them in the Holy Church at least by 2012. We must have a new start by the beginning of 2012. We must say bye to all name sake traditions and must re-use them with better knowledge, understanding and in the genuine meaning. One more example I shall quote. On Christmas day we burn wood to have flames. In olden days we used to get dried Loranthus (Ithil Kanni) a parasite on mango and jack fruit branches for this purpose. It had a very notable meaning. As we know the parasites would destroy the fruit bearing trees. In the same way the sins destroy the lives of the faithful. When we burn the ithil Kanni, it denotes that we must take out the sins from us and must burn them in the fire. (Fire of course represents God) So it teaches a lesson that permanent deliverance from sin could be obtained through God only. And like wise all our traditions are rich in meaning. Let us uphold them in the way they should be.

H.G. Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan of Chengannur Diocese and Chairman of the Central Centenary celebrations Committee had requested to the concerned to send suggestions regarding the celebrations/programs to be conducted etc.

If anyone is interested to do so, can send their suggestions by post tothe Centenary Celebrations Central office,Catholicate Aramana, Devalokam, Kottayam, or by email to:

Articles Youth And Faith

Is There Any Need Of An Expectation In The New Testament Era?


Dear Young Friends,

I am really delighted to be in touch with you all through the lines of Young Herald. As we all know, we as a Church is preparing to enter the Great Lent. Lents could be compared to the refresher courses/periodical exercises of the Military personnel in all countries. During such occasions the military personnel make sure that they are fit for fighting with the enemy. The fighting troops have to take care of self defense first. We Christians are compared to soldiers of the secular world. We have to fight with the evil forces and Satan. Our Lord taught us that prayer and fasting are the only weapons with which we could defeat Satan. Whatever our Lord taught, they were taught only after showing us the practical side of the teaching, in which, our Lord took the initiative. Our Lord fasted for 40 days and 40 nights together. And then only He insisted us to observe fasting and Lent.

On 1st of February every year we observe a festival called ‘Mayaltho’. On this day we remember the event when and where St. Mary, Mother of God and St. Joseph took infant Jesus to the Jerusalem temple. According to the Jewish religious custom, all new born babes were to be presented to Lord God in the House of God. And hence our Lord was also taken to Jerusalem temple. In the Holy Bible the name of an old man and an old lady are mentioned. The old, noble and humble Simeon and St. Hanna are considered as representatives of the thousands who had been waiting for years together to meet their savior/Messiah. Our Church remembers this two saints and do seek their intercession. It is a fact that the Israel tribe as a whole from the time of Adam, were in the hope and expectation of the savior. It is said that there were thousands and thousands of faithful, in different corners of the premises of the Jerusalem temple, waiting for their redeemer. When weexamine the Old Testament, we could find it as a history of the long expectation of the savior. We could find many kings, priests, prophets and people of different walks of lives to grant efficient leadership for the expectation. of St. Basil, St. Gregory and the other Church Fathers.

Is there any need of an expectation in the New Testament era? If yes, whom we should expect and long for? In the first chapter of Acts of the Apostles, we read Lord Jesus instructing the early church to wait for the promise of His Father. They waited with one mind and one prayer and they all were blessed with the gift of Holy Spirit. We all have received the Holy Spirit through the Holy Baptism and Holy Mooron. As we have received the Holy Spirit once, it a must to wait for Holy Spirit? In all the sacraments there are occasions when and where the Holy Spirit would appear and inspire on the given mysteries/objects. In the Holy Qurbana, the crown of all Sacraments, there is a special occasion when Holy Spirit would brood upon the mysteries and would convert the bread and wine as the flesh and blood of our Savior. It is a solemn and very important occasion during the sacrament. If we must get the abundant supply/abideness of the Holy Spirit, we will have well preparation and waiting for the Holy spirit. If Holy Spirit is not indwelling upon the Holy mysteries, they won’t be transformed as the flesh and blood of Jesus. So whenever we would attend a Sacrament, we must long for the abundant supply of the Holy Spirit.