With the blessings and patronage of His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos the Diocesan Metropolitan and the President of MGOCSM, the Youth Convention under the auspices of MGOCSM Diocese of Bombay will be held on Sunday the 22nd March 2015 at St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral Dadar as per the schedule given below. Rev Fr (Dr) K. Geevarghese (OKR Director of Sunday Schools & Professor, STOTS Nagpur) will be the keynote Speaker.
4.30 PM: Lenten Reflections
6.00 PM: Evening Prayer followed by Devotional Singing by Divine Ragas
7.00 PM: Keynote Message
8.30 PM: Benediction and Refreshments.
We wish, this spiritual gathering be of great inspiration towards more fruitful experience in the coming days of the Great Lent and participation in the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord.
We welcome all teenagers and youngsters to attend.
Fr Jacob Koshy
MGOCSM Bombay Diocese
The next Pre-marital preparation class of Diocese of Bombay is scheduled to be held on 14th & 15th March 2015.
All those who are preparing to get married in the near future about in six months time should attend the course. Attendance on both days is compulsory for getting “Course Completed Certificate”. All those who desire to attend the course should confirm their attendance on or before 10th March 2014.
VENUE: St Thomas Orthodox Valiapally, Chincholi Phatak, Malad (W)
Date: 14th Saturday and 15th Sunday, March 2015
Time: 9.30 am to 5.00 pm (Saturday), 12.30 pm to 5.30 pm (Sunday)
Contact: Rev. Fr. Thomas Verghese: 9820851959,
Very.Rev.Fr.N.S. Vargis Cor-Episcopa :9819225351,
Rev. Fr.Koshy Alex: 9324090598,
Rev.Fr.Benjamin Stephen: 9765454117,
Rev.Fr.Skaria Varghese- 9869125758,
Rev.Fr.Jacob Thomas : 9869045747,
Rev.Fr.Thomas Chacko: 9823343880
1. Registration fees Rs1000/- per head to cover the course expense
2. Please bring 2 passport size photographs to be affixed on the certificate.
3. Please bring along with you a bible and note book. (writing material0
4. Course certificate is compulsory as per the order of His Holiness Catholicos of the East and the Diocesan to get NOC for the sacrament of marriage.
5. Please contact your Parish Vicars and collect the registration form and fill it and submit it on your arrival.
Yours in His Service
Welcome to Gregorian Community
Named after St. Gregorios of Parumala in Kerala, the Gregorian is a community of Indian Orthodox Christians at a place called Roha on the route from Mumbai to Goa. Bishop Geevarghese Mar Coorilose who founded the Community is hoping that this community is one day able to provide the youth with a go to place when they are laid low with the cares of modern life, to spend time away from routine, focusing inwards and towards God. Also it is envisioned to eventually grow into a resting place for the broken hearted, the downtrodden and isolated from society. And also it is hoped that it will become a place for ecumenical study, debates, dialogue among different world religions. Currently running a school and an old age home, the community has a vision to develop itself as an oasis in the desert of life, utilizing its natural beauty of river banks, valleys and hills, to provide one and all with comfort, rest, rejuvenation and opportunities for soul searching and self examination, while providing service to the society and nation.
Photo Courtesy – Binu Alex
മലങ്കര ഓര്ത്തഡോക്സ് സഭ മുംബൈ ഭദ്രാസനത്തിലെ ആത്മീയ പുനര്ജീവന സംരംഭമായ സ്പിരിച്ച്വല് റിവൈവല് മിനിസ്ട്രിയുടെ ആഭിമുഖ്യത്തില് നടന്നുവന്ന മുംബൈ ഓര്ത്തഡോക്സ് ക്രിസ്ത്യന് കണ്വന്ഷന് പര്യവസാനിച്ചു.വാശി സെന്റ് മേരീസ് സ്കൂള് ഗ്രൌണ്ടില് നടന്ന കണ്വന്ഷനില് മുംബൈക്ക് പുറമേ പൂനാ, നാസിക്ക്, ഗുജറാത്ത് എന്നിവിടങ്ങളില് നിന്നും മൂവായിരത്തോളം വിശ്വാസികള് ഈ മഹാ കണ്വന്ഷനില് പങ്കെടുത്തു.
25ന് നടന്ന സമാപന സമ്മേളനത്തില് ഭദ്രാസനാധിപന് അഭിവന്ദ്യ ഗീവര്ഗീസ് മാര് കൂറിലോസ് മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്താ അധ്യക്ഷത വഹിച്ചു. ഭാരതത്തിന്റെ അപ്പോസ്തോലനായ പരിശുദ്ധ മാര്ത്തോമ്മാ ശ്ളീഹായുടെ ദൌത്യം ഏറ്റെടുത്ത് തുടരുന്നതിനുള്ള കാലിക പ്രസക്തി മാര് കൂറിലോസ് മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്താ വിശ്വാസികളെ അനുസ്മരിപ്പിച്ചു.
അടൂര്-കടമ്പനാട് ഭദ്രാസനാധിപന് അഭിവന്ദ്യ ഡോ.സഖറിയാസ് മാര് അപ്രേം മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്താ സമ്മേളനം ഉദ്ഘാടനം ചെയ്തു. ലോകജീവിത യാത്രയില് നാം തിരുവെഴുത്തുകളില് നിന്നു അകന്നു പോയിട്ടുണ്ടെന്നും ഇപ്പോള് അതിലേക്ക് തിരികെ വരുവാനുള്ള സമയമാണെന്നും മാര് അപ്രേം മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്താ പറഞ്ഞു.
നിരണം ഭദ്രാസനാധിപനും സഭാ മിഷന് ബോര്ഡ് പ്രസിഡന്റുമായ ഡോ.യൂഹാനോന് മാര് ക്രിസോസ്റമോസ് മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്താ മുഖ്യസന്ദേശം നല്കി. നസ്രേത്തിലെ തിരുകുടുംബത്തിലെ മാതാപിതാക്കളായിരുന്ന ജോസഫിന്റെയും മറിയത്തിന്റെയും സ്വഭാവ സവിശേഷതകളെ എടുത്തുകാട്ടികൊണ്ട്, കുടുംബ ശിഥിലീകരണ സാധ്യതകള് ഭയാനകമായി ഏറിവരുന്ന ഈ കാലഘട്ടത്തില് മാതാപിതാക്കള് മാതൃകയായിരിക്കേണ്ട വിവിധ കാര്യങ്ങള് മാര് ക്രിസോസ്റമോസ് മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്താ ഹൃദയസ്പര്ശിയായി വിശദീകരിച്ചു.
സ്പിരിച്ച്വല് റിവൈവല് മിനിസ്ട്രി ഭദ്രാസന ജനറല് കണ്വീനര് ഫാ. ജേക്കബ് കോശി, അതിന്റെ വിവിധ പ്രവര്ത്തനങ്ങള്ക്ക് ഭദ്രാസനം പൂര്ണ്ണ പിന്തുണ പ്രഖ്യാപിക്കുന്ന മഹാ സമ്മേളനമായി കണ്വന്ഷനെ വിലയിരുത്തിയത് വിശ്വാസിസമൂഹം കരഘോഷത്തോടെ ഏറ്റുവാങ്ങി.
മിഷന് ഡയറക്ടര് മനോജ് മാത്യു സുവിശേഷ പദ്ധതികള് വിശദീകരിച്ചു. ദാനിയേല് ശര്മ്മ, ബാലിക സൊപന് എന്നിവര് സുവിശേഷ ജീവിത അനുഭവങ്ങള് പങ്കുവെച്ചു. വാശി സെന്റ് തോമസ് ചര്ച്ച് ഗായകസംഘം ഗാനശുശ്രൂഷ നടത്തി. ഫാ. തോമസ് മത്തായി സമര്പ്പണ പ്രാര്ത്ഥന നടത്തി. ഭദ്രാസന സെക്രട്ടറി ഫാ. കോശി അലക്സ് സ്വാഗതവും, കണ്വന്ഷന് ജനറല് കണ്വീനര് ഫാ. ബഞ്ചമിന് സ്റീഫന് കൃതജ്ഞതയും അര്പ്പിച്ചു. വൈകിട്ട് 4.30ന് നടന്ന വിവിധ പഠന ക്ളാസുകള്ക്ക് അഭിവന്ദ്യ ഡോ. സഖറിയാസ് മാര് അപ്രേം മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്താ, ഫാ. കോശി ജോണ്, ഫാ. ജോമോന് തോമസ്, മനോജ് മാത്യു എന്നിവര് നേതൃത്വം നല്കി.
New Testament accounts of the advent and nativity of Jesus stress the all-encompassing nature of the Christ event. Without reservation, the Biblical text says that God’s grace appears to all, offering the promise of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation with God in heaven and with our neighbors on earth.The grace of God has appeared in the person of Jesus Christ. He appears for the sake of marginalized shepherds and their families in his homeland. He attracts the attention of well-to-do scholars in distant nations. He appears to Mary and Joseph as a gift of God’s mystery. Through these faithful witnesses, and the proclamation of good news down the ages, Jesus appears to us. We, too, are called to respond to his presence among us today.
This is the season of Holy Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no “Santa” there is only St. Nicholas! everyone can be “Santa”, you can give gifts and presents at any moment of any day not only in this period that was transformed to a commercial event by the evil hands…and it dangerously plug the love of the materialism to children, this period is a period of strong prayers, fasting and a holy event that makes the faithful closer to God! The Satanic forces of the world are using the X to spread their message that says that there is no Christ, be aware of that evil trick… it’s Christmas not Xmas!
May the grace and peace of God appear to many more through this season of Christmas! I wish you well at the turning of this year, and I pray for God’s blessing on our heavenly pilgrimage in the years to come.
Fr.Thomas Philipose, Web Manager
The Orthodox Church governs her life by Holy Tradition. The word “tradition” comes from the Latin traditio, which is translation of a Greek word used frequently in the scriptures, paradosis. Translatedliterally, this word means something that is handed on from one person to another, in the same way that a baton is handed over in a relay race. Something that is “traditioned” passed on from one person or group of people to another.
In Galatians 1:11, St Paul says, that the tradition of the Church is “not according to man”. in other words, it is revealed by God. It is not a human product.
Tradition means an experience, an entire life-not simply a series of teachings, but the living out of those teachings that have come from the God who has revealed Himself to us. Tradition is the living out of the revelation of God by His people.
Five Sources of Christian Tradition
- The Holy Scriptures (Bible)
- The Liturgy
- The Councils (Synods)
- The Saints
- The Church Art
The Holy Scriptures
The first place we give to the Holy Scriptures: the Bible, Old and New Testaments. The Bible is understood by the Orthodox Christians to be the principal written record of the experience by God’s people of God’s revealing Himself to them. It is understood that the Church, therefore, wrote the Bible. The Bible is the word of God, but the word of God was not written directly and personally by God. The Holy Scriptures did not fall from Heaven in a full complete form. Instead, they were written by human beings who were inspired by God. What they write is the truth about God.They write what they write as members of God’s people.
For example, in the early years of the Christian Church, those most important books of Holy Scripture that we call the Gospels did not exist.Several decades passed afterPentecost before the first Gospel was written. It was the end of the first century by the time all four Gospels were written. Three hundred more years passed before a decision was made in the Church that there would be only four Gospels.
The books that are in the Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are there because God’s people, through those who were set aside as having the authority to make the decision, decided that these books would be part of the Bible, and other books would not. The Church, as God’s people inspired by God, wrote the Bible. The Church produced the Bible. The Bible did not produced the Church.
The Holy Scriptures are the principal and most honourd written record of God’s revelation to His people. But it is the understanding of the Orthodox that Holy Scriptures cannot be completely, truthfully understood unless they are understood within the context of the Church that produced them, that declared them to be what they are.
So, the Bible is the Book of the Church, the first source of the Christian Tradition.
I will try to write on the Bible in greater detail later on.
The second source of the Christian Tradition is the liturgy of the Church.”Liturgy” is a word that means in Greek, common work. The liturgy of the church means the work of the church when it comes together to be the people of God and to worship God. Liturgy includes the whole body of the Church’s common worship: the services for the various hours of the day, the days of the week, the feast days and seasons of the Church, the sacraments of the Church, like baptism, the holy Eucharist, marriage and other.
In all the public prayer of the Church we have a record of what the Church believes. In fact, there is a saying that has been popular among the Orthodox from the beginning; the rule of faith, the standard of what we believe, is established by the way we pray.
The Councils (Synods)
The third source of the Christian Tradition is the councils of the Churchman council is meeting of those in the Church who have been given the authority to decide what is faithful to the Tradition of the Church and what is not. The first council that we hear described in the Act of Apostles chapter 15 takes place in the Church of Jerusalem. This council was convened to decide the question of whether Gentiles could becomes Christians and whether they should be required to obey the Jewish Law. This was a situation that Jesus had not specifically prepared His Apostles to deal with. But he has given them the authority in the Church to distinguish between what was true and what was not, so they met to decide what to do with the Gentiles who wanted to become part of the Church.
The result of the Jerusalem council was a compromise: the Gentiles would be required to keep a few core principles of the Jewish law, but the rest of it was not binding on them. Moreover, the Apostles made it very clear that this was not merely a human decision. They were so boldly as to say, “It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us that this is how we answer this question. (Acts 15:28).
Many councils have met through the centuries of the Church’s life and they have decided many Questions. The answers they give to the questions that have to be resolved come in two forms: creeds and canons.
The Oriental Orthodox Family including Indian Orthodox Church accepting the first three Ecumenical Councils:
- Council at Nicea on AD325
- Council at Constantinople on AD381
- Council at Ephesus at AD 431
The most important of the Church’s statement of faith is contained in the creed called the Nicene Creed. It is called “Nicene” because it was written at the first Ecumenical Council in Nicea in AD 325
The fourth source of the Christian Tradition is the lives of the saints and the teaching of one particular group of saints who are called the Fathers, includes some mothers.
In every generation in the life of the Church, there have been people who lve the teachings of Christ faithfully, heroically, who attain while living in this world the destiny for which we as Christians believe God has created us: to share His own life.
The ultimate promise concerning the Christian revelation is that it is true. “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”. Free from what? Free from error, free from sin, free from emptiness, and ultimately free from death in the negative sense. Those are the things that God frees from us from. But He does this so that we can be free for something that is indescribably greater: to reach our destiny as partakers of the life of God Himself.
A certain group of those saints is called the Fathers. By a Father of the Church, we mean one who by his or her wisdom in teaching or defending Church doctrine, often at the cost of his or her life or in the face of great suffering, bore witness to the Tradition of the Church. When we read the Gospel here is what the Church has always believed. In the same sense, when we read the writings of the great Fathers, we can find in them a faithful and true testimony to what the Church has always believed and experienced about God.
The Church Art
The final source of the Christian Tradition is the Church Art. It might come as a surprise to some that along with such exalted things as the Holy Scriptures and the Liturgy of the Church and the Saints and the Fathers, we would speak of Church art. In the minds of some people, art is simply a kind of decoration, a secondary thing.
In the Orthodox understanding of the nature of human being, of how God has made us, how God has revealed Himself to us, is that material creation is very much involved. One could say that the Orthodox Faith, the Orthodox experience is a holistic one. It involves the whole into the material world, God becoming man, God becoming matter-is uniquely at the heart of the Christian Faith.
Art is, by definition, the use of material things as the medium for the revelation of God. So for the Orthodox, art is not icing on the cake; it is something very central to what we know of how God has revealed Himself to us. One goes in to the Orthodox Church building and is immediately surrounded by all sorts of things that appeal to the senses.
We could divide them into the three categories:-
- Iconography: the way in which the images of Christ, His life, His Mother, and the saints are portrayed in the Church.
- Church Music: the way our Church services are sung, the chants that are used in the liturgical services.
- Church architecture: even the way an Orthodox Church is traditionally built is a visible testimony to the Faith of the Church as it has been experienced throughout the ages.
None of these is understood to be merely accidental or a frill. Rather, they are at the heart of our experience in the Church as the people of God.
So we have these five basic sources of the Orthodox Tradition, what has been passed on from one generation of the faithful to the next, from Christ and the Apostles even to the present time: the scripture, the liturgy, the creeds and canons that have come from the Church Councils or Synods, the lives of the saints and the teaching of the Fathers, and finally Orthodox Christian Art.