This has reference to the teachings by Very Rev. Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil, through this forum few months back. I am an Alter boy since 1983 and I stood first in the MJSSA Xth exam in the year 1987. But I was not aware that why the middle candle in the Alter is removed during Holy Mass. Nobody could give me a clear idea about this. This forum helped me to get the teachings of the church in this regard. Till that time I got the idea that the middle candle to be lighted when Bishops, H.B or H.H are present. Last year H.G. Geevarghese Mor Athanasious of Trichur Diocese wanted me to remove the middle candle during holy mass. He also doesn�t told me why that middle candle to be removed.
I am quoting the teachings of Very Rev. Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil, in this regard,
The number of candles on the alter are 12 representing the twelve apostles, they are not only representing the apostles who spread the Gospel of our Lord but also they are the witnesses and partakers of the institution of the holy Eucharist. They were deputed by Christ to continue this mission. But there is one another candle at the center of the Alter, which will not be lighted during the holy Eucharist service. This is representing Apostle St. Paul. It is kept not lighted because of his absence during the open ministry of our Lord. It is lighted at the time of the procession of the holy mysteries. This means the participation of St. Paul in the ministry of the Lord after resurrection of our Lord and implies his presence at the time of the second coming of our Lord.� (Holy Eucharist � Very Rev. Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil)
Most of the churches in Angamaly Diocese follow this practice. Last Sunday I could attend the Holy Mass at St. Mary�s Cathedral, Bangalore.(Queens Road). But I could see that the middle candle is being lighted during Holy Mass. I want to know what is happening in other churches. I don�t know whether it is a regular practice in St.Mary�s Cathedral. This is not a criticism. I have great pleasure in attending the Holy Mass in that church especially the speech delivered by Rev.Fr. Saji, vicar of St.Mary�s Cathedral.
Can this practice be made mandatory to keep our church traditions and practices unified ? Your comments are solicited.
Eldho P V
St.Mary�s Hermon Jacobite Church, Azhakam.
From The Desk Of Moderators:
We congratulate Shri Eldho for his meticulous Christian academic records and also appreciate to bring out points like this. Of course this will help our Church to follow and unify the traditional practices. Keep up the good work Shri Eldho.