All the Praises are to you Lord God
- Forwarding a mail I received yesterday. I thought I must share it with
my fellow Christians.
Leave u r worries to our lord he will take control of every thing.
As a youth of Philadelphia Ascension marthoma church we are praying
for u r brother. He will be alright, will come back from India in a
good spirit prasing our lord.
Let me tell u a real incident which had happened to our Philadelphia
Bethel Marthoma church Achen P. K .Zakaria. Few months back he had
meet with a car accident he is paralysed from Wasit he cannot stand
up or do things for him self. The doctors over here told 90% he
cannot do things for him self. He was discharged from the hospital
recently without much developments .still he is paralysed from waist
He gave the leadership in giving heart touching message to a big
crowd , the crowd was happy to see him talking in a new spirit, and
enthusiam praising our lord in his difficulties.
For the first time in my life i saw all Pentacostal pastors from NE
part Philadelphia all on the stage with Priests of
Jacobite ,Orthodox,CSI ,Evangelical all together on the stage there
were 14 people.
Yesterday was the last day it lasted up to night 10 pm. The venue
Ascension Marthoma Church was jam packed the with more than 900
people. And the crowd was managed with the help of CCTV and extra
audio systems in different rooms.
For the first time in Ascension Marthoma church history it saw this
much people. A over crowded church.
Praise the lord. The lord is alive, He can do miracel for u brother
May god bless u.
P. Sanjay Samuel.
(Ascension Marthoma Church Piladelphia)
- Dear all members in Christ, our True Light,
This is an attempt to answer the query on the significance of lighting
candles in our Church. I think it is appropriate to answer first, THE
SIGNIFICANCE OF LIGHT IN WORSHIP and then move to THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
LIGHTING CANDLES, for various occasions. This is a compilation of
information, assimilated from various sources, during my Sunday School
LIGHTING IS THE FIRST ACT OF WORSHIP IN THE EASTERN CHURCHES. In Orthodox
Church, we use lights during many occasions. In the Church an oil lamp is
kept burning always. We light candles on the Holy Altar during worship and
during prayers of intercession. Candles are also lit, during the reading of
the Epistles and Gospel, Elevation of Holy Mysteries and Procession of the
Second Coming. Candles are lit, during corporate or private prayers, before
the body of departed ones, graves of departed ones or tombs of saints,
before relics of saints' during processions (Rasa), etc.
Light is symbol, universally used in all Churches and symbolizes the
presence of God. "God is light (1 Jn. 1: 5) and in Him is no darkness at
Light is an expression of Christian joy, which Christ has redeemed for us
from darkness and brought us to eternal light. Light also signifies that God
accepts worship, with reverence and awe, as God is a consuming fire.
Light is knowledge and life. It dispels darkness, of ignorance and death.
St. Paul says, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of
God in the face of Jesus Christ". (2 Cor. 4: 6)
A lighted candle reminds us of the words of Jesus, "I am the light of the
world, he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light
of life" (Jn. 1: 9, 8:12). The Christian tradition has always held that the
sun is the source of biological life, in this universe. "Christ, the Son of
Righteousness" is the true source of eternal light and in Him there is no
darkness. Light is a symbol of angels and saints. (Matt. 5:14). Jesus, as
light, is Life.
WHY DO WE HAVE NILAVILKKU IN CHURCHES OR WHY LIGHT VIGIL LAMPS?
In the center of Nave of the Church, is an oil lighted lamp (NILAVILKKU).
Light here signifies the presence of God, Who is light, Himself. Normally,
this lamp has twelve wicks symbolizing all the departed belonging to the
twelve tribes. Some lamps have seven wicks, signifying the seven lamps seen
blazing before the Throne of God (Rev. 4: 2-6). This lamp also symbolizes
the golden lamps on the golden lamp stand of the Tabernacle (Lev. 24: 3-4)
and shows that our church is in continuation with the Jerusalem temple.
The oil poured in the lamp signifies the prayers offered by the living for
the faithful departed. The light also symbolizes the illumination of the
souls of the departed. Pious Orthodox faithful take oil frequently from the
lamp and bless themselves, making the sign of the Cross on their foreheads.
Because our faith is light. Christ said, "I am the light of the world" (John
8: 12). The light of the vigil lamp reminds us of that light by which Christ
illumines our souls.
Electric lights are not appropriate for use as the light to burn in Church.
The traditional oil lamps require an amount of attention which electricity
does not, thereby directing our physical services and thoughts to God
several times a day when we are required to trim the wick and refill the
lamp with oil.
It should be added that before the invention of matchsticks, there was need
for the continuance of some source of fire from which a light could be
readily obtained as a matter of great convenience. So a 'perpetual light' in
the church was kept burning. Such a perpetual light seems to have been
usually kept up, even now, probably underlay an old Christian practice.
To be continued??????????????. (SIGNIFICANCE OF CANDLES IN WORSHIP)
Jacob P. Varghese
St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Sharjah.
- Cardinal Arinze Promotes "Education for Dialogue"
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 5, 2001 <A HREF="http://www.zenit.org/">(Zenit.org)</A>.-
Cardinal Francis Arinze sent this
message on behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to
the Hindu faithful of the world on the occasion of the upcoming feast of
* * *
Hindus and Christians: educating their respective communities to dialogue
Dear Hindu Friends,
1. As you celebrate the Feast of Diwali I send greetings and good wishes in
my own name and on behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious
Dialogue. May your celebration bring you much joy and happiness.
2. Mutual respect and esteem for our respective religious traditions lead to
a greater awareness of our responsibility to cooperate in promoting social
peace and harmony. War and violence waged in the name of religion are
contrary to the true spirit of religion and can endanger its very existence.
Education for dialogue, greater communication and practical cooperation will
contribute to overcoming the causes of violence and to promoting a spirit of
mutual understanding and respect. I propose that we intensify our efforts to
foster relations and promote dialogue between our communities.
3. This proposal echoes that of the representatives of various religious
traditions at the Interreligious Assembly held in the Vatican in 1999:
"Education is a key for promoting interreligious harmony, religious freedom
and respect for people of different religious traditions ... Above all,
education is committed to seeking truth, justice, peace and reconciliation.
very practical programme, which already exists in various places, is the
joint examination of textbooks, not only of religion, but also -- and
especially -- of history. The lamentable ignorance and misinformation with
which we sometimes bring up our children concerning other people's religious
traditions need to be rectified. We must strive to present all religious
traditions in an objective manner so that individuals belonging to these
traditions can recognize themselves in that representation" (Final Report,
4. Education and training in promoting better relations between the
of religions is an urgent priority. Growing awareness of religious pluralism
should not lead to indifference. Dialogue, while respecting the religious
traditions of others, requires us to be firmly rooted in our own religious
tradition and to acknowledge the objective differences between religions.
Each religious community should devise its own approach to educating its
followers in a spirit of dialogue, and indicate how they believe an attitude
of dialogue could best be fostered in our respective communities.
Furthermore, dialogue should be complemented by joint efforts to uphold the
family, form the consciences of the young, defend fundamental moral and
spiritual truths and values, increase the awareness of the need for a deeper
spiritual life and promote exchange of accurate information about each
other's beliefs and practices.
5. Together, let us look forward to the future with hope that it will bring
lasting peace for all. Happy Diwali.
Cardinal Francis Arinze,
[text distributed by Vatican Press Office]
- Dear Sajan,
I understand the importance & your need of daily devotional readings
to inspire one at the begining of the day.I had been getting daily
readings to my email from another yahoo group.
The site is
Hope it might be of some help.
- Dear Friends,
Please note that IndianOrthodox Church has transformed into a Universal
Orthodox Church and today it is a multinational, multilingual, and
multicultural church. ST THOMAS came not just to preach to the people of
Malankara but to preach the Gospel to the four corners of the world.
DR. M.S.ALEXANDER, LEEDS, ENGLAND