Eight-day feast at the Global Marian Pilgrim Centre of India
THOUSANDS WITNESS 'NADATHURAKKAL' AT THE MANARCAUD ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL
KOTTAYAM, Sep 8: Thousands of devotees thronged the famous St Mary's Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Cathedral on Sunday the 7th, to witness the 'nadathurakkal', the auspicious and revered event during the course of 'Ettunombu Thirunnal' (eight-day lent in memory of the birth of Mother Mary). Earlier in the day, Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I, the Catholicos & metropolitan trustee of the Syriac Orthodox Church in India, offered 'Mooninmel' Qurbana (Tri-Mass) in the old church.
The four km-long route to the church from Manarcad Junction was crowded with devotees from the morning. Special buses and other vehicles proceeded to the church from various centers. The state owned bus service operated special services from various depots in the district and neighbouring ones. A lull in the torrential rains and a clear sky during the time of the auspicious occasion had brought a sea of faithful to the church. According to an estimate, not less than 50,000 people witnessed the painting of St Mary on Sunday after the nadathurakkal. Believers, cutting across caste, creed and age, were seen offering ornamental umbrellas and sacred flags after making rounds at the church. There was also heavy turnout to offer 'adima panam', another specialty of the church.
On the previous day evening (6th), thousands of devotees took part in the ceremonial procession called RAZA, held in connection with the festival. A fireworks display was held late at night followed by 'margamkali' and 'parichamuttukali', the traditional art forms connected with the arrival of Christianity in Malankara.
The festival came to a close on Monday the 8th with the celebration of Holy Qurbono by the Archbishop Mor Severious Kuriakose of the Knanaya Archdiocese. A procession was held at 2.30 pm. The ceremonies ended with a 'nercha vilambu' by 3.30 pm.
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