Question on the Church


Dear Thirumeni,

Hope you are doing fine. I am designated to give a 10 minute speach on this sunday march 9th as we celeberate catholicate day. Can you give me some pointers to talk about the faith which we differtaite from other christian churches, strength of our tradition etc. Any other thoughts also welcome as i am trying to make it interesting and relavent to the people(including children) here.

When are you next visiting US. We will be moving in 1st week of July.

Regards (?)

Dear Jackson (?)

Thanks for the mail. One of the primary matter of strength of our Church is acknowledgment of the totality of the community. On the one hand we acknowledge not only the living and the departed, rather also look forward for each one yet to be born. Again we not only acknowledge the adults as full members of the Church, rather even new born children. We accept them in to faith, baptize them give them communion (holy Qurbana) right away and they become full communicant member of the Church. This is in comparison with many of the western Churches. Again our Church follows pure democratic system of administration compared to Catholic Church. Whether it is the bishop or the priest, they are primarily presidents in the liturgy. Only with that authority they become presidents in administration. This is particularly true with bishops.

Again our Church does not bifurcate between spiritual and secular. For us every thing is spiritual. This has unique implications with regard to how we look at our lives. What ever we may do, we do in the Spirit of Christ and in the fellowship of the fellow believers. We, in the Orthodox Church, therefore human dignity with respect to his/her life in this world is taken seriously. We do not look for, as some of the sectarian/ Pentecostal communities would do, just a life after death. The quality of our life in this world is quite important and therefore we depend of God for making it joyful. Because of this, we also try to make this life lived with principles and values.

Malankara Orthodox Church is an independent Church, which has its own hierarchy and administrative system even while it keeps it brotherly relation to other Churches, specially with the patriarchates of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The office of the Catholicate, which was established in 1912, symbolizes the freedom we have before God and to manage our own spiritual, liturgical and administrative affairs. The Church is present in almost all continents of the globe. We follow the theology of great fathers like Athanasius, Severious and Gregorios of Nazianz. We follow the West Syriac liturgy and theology in our religious life. At the same time we also adapt local religious elements that go well with our faith.

We believe that ‘humans were created to become one like God’. This we shall achieve in our sacramental fellowship with the Holy Trinity and with our fellow believers. The relationship between the persons in the Holy Trinity becomes a model for all our relations. We are bound by love just as the Holy Trinity is bound. Love, for us, is seen in the model of Christ’s love which is essentially vicarious in nature. We live our lives not for our sake primarily, rather for the sake of others. When every one would live a life for others, no one will be left alone and no one’s life will be unprotected and not cared for. We hope that this will lead us to enjoy our lives in the Kingdom of God. This is our hope and prayer. We pray, Thy Kingdom Come!

Hope this will help you make a message for yourself.

Hope and pray you and the whole family is doing fine by the Grace of God.

With love and prayers

Thirumeni

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