This blog is a supplement to www.stgregorioshosur.com - the website for St.Gregorios Syrian Orthodox Church and Mission Centre, Hosur, India - and brings you latest updates along with articles on Christian living and news.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Principles Of Orthodox Worship - VII

by Fr. Dr. Mathew Vaidyan
Communion with the departed ones

The Church is the communion of all believers in the past , present, and future.

Both the living and the departed are members of the church.

A believer never dies.Jn.11:26. The departed ones stand around us like clouds today. Heb 12:1.

They live 1 Pet 4:6. They speak Luke 9:30,31. They please God 2 Cor 5:8,9. They pray for the world. Rev 6:9,10.

Death is not capable of separating us from the love of God. Rom 8:38.

The departed Moses and Elijah are seen talking with Jesus Mt. 17:3.

The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effect. James 5:16. See also Prov 10:7, 1 Cor 6:2, Rev 2:26, Luke 16:27,28.

The departed ones are alive in paradise. Luke. 23:43. St. Paul prayed for the departed Onesiphorous. 2 Tim 1:16-18 .

We commemorate and unite in prayer with the departed ones who form the larger part of the Church.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Principles Of Orthodox Worship - VI

by Fr. Dr. Mathew Vaidyan
Conformity with the mind of the Church

We are bound to hold fast the traditions transferred to us through the Church by our Lord, the Apostles and the church Fathers.

The Greek word paradosis used in the Bible means “ that which is transferred” or “ traditions” ( see 2 thess 2 : 15, 3:16, 1 Cor 11:2 etc.)

The continuity and apostolic authority together with the rich spiritual fragrance behind these traditions are to be counted. Tradition is the mind of the Church .

It is difficult to write down everything that we see , know and experience .

The canons, faith declaration and textual formations of the liturgical practices form the spiritual code of conduct made by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles , gospel- writers and Church Fathers.

These traditions (oral and written ) act as catalytic agents for our spiritual upbringing . These tradition are not be ridiculed , misused , and misunderstood. See 1 Cor, 11:34, Phil 4:9, 2 Tim 2:2, 2 Tim 1:13, Heb 2: 1, 3 Jn. 1 :13 , 2 Pet 3:16.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Principles Of Orthodox Worship - V


Fasting, Feasting and Festivals
by Fr. Dr. Mathew Vaidyan

In worship there are factors beyond human reasoning and intellect.

Through the particular cycle of prayers, rites of purification and courses of meditation together with lent, fasting and deeds of charity we find amalgamation with such factors beyond our reason and intellect.

In our worship we bow our heads, kneel down and pray to the Lord. ( See Gen 24:26, Gen 24:48, Ex 4:31, Dan 6:10, 1 king 8:54,Mt. 2:11, Rev.7:11, ps,95:6. Etc.) Fasting is pleasing to God Is 58:6-8) , God asked his people to observe fast . Joel 1:12-15.

The evil one can be overcome by fasting. Luke 2:37, Mt. 17:21, Esther 4:16 , . Moses observed fasting Ex: 34:28, Mk 9:29, Acts 14:23, , fasting is mentioned in 1 king 19:18. Also we see 21 days fasting of Daniel ( Dan 10:2,3) 14 days fasting in Acts 27: 33,35 . 7 days fasting of David in 2 Sam 12:16, 1 Sam 31:13, 3 days fasting of Esther 3:13, 4:16, Acts 9:9, Dan 9:3-21 , Ezra 8:3, people of Nineveh Jona 3:6 etc. Jesus is the best example Mt. 4:2,

Feasts are observed as days of special honor and reverence. Jn.7:2 , acts 20:16, 1 Cor 16:8. The Jews observed feast of Passover. ( Ex. 12: 14-17) ,Pentecost ( Ex. 19:20), tabernacle ( Lev 23:24 ), Purim ( Esther 9:26) , Trumpet ( Lev 23:24) , Feasts and Festivals of Christianity commemorate events related to Christ , saints, and martyrs sharing the experiences in and with so great a cloud of witness ( Heb 12:10)

Source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

Monday, February 25, 2013

Principles Of Orthodox Worship - IV


Symbolic Representations
by Fr. Dr. Mathew Vaidyan

We have to acknowledge our linguistic limitations.

Words and language alone fail to reflect our gratitude to God Almighty. Symbols speak volumes and help us for meaningful communication with God.

The early Church developed symbolic art in the Catacombs. Symbols used by early Christians include , lamb, dove ,fish, shepherd, vine , bread, cross and the like.

The dove represents Holy Spirit, Christ is the Good Shepherd, and the Lamb of God. The Greek word “ikhthus” which means fish denotes “ Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” when alphabetically expanded.

This was the creed and declaration of faith used by ancient Christians. The symbolism of salt, lamp, etc. are inspirative and educative for a Christian.

They are parts of the Christian devotion. The cross speaks out the sacrificial acts of Jesus. Signing of the cross is also silent , but meaningful worship.

The icons first came into existence in Syria and Egypt. The Byzantine Church developed icons and iconostasis with a sound theology of symbols called iconography.

Source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Third Sunday of the Great Lent


This weekend  www.stgregorioshosur.com  brings you


This  is  the  Third Sunday  of the Great Lent,

The Gospel reading for this Sunday is Mark 2 : 1-12 (24/2/2013) "Jesus forgives and heals a paralytic" based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

Sermon for the Third Sunday of Great Lent
Healing the Paralyzed Man by: Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil



Words of Wisdom - bringing you Inspiring Quotes

Interesting  Short Stories and articles this week include
  • My sons would know
  • Puppies
  • The mouse trap
  • A foot has no nose

Ben Hur - A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace is now into its  Chapter XIV of Book IV

The Power of Positive Thinking  by Norman Vincent Peale is a continuation to last week's 14th. Chapter.

Plus other features such as Just for Laughs and Did you Know ?

Thoughts for the Week which is an ever increasing collection Quotes and Inspiring Articles to Inspire you, Encourage you and Make you Think. This week, we bring you  Everything I needed to know I learnt from ……. A man named Solomon

THE MALANKARA WORLD JOURNAL 
from

The Focus of the Malankara World Journal this week is on The Great Lent - Week 3  Sin and Healing

In Great Lent, the Holy Church recalls a miracle performed by Jesus on each of the Sundays. On the first Sunday, we recalled Jesus changing water into wine at the marriage in Cana; last week, we recalled Jesus healing the leper. This Sunday, we will read about Jesus healing the paralyzed person.

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for a lot more collection of some Interesting & Inspiring
Articles, Pictures and Quotes.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Principles Of Orthodox Worship - III

by Fr. Dr. Mathew Vaidyan
Rituals, offerings and incense

God became man.

He took flesh, matter was used in the redeeming process of incarnation.

Rituals offerings and material objects were given sufficient role in the ministry of Jesus. St. Luke chapter 5 verse 14 states , “ And he charged him to tell no one : but go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing as Moses commanded for a proof to the people”.

Thus Jesus commanded to give offering and rites of thanks giving. Jesus is serious towards those who disobeyed the commandments. Jesus taught that offerings and rituals must help to be firm in faith and for the glorification of God. Jesus was respectful towards priesthood , offerings of thanks giving and vows .

Even St. Paul cut his hair at Cenchreae, for he had a vow (Acts 18:18). Bread , wine , water, oil and soil are all seen used in the redemptive process according to the Bible. “ You do this in remembrance of me, this is my body and this is my blood” commanded Jesus.

The offering of the incense is practiced in Christian worship ( See Rev. 8 : 3,4 Rev. 5:8, Heb 9:4, Mt.2: 11).

Offering of the incense is to get rid of the plagues to remove the foul smell of sin, to please the Lord with complete dedication and to keep the Biblical commandments ( See Num. 16:46- 50 ) . Ex. 35: 8, 2 Chron 2: 4, 1 kg 9: 25, Malachi 1:11 etc.)

With the offering of incense we are mingling with the prayers of all the saints. ( Rev, 8:4)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Principles Of Orthodox Worship - II

by Fr. Dr. Mathew Vaidyan

Communication with the five senses.

The five sense help us in human communications.

The same is applicable to our communication with God. In real worship we see, hear, smell, taste and experience the divine communion.

Preaching the word of God and listening to it are not the exclusive factors of worship.

Take the example of the three fold colors by which the Holy Altar is decorated.

The red covering at the altar indicates the universe and the solar system. The green coloring denotes the earth with the greenish variety of biological species.

The white covering indicates the Church made sanctified and pure through the blood of the unblemished lamb of God , Jesus Christ.

The blood and body of Christ were given to the Church and the whole creation is sanctified through the Church.

In worship we listen to the word of God , smell the odour of incense , touch the hands of our brethren in Kiss of Peace and taste from the divine chalice perceiving the mysteries of the liturgical scenario.

Source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Principles Of Orthodox Worship - I


by Fr. Dr. Mathew Vaidyan


Transfiguration of the whole being

Human mind is provided with conscious, sub conscious and unconscious layers. Worship is not only the transfiguration of the conscious mind. It transforms the whole being .

St. Paul expresses this process as follows: “ And we all, with unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the spirit of the Lord”. ( 2 Cor.3:18).

The three representatives of the Apostles could experience this glory of the Lord in their Taboric Transfiguration.

Christian witness is not only to see the glory of God, but also to become glorified. Human beings , created in the image of God are transfigured from glory to glory through incessant prayer and worship.

This process is not intellectual but experiential. The whole being is involved in this process. In other words, worship is infinite growth in goodness. It is theosis or Deification.

Source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How old is the Orthodox faith?

How old is the Orthodox faith?
by Rev. Dr. Miltiades Efthimiou

If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex-monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.

If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to re-marry.

If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

If you are Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England, founded by Samuel Senbury in the American colonies in the 17th century.

If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1606.

If you are of the Dutch Reformed Church, you recognize Michelis Jones as founder because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was founded by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1774.

If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, New York, in 1829.

If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

If you are Christian Scientist, you  look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.

If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as "Church of the Nazarene,  Pentecostal Gospel," "Holiness Church," or  "Jehovah's Witnesses,"  your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past hundred years.

If you are Roman Catholic, your church shared the same rich apostolic and doctrinal heritage as the Orthodox Church for the first thousand years of its history, since during the first millennium they were one and the same Church. Lamentably, in 1054, the  Pope of Rome broke away from the other four Apostolic Patriarchates (which include Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem), by tampering with the Original Creed of the Church, and considering himself to be infallible. Thus your church is 1,000 years old.

If you are Orthodox Christian, your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

It has not changed since that time. Our church is now almost 2,000 years old   and it is for this reason, that Orthodoxy, the Church of the Apostles  and the Fathers is considered the true "one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church."

This is the greatest legacy that we can pass on to the young people of the new millennium.

Source - Cleveland Prayer Group Website


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Confession: Reflections of Saint Mother Teresa


“I must go to confession with love because I have an opportunity to make my soul clean, to become pure.”

“Confession is Jesus and I, and nobody else. Remember this for life.”

“Don’t waste time on what happened before. If something is hurting you inside, preoccupying you, get it out, make a good confession.”

“It is a place where I allow Jesus to take away from me everything that divides, destroys.”

“Only to confession can we go as sinners with sin and come out as sinners without sin.”

Monday, February 18, 2013

Why do we make the sign of the Cross?


The sign of the Cross, depicting the symbol common to Christians, is integral to Syriac Orthodox worship and common prayer. It is made with right hand. The thumb and the first two fingers are held together which signify faith in the Holy Trinity, i.e.. FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT.

The last two fingers are bent against the palm. In making the sign of the Cross , we start from the forehead to chest and then touch from the left to the right shoulder. Thus, we confess that the Almighty God came down to earth from heaven, suffered and died on the cross for our sins and redeemed us from Satan (from the slavery of sin to the freedom of righteousness and son ship of God).

The sign of the Cross is both unspoken and a confession of faith and the outward expression of inner prayer. In making the sign of the Cross a person prays with his whole being. With the sign of the Cross we appeal to the redeeming death of the Son of God on the Cross, and with this, the sign of victory, we banish the evil thoughts and feelings that creep in to our minds.

All the blessings are given with the sign of the Cross. It is essential to make the sign of the Cross when we receive blessings in our liturgy, at the time of blessing of the censor waving the censor to the congregation by the deacon, priest or bishop at the time of communion, while kissing the cross and the bishop's hand at the reception of blessings.

In common prayer at the outset of the prayer, thrice at the time of Trisagion thrice at the recital of the praise of Cherubim, thrice at the time of the Creed, thrice at the time of Halleluiah( morning prayer) and when we remember the Cross The sign of Cross is always , with few exceptions, associated with a bow to the object of prayer, the invisibly present God. First we peacefully make the sign of the Cross and then we bow or do prostration.

By making the sign of the Cross we abide in the protective shade of the Holy Cross

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

How You Can Live a Life That Pleases God

by Dr. Jack Graham

We have all become like one who is unclean,and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.We allfade like a leaf,and our iniquities,like the wind, take us away. Isaiah 64:6

I read in a survey awhile back that Americans were asked this question: Do you believe that most people are basically good? The result of the survey was that 83 percent said yes. People are basically good. That’s more than 4 out of 5 adults in America who say that people basically have good intentions and want the best for others.

The problem with that line of thinking is the Bible. When the Scriptures describe the state of humanity apart from Christ, it says that not one person does what is right in the sight of God. In fact, if you look at today’s passage, you’ll see that even on our best day, our best deeds are like a polluted garment in God’s eyes.

You’ll hear people say, "Oh, he’s got a good heart! He’s got a heart of gold." Well, a heart of gold will not merit you favor before God because even your best isn’t good enough. So what are you to do?

The answer is Jesus. You see, in the flesh, every person is subject to sin and its effects in the world. But in Christ, the old way of operating is done away with as He removes your sin and gives you a new heart.

Yes, in Christ, you can live a life pleasing to God. So, even when you struggle with sin, remember that you have moved from darkness and, because of Jesus, can walk in God’s light!

WHILE THE BIBLE IS CLEAR THAT NO ONE NATURALLY DOES WHAT IS GOOD, YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE WHEN YOU COME TO CHRIST.




Saturday, February 16, 2013

What is the relation between the Syriac Orthodox Church in Antioch and the Syriac Orthodox Church in India?

The Church in Malankara (Kerala, India) is an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Apostle Thomas is believed to have set out from Edessa, the cradle of Syriac Christianity, to India to preach the Gospel in India. He is believed to have arrived in India in AD 52 and was martyred at Mylapore in Chennai (formerly Madras) in AD 72. Christianity in India since its earliest days adhered exclusively to the Syriac tradition until the Portugese introduced the Latin tradition in the 16th century. The spiritual head of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church is the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. However, the Church enjoys a considerable degree of autonomy, particularly in its temporal affairs. Its local head is the Catholicos of the East,

Friday, February 15, 2013

Second Sunday of the Great Lent


This weekend  www.stgregorioshosur.com  brings you


This  is  the  Second Sunday  of the Great Lent. (17/2/2013)
The Gospel reading for this Sunday is Luke 5:12-16, Luke 4:40-41 based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Great Lent is based on the above Gospel reading. Jesus Cleanses a Leper 
by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Malankara World Board Member.


Features on Sunday Magazine this week

Words of Wisdom

Interesting  Short Stories and articles this week include
  • The Love Parable
  • Trust me
  • 8 Year old's explanation of God
  • A Lesson of Faith

Ben Hur - A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace - is continuation to last week's  Chapter XIII of Book IV.

The Power of Positive Thinking  by Norman Vincent Peale - is a continuation to last week's 13th. Chapter.

Plus other features such as Just for Laughs and Did you Know ?



Thoughts for the Week which is an ever increasing collection Quotes and Inspiring Articles to Inspire you, Encourage you and Make you Think. This week, we bring you  God Always answers Prayers.



The Focus of the Malankara World Journal this week is on The Great Lent - Week 2 ; Pope Benedict XVI.

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for a lot more collection of some Interesting & Inspiring
Articles, Pictures and Quotes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What To Give Up During Lent


What To Give Up During Lent

Give up complaining. . . . . .. . .focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism. . . . . . . .. . become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments . ... ...think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry. . . . . . . . . . . . . trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement. . .. .. .be full of hope.
Give up bitterness. . . . . . .. .  . turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred. . . . . . . . . .  . . return good for evil.
Give up negativism . . . . . . .. . .be positive.
Give up anger. . . . . . . . . . .. . .be more patient.
Give up pettiness. . . . . . . . .. . .become mature.
Give up gloom. . . . . . . . .. . ..  .enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy. . . . . . . . . . . .pray for trust.
Give up gossiping. . . . . . . . . . .control your tongue.
Give up sin. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . turn to virtue.
Give up giving up. . . . . . . . . . . hang in there!

For more resources on the Great Lent

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Where are the headquarters of the Syriac Orthodox Church?


 The seat of the patriarchate moved from Antioch ca. AD 518, after a period of turbulent history, to various locations in the Near East until it settled in Deyrul-Zafaran monastery in Mardin, Turkey, during the 13th century. After another period of heinous violence during and after World War I, which took the lives of a quarter million faithful, the patriarchate was transferred to Homs, Syria, in 1933, and later to Damascus in 1957.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What is the language of the Syriac Orthodox Church?



The official language of the church is Syriac, a dialect of  Aramaic - the language spoken by Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples. All of its liturgy originates from Syriac sources. The church, however, allows the faithful to use local languages along with Syriac. Many liturgical works have been translated into Arabic, Malayalam, English and Turkish.



Monday, February 11, 2013

How does the Syriac Orthodox faith differ from other Christian faiths?


The Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451 resulted in the schism of Christendom into two groups. The Catholic (Rome) and Greek (Byzantine) Churches accepted the Council, while the Syrian (Antioch) and Coptic (Alexandria) Churches rejected it. The former group adopted the doctrine that Christ is in two natures, human and divine, while the latter adopted the doctrine that Christ has one incarnate nature from two natures.

It is worth noting that the drafts of the Council were according to the position of  the Syrian and Coptic Churches. The final resolution, however, was according to the doctrine of the Western Churches. The difference lies in one preposition as explained. One word split the Church for centuries and the schism continues to this day.

Source :- www.stgregorioshosur.com

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Who are the Syriac Orthodox ?


The Syriac Orthodox are the faithful of one of the oldest Apostolic Churches, the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. The Church is a universal one in the sense that its faithful are from a diversity of backgrounds (mainly Middle Eastern and Indian). It grew in the ancient land of Syria (hence the name) which covers modern Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, but spread all over the East as far as India.

Source :- www.stgregorioshosur.com

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kothine Sunday 10 th. February 2013


This weekend  www.stgregorioshosur.com  brings you


This  is  the  1st Sunday of Fifty Days Lent. (Kothine Sunday - Pethrutha of the Great Lent)The Gospel reading for this Sunday is John 2:1-11 (10/2/2013)based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Source -

Sermon for the First Sunday of Great Lent is based on the Gospel reading.

"Do whatever He tells you." (John 2:5)
Are you ready to do what He tells you?
by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Malankara World Board Member


Starting this week, a new feature - Words of Wisdom - has been introduced in the Sunday  magazine, bringing you Inspiring Quotes 

Interesting  Short Stories and articles this week include
  • Your're Better Than That
  • My Attorny
  • Thank You Lord
  • The Homeless Person

Ben Hur - A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace is now in its Chapter XIII of Book IV

The Power of Positive Thinking is a continuation to last week's 13th. Chapter.

Plus other features such as Just for Laughs & Did you Know ?


Thoughts for the Week which is an ever increasing collection Quotes and Inspiring Articles to Inspire you, Encourage you and Make you Think.This week, we bring you The Frog Race


The Focus of the Malankara World Journal this week is on The Great Lent - Week 1

It will help you understand that Lent isn't simply about us "giving up" something. The real grace is when we recognize that Lent is a season in which God wants to give us something. Great Lent is the time for personal reflection, meditation, reconciliation, and prayer, and that we begin our Lent by cleansing ourselves.
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