Monday, January 20, 2020

Discipleship Course by Fr. Peter Farrington

It might not be possible to have a Spiritual guide / Father to help us . Nevertheless the Lord in His Mercy will provide opportunities and resources that will push to heed the call to lead a life as an Orthodox Christian. One such offering is a Three (3) month course on Discipleship By Fr. Peter Farrington. 

Introduction to the course by Fr. Peter , Praying we make use of this offering. 

'..To discover Orthodoxy for the first time, or to increase our knowledge and experience of Orthodoxy, must be the same as becoming more completely Christian in accordance with the life of the first and the original and the Apostolic Christian community. It is not understood by Orthodox Christians as the expression of one denomination among many, but as representing the fulness of the Christian Gospel proclaimed by the Apostles themselves and preserved through the ages to the present time.

We cannot be born into Orthodoxy, or be Orthodox by accident, since it is Christianity itself. We are born again into Orthodoxy and must make a definite decision, even day by day, to embrace more completely this Apostolic life in Christ. The one who seeks to discover Christianity for the first time, the believer in Christ who is interested in the Orthodox understanding of Christianity, and the one who became a member of an Orthodox Church even in their infancy through sacramental baptism, must all follow the same determined investigation and increasing participation in the experience and understanding of Orthodoxy as the invitation to fulness of the Christian life even without knowing that is what they are doing, but knowing always that they desire more of God.

All of us are called and invited to become more Orthodox, more completely Christian, by a true, personal experience of the spiritual life which the Orthodox Churches have received from the Apostles, and by the grace and activity of the Holy Spirit, despite the weakness of men. It is by participating in Orthodoxy, in the fulness of Christianity itself, that we come to understand Orthodoxy as the life in Christ, the abundant life he offers. Each one of us begins where we find ourselves in this common journey. But the goal for all is the overwhelming, transforming and transfiguring experience of union with God in Christ by the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is what it means to become truly Orthodox, to become truly Christian, to experience and participate in the life of God by grace according to the Apostolic teaching, still taught in the Orthodox and Apostolic Churches as a present possibility and reality.  

This three month course is intended to present a programme of Scripture, Spirituality, Theology, History and other aspects of the Orthodox Christian life in a developing structure. By the end of the three months of the course it is hoped that a person who has tried to follow the instructions and study the short materials provided will have a better practical understanding and experience of Orthodox Christianity, not only in a theoretical sense but through their own participation. It is expected that an Orthodox person will have deepened their own spiritual life, and an enquirer into Orthodoxy will have a very good sense of what Orthodoxy is about.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Morning Prayer - A Communion of the Faithful

In Orthodox Christian Tradition, every Divine Liturgy begins with the preceding Evening Vespers in light of the Scripture account of Creation, when Evening precedes Morning to form a Day. 
(Genesis Chapter 1). 

In Liturgical Homily this week, our Priest emphasized again the importance of the Liturgical Order and Prayers, to come prepared knowing with whom we are participating in Holy Communion. To illustrate further, He used the verses of morning hymn of the Holy Qurbana - ' Nishthayil  Ninne Petta .." to show how we are participating together with St. Mary, the Prophets, Apostles, the Saints and fathers, the  Faithful departed  and the Angels to worship and sing praises to our Lord and God. Achen asked each of us to reflect how carelessly and complacent we have become in our weekly participation, coming much later after the service has started when it the only time available for us all to come together and pay our tithe in Prayer.

The question points whether as an individual and as a whole we of the Malankara Orthodox Church could have used more appropriately the resources our Orthodox Christian faith and traditions of the West Syrian Church we inherited from the 17th Century for our use. I wish someone was there to explain these in my childhood while singing these hymns in Malayalam without realizing the true meaning while at the same time wonder even if such resources were available would have the temperament to be receptive.

Ministry of Liturgical Resource Development from our Diocese was initiated in 2015 to ensure future generations participate more fully in English and grow in knowledge and faith for His glory. With Prayers,Sharing the Morning Hymn from the English the Service Book of the Holy Qurbono by this Ministry, authorized by Holy Synod for Publishing in 2017.


With Mary, Who carried You nine months in her womb by Your will, Make us worthy to sing praise to You, Lord God . With the Holy Virgin , Who bore You in purity , Make us worthy to sing praise to You, Lord God.

With the True Prophets, Who prophesied of Your coming , Make us worthy to sing praise to You, O Lord God. With the Holy Apostles, who proclaimed Your Gospel among the peoples, make us worthy to sing praise to You, Lord God.

With Martyrs and Confessors, Who endured torments and pain, Make us worthy To sing praise to You, O Lord God. With the Holy Fathers and Doctors of Orthodox Faith , Make us worthy to sing praise to You, Lord God.

With  Saint Basil the Great and Noble Saint Gregory, Make us worthy to sing praise to You, O Lord God. With the Just Men and the Priests, who loved You, Make us worthy to sing praise to You, Lord God.

With Saint Gregorios and Saint Divanasios, Make us worthy to sing praise to You,O Lord God.

With the Five Wise Virgins, Who were ready with their lamps , make us worthy to sing praise to You, O Lord God.With the sinful woman who approached you and received from You forgiveness, Make us worthy to sing praise to You, Lord God.

With the Thief who believed ,Whom You promised Paradise, Make us worthy to sing praise to You, O Lord God. With the Departed , Who believed in You and were clothed in You by Water and the Spirit , Make us worthy to sing praise to You, Lord God.

With Angels in Heaven , Who praise You unceasingly , Make us worthy to sing praise to You, O Lord God.
Lord , Have Mercy Upon us to be Worthy !!
October 14, 2019 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Weekly Scripture Readings August 4 – August 11, 2019

Weekly Scripture Readings August4 – August 11, 2019

August-6:  Feast of Transfiguration/Koodaara Perunnal
Evening: St. Matthew16:27-17:13, Morning: St. Mark8:38-9:13
Before Holy Qurbana
Deuteronomy16:13-17, Psalms24
Holy Qurbana
IJohn2:23-3:1, Romans11:25-36
St. Luke9:27-36

August-11: First Sunday after the Feast of Transfiguration
Evening: St. Mark4:21-34, Morning: St. Matthew13:44-52
Before Holy Qurbana
Deuteronomy25:13-16, Psalms27
Holy Qurbana
St. James4:7-5:6, Philippians4:8-20
St. Matthew21:28-32

Suggested Readings based on Lectionary

August 4, 2019- St. Matthew16:27-17:13, Psalms24
August 5, 2019 - St. Mark4:21-34, Psalms27
August 6, 2019 - St. Mark8:38-9:13, Isaiah60:12-15,61:1-3
August 7,2019 - St. Matthew13:44-52, IJohn2:23-3:1
August 8, 2019 - St. Luke9:27-36, Romans11:25-36
August 9,2019 - St. Matthew21:14-21, St. James4:7-5:6
August 10,2019 - St. Matthew21:28-32 , Philippians4:8-20

Weekly Scripture Readings - July 28- August 4, 2019

Weekly Scripture Readings July 28 – August 4, 2019
August- 4: Eight Sunday after the Feast of Pentecost
Evening: St. Mark 4:1-23 , Morning: St. Matthew 13:10-23
Before Holy Qurbana
Exodus 3:9-15, Jeremiah 7:21-25
Isaiah 52:1-6
Holy Qurbana
1 Peter 2:4-10, Hebrew 4:14- 5:5
St. John 6:47-59
Suggested Readings based on Lectionary
July 28, 2019 – St. Mark 4:1-9. Hebrew 4:1-7
July 29,2019 – St. Mathew 13:10-17 , Hebrew4:8-13
July 30, 2019 – St. Mark 4: 10-20, Exodus 3:9-15
July 31 ,2019 St. Mark 4:21-24, 1 Peter 2:4-10
August 1, 2019 St. John 6:32-46, Jeremiah 7:21-25
August 2, 2019 St. John 6:47-52, Isaiah 5:1-6
August 3, 2019 St. John 6:52-59, Hebrew 4:14-5:5



Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A Simple Prayer Rule

While the Church in India in its encounter with the West Syrian Church from 17th Century adopted the Liturgical Prayers and Tradition, though hard to admit publicly many fail to consistently make the prayers personal on a daily basis and yearn our heart to encounter our Lord and God Jesus Christ.
In searching , came across on simple prayer rule by Fr. Maxym Lysak. He encourage and prescribes starting with some main Liturgical prayers, Psalm, Scripture readings as prayed with the Church (From Lectionary), Intercessory prayers and end with the Jesus Prayer for 2 to a maximum of 5 minutes.
On the Jesus prayer, he cautions not to count the prayer, just pray with sweetness, with devotion to Lord that the Heart picks it up until it becomes communion.  In addition, through out the day, we should find a way to bring to mind constant memory of God.  Pray it help. 
 Malankara Orthodox Christians could probably start the  Kauma include the Prayer O Lord Jesus Christ and in the morning add Psalm 63, 148. In the evening include Psalm 91 and Creed. As the Orthodox Church in India do not have a daily readings  like others, say the Coptic Church, we can probably adopt portions of the Weekly Scripture readings from the  Church Lectionary.


Monday, July 22, 2019

Weekly Scripture Readings - July 21-28, 2019

Weekly Scripture Readings - July 21-28, 2019
July-28: Seventh Sunday after the Feast of Pentecost
Evening: St. Matthew12:30-37
Morning: St. Matthew12:38-50
Before Holy Qurbana
Leviticus16:29-34, Hosea5:1-5
Holy Qurbana
Acts4:32-37, Ephesians2:11-22
St. Mark3:20-30
Suggested Readings Based on Lectionary
July 21, 2019 - St. Matthew12:30-37 , Hosea5:1-5
July 22, 2019 -St. Mark 3:1-5 ,Isaiah 42:1-9
July 23, 2019 - St. Matthew12:1-8, Isaiah 42:10-17
July 24, 2019 -St. Matthew12:38-50 , Ephesians2:1-10
July 25, 2019 -St. Mark 3: 7-12,Ephesians2:11-22
July 26, 2019-St. Mathew 12:9-21, Leviticus16:29-34
July 27, 2019 - St Mark 3:20-30,Isaiah57:15-19

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Weekly Scripture Readings - July14-21, 2019

Weekly Scripture Readings – July 14-21, 2019

Scripture Readings from Church Lectionary

July-21: Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Evening: St. Luke17:1-10
Morning; St. Mark6:30-52
Before Holy Qurbana
Exodus30:34-38, Psalms20
Holy Qurbana
Acts1:15-20, ICorinthians8:1-6
St. Matthew15:32-39

Suggested Daily Readings Based on Lectionary

July 14, 2019 -  St. Luke17:1-10, Exodus30:34-38
July 15, 2019 - St. Luke17:11-19, Psalms20
July 16, 2019 – St. Mark6:30-52, Exodus30:34-38
July 17, 2019 - St. Matthew15:22-28, ICorinthians8:8-13
July 18, 2019 - St. Mark6:1-6, Acts1:15-20,
July 19, 2019- St. John 6:28-40, ICorinthians8:1-6

July 20, 2019 - St. Matthew15:32-39, Isaiah14:22-27