by E. S. John, Australia
'The present practice of caroling came into vogue after the reformation by the protestant movements. My humble request to the Orthodox churches of the modern period is that we must not let our time-honored traditions to be drowned in the protestant traditions imported. If everybody wants to have caroling which involves acts of pleasures before Christmas, what is the point in having a 'Lent' prior to Christmas?
If the Bride has any defilement, the Groom won't take her into the bridal chamber. The bridal chamber is the paradise that was evicted by throwing out Eve and Adam in the beginning of history. If eating the forbidden fruit was the defilement there, there are many more defilements that have infected the Bride now, though she should have been 'holy, catholic, apostolic and one (church)'.
The religious Caroling was spiritual once before, but is now prone to many atheistic, agnostic and commercial interests. Making Christmas lamps by ourselves and conveying Christmas messages had meaningful religious values, but today it is run purely on business interests and pagan elements.
When Christmas is celebrated as the birth of Santa clause and drunken Christmas announcements by irreligious clubs, local and regional celebrations of extravagances on a commercial agenda, the name of God is polluted and denigrated everywhere. It sounds like the Roman census that brought thousands of people into the Jerusalem city that had no place for Jesus to hide His head except in the manger together with the starving animals that were squeezed into it for want of space. Today's Christmas celebration of extravaganzas that included Christmas trees which hides costly gifts, mass manufactured Christmas trees and stars hanging everywhere under the limelight of electrical gymnastics, fireworks etc are nothing but the portrayal of our trading profligacy.
Caroling has become a pagan ritual of money collection and consuming bottles of liquor that sends many on the other side of the grave untimely and miserably. Such celebrations are the fierce iron nails that are struck into the body of Christ. Caroling with self-made lamps and conveying messages to the spiritually slumbered and waiting for a spiritually awakening good news resemble the angels' messages received to the shepherds who minded the lambs for sacrifice for the Jerusalem Temple and the wise men who traversed the east for presenting the centuries old gifts preserved and handed down by Adam through the ages for the Eternal Lamb who provide us eternal salvation. Many such ritual and conventional traditions have lost their spiritual values that the church needs to be resuscitated by curtailing all the pagan celebrations that cost money for the poor and hard-working members of the church. The conversion of the fasting season of Christmas as a feasting melee of self-righteousness and extravaganza is a sign of the Lamb's imminent coming. This celebration syndrome that sends Jesus into exile, like the Jerusalem, City of His birth, brings punishments and wrath at the judgement time.
The right time to convey house to house message is during the Christmas night.
The zeal for
thy house has consumed me
The author takes a critical look at the worship practices employed in Indian Orthodox Church.
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