Christmas Services - 2009
Christmas Services started at about 10:15 AM on Friday, December 25. The late start was to enable our members from Columbus area to attend the service. Rev. Fr. Roy Paul, vicar, conducted the service.
After the morning service, the congregation marched to the Fire-pit with lighted candles. The fire-pit symbolizes the divine light that fell on shepherds who were the first to receive the news about the birth of our Savior. After the bible readings, the congregation went back to the church in procession to attend the sleeba akhoshanam (veneration of the cross.) This part of the liturgy symbolizes the descent of the son of God to the earth.
This was followed by qurbana. The Christmas Greeting from His Holiness Zakka 1 Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Syriac Church was read. Then the Kalpana from His Eminence Yeldo Mor Titus was read appointing Rev. Fr. Stephen Philip as the new vicar of St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church when the current vicar Rev. Fr. Roy Paul returns to Kerala to take charge as Vicar of Cherai church in Cochin Diocese. A love fest organized by Dr. Shila Mathew, Sherly Mathew, Aji Mathew, and Mrs. Roy Paul, Kochamma followed.
During the sermon, Fr. Roy Paul described the importance of Christmas and its role in the plan of God to save humanity from the fall of mankind due to the sin of Adam. He described at length of the legend of the fourth Magi; how he was to join the other three in coming and seeing the son of God. However he was delayed due to taking time to take care of a sick person he met on the way. By the time he reached the location where he was to meet the other three, they already had left. Later he went to Bethlehem; but by then Jesus was already gone to Egypt. He gets a glace of Jesus at the time of crucifixion; but all the three jewels, viz., diamond, ruby and sapphire, he brought as presents fro baby Jesus was already spent in taking care of people he met on the way who had a pressing need. Roy achen stressed the importance of giving as opposed to receiving as the most important message of Christmas. Our gifts become meaningful only when we give them unconditionally to those in need.
A brief public meeting followed to thank achen for his valuable service to the church. Kochamma was also fondly remembered for her active role in the church. Dr. Jacob Mathew stated that achen was chosen by God to start a new church in America, an honor very very few visiting priests, if any, can claim.
Later elections were held as per the kalpana of the archbishop. Robin Roy assumed the position of Treasurer and Dr. Jacob Mathew assumed the position as Secretary. The managing committee includes two members from Columbus, who is vary active in the church. The full list of office bearers can be seen here.
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