P: Bless us O Lord, Almighty, You are our God the Creator Show to us ever the way of Salvation, Our God Helper of All C: O Lord, bless this Your Servant who has ministered in Your holy presence. Accept the praises and petitions of us Your people and pardon our offences. Enable us to receive Your gifts and blessings and send us with Your peace. (Taken from the Order of Worship for Holy Qurbana)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, greetings and blessings of the New Year.
This month we will focus on the above chant and its responsive prayer. This chant is soon after a prayer by the Celebrant where as a faith community we offer thanks to God for the gift of Holy Communion and also pray to God to enable the faith community to live in that Holy fellowship. This chant is a small prayer song. It is sung by the celebrant before the pronouncement of the Fourth Blessing or final blessing to the community. These portions are very significant as far the Holy Communion worship service is concerned. The Chant and the final benediction are to be seen as acts of dismissal or departure of the community from the Sanctuary after participating and experiencing the Holy fellowship.
In my ministry of past 15 years I have seen many people leaving the Sanctuary as soon as they receive Holy Communion (Holy Elements). Leaving the Church before the completion of the service is not an appropriate practice. As Holy Communion service has a beginning so does it has its completion. Only in attending the service from the beginning till the end we will understand the true emphasis and meaning of the Holy Communion service. It is only towards the end of the Holy Communion Service the following things are being emphasized:
>> Thanking God for helping the community to come together in worshipping and partaking in the Holy Qurbana >> Thanking God for the blessings that He has bestowed upon the believers in attending this service >> Assurance of God’s presence in our life which gives joy and peace in us and enable us to witness God in the world >> Being reminded that God through Christ has called us to be Christ’s missionaries in the place we live and serve
So if we are leaving before the completion of the service, we are being deprived of final blessings where one understands the essence of being a chosen community.
This Chant is towards the end of the Holy Communion liturgy. Here the celebrant sings glory to God Almighty as He is the creator and the helper of all. The emphasis here is to “Show to us ever the way of Salvation.” The believing community in response prays for the celebrant and his ministration. They also seek forgiveness of sin and ask God to accept the worship. Only God can show us the path of salvation. King David says, “You will make known me the path of life, in Your presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand there are pleasures forever (Psa.16:11). Jesus said, “I am the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (Jn.14:6)”. The prayer Song and the response is therefore a dedication moment for the celebrant and the community before the pronouncement of the final benediction. This chant can also be viewed as a call to depart with prayer and benediction. As every good gift and perfect gift comes from God the Father (Jam.1:17), we praise God for the promised salvation to the believers in Christ Jesus.
Salvation through Christ is one of our faith proclamations. God promises eternal life to those who believe in Christ Jesus (Jn.3:16). Our liturgical worship is affirmation of our faith in Christ Jesus. It is Christo-centric in nature. The faith community receives the Holy Elements in front of the Holy Altar which signifies the importance of redemption through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the Cross. The liturgy has to be viewed as our identity and also our faith proclamation. We are being called to live in communion with God in whose image and likeness we are being created. We are also called to live in communion with each other as ‘other’ also has the same image and likeness. ‘The Image and likeness’ signify our belongingness. We belong to God and therefore God cannot abandon what belongs to Him. In giving His Son, He has redeemed human beings who are created in His own image. God in Christ Jesus shows his deepest love thereby opening to us the door of Salvation (Jn.10:9,16). In receiving and in living in God’s truth (Jesus Christ) we experience that eternal life (1 Tim. 2:4; Jn.1:9,12), as Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (Jn.10:10).”
May God keep us in His Warm and comforting Embrace.
• Sunday School Classes will begin at 9:00 AM every Sunday. Parents please ensure your children arrive on time. • Little Blessings Ministry (Nursery-2nd) and Junior Blessings (3rd&4th) will be held on all Malayalam & Divine Sunday’s at 9:00AM
Weekly Bible Study classes will be held every Thursday at 7:30 PM at the church.
Edavaka Mission Activities
Thoma Voluntary Evangelist's Association was found by our late
Metropolitan Most Rev. Abraham Mar Thoma out of his strong conviction
that each Mar Thomite is an Evangelist. Evangelism
is the utmost mission of this Organization. The Parish level unit is
known as the Edavaka Mission and at the Long Island Mar Thoma Church,
New York, we give stress to the seven fold activities such as
Intercessory Prayer, Bible Study, Sharing of Experience, House Visit,
Visiting the Sick, Group Activities etc
Edavaka Mission regular
meetings are conducted every Thursday at 7.30 PM at the Church as well
as Members' houses with prior announcement at the Parish on Sundays.
Fasting Prayer meetings are conducted once every month at the members' houses either the last Saturdays or Thursdays depending upon members and Achen's
convenience with prior announcement at the Parish on Sundays.
Edavaka Mission also support various Mission projects such as sponsorship of students at St. Thomas School,
Visakhapatanam, India. Sponsoraship of an Evangelist in India. Medical
and financial aid to different individuals and families based on
requests received by Achen time to time. Edavaka Mission welcomes
donations from members for the above mentioned activities and
sponsorship. For details, please contact our Achen Rev. A. B. Binu, Mr.
Mammen Samuel or Achamma Jacob.