By the Grace and Mercy of God, the Church is completing one more Liturgical Year in her ministry and witness and on 30th of October we once again celebrate the Ecclesiastical New Year, namely the Feast of Kudosh Etho, Sanctification of the Church. Since last year, as per decisions of our Diocesan Council and Assembly, we have decided to celebrate our Diocesan Day every year along with the advent of the ‘Ecclesiastical New Year’, the Feast of Kudosh Etho. We wish you all the blessings at the start of this new Liturgical Year and do extend our humble prayers to God Almighty for each and every member of our diocese at this auspicious occasion.
Beloved ones, a deep and well routed Christian life is much important in this era. We urge that you all to be serious about your spiritual life:
1. Be punctual and earnest in our daily canonical prayers at home, which as per our Orthodox Tradition include reading of the Bible, prostrations in front of the Cross etc. Evil powers cannot even have a glance into the families that are reciting the Kauma prayers, the Nicene Creed and the most powerful silent prayers prescribed in our Daily Prayer Book. This is the very reason, why the King and Prophet David sings aloud, “Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice” (Ps 55:17). Observing the five canonical fasts and fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays will not only keep you away from all temptations of the adversary, but also keep you in good physical health! The Orthodox
liturgical life is the best holistic medicine which is well proven by the examples set by our ancestors and hence you keep it up. Only such a person can say: “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage” (Ps 16: 5, 6).
2. Likewise, be serious and genuine on Sundays and other Moronoyo Feasts and occasions in the Church. Come fresh, modest and well dressed. Jeans, T-shirts and other casual dresses should be avoided, while white dresses are recommended, especially when receiving the Holy Mysteries. Completion of canonical prayers, fasting at least for six hours and true repentance are the basic requirements for receiving Holy Communion. Those who are not confessing their sins periodically, at least once in forty days, are not eligible to receive the Holy Communion. Remember: Receiving Husoyo is not a shortcut for Holy Communion
3. Prayer requests should be given to priests at least before the start of the Morning/Evening prayers before Holy Qurbana so that they can pray for you during the entire liturgy. Since our Liturgy is holistic, there is no need for any extra prayers after the liturgy like birthday prayer, anniversary prayers etc. The priest may, however, announce their names and congratulate them on behalf of the parish. The priests are of course recommended to visit the faithful at homes and do special prayers for such occasions. Likewise, special intercessory prayers apart from the Qukkilions should be discouraged. These may be done along with weekdays’ Evening prayers.
4. Sermon is one of the essential elements of our Liturgical Service. The priests should take this matter seriously and should equip our faithful with well prepared enthusiastic liturgical sermons. The faithful should specially pray to receive good sermons from our clergy. The liturgical services without sermons will be something a body without soul!
Again our beloved, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ gave His own life to instill life into the world.
Finally, our beloved spiritual children! It is in pure prayer that we take refuge. We have to realize that we are frail and weak as simple humans and our strength is only in the mercy of true God. It is in Him that we trust and to Him that we pray. Therefore, only with sincere and committed prayers of goodwill from the laity and the clergy alike that our efforts to serve the people of God to become fruitful. We ardently ask you all to pray for us and for our diocese. We specially intercede for each one of you in our prayers that we all become holy like the One, who is truly holy, our Lord and God Jesus Christ.
Yours shepherd in our Lord,
Dr. Geevarghese Yulios
Metropolitan Bishop of the Diocese of Ahmedabad
17 October 2011