Chief Editor – OCP News Service – 12/12/18
MUSCAT, Sultanate of Oman: His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II – Catholicos of the East on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas and Malankara Metropolitan, Primate of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church (Orthodox Syrian Church of the East), led the Holy Muron consecration ceremony of the new building of St Mary’s Orthodox Church (SMOC), Ghala, constructed at Ghala Church Complex, Muscat, on December 7, 8, 2018.
Addressing a large public gathering after the ceremony, the Catholicos said the new place of worship should be a ‘branch house of heaven’ as every church is a bridge between ‘heaven and the earth.’ The Prelate emphasized that the church is a place where the faithful can visit and share their worries and secrets in a private manner.
His Holiness gave a Biblical narrative from Genesis about Jacob’s vision in which he saw the ladder set up on earth, and the top of it reached to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending on it. Jacob named it ‘Bethel,’ which means the ‘House of God.’
The Catholicos was assisted in the consecration ceremony by His Grace Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan, His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan, Bombay Diocese, and His Grace Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese.
Mar Yulios said the holy consecration was conducted in two parts. The first part held on December 7 began with evening prayers and was led by the Catholicos while the second part on December 8 began in the morning with the fixing of the consecrated stone and concluded with a Holy Liturgy (Tri-Mass) with His Holiness as the chief celebrant.
The Ghala Orthodox Church named after St Mary’s will be the fourth Indian Orthodox parish in the Sultanate. The other three are the St Thomas Church at Ruwi (Muscat), St George Orthodox Church at Sohar and St Stephen’s Orthodox Church at Salalah.
All churches in the Sultanate of Oman come under the Indian Orthodox Diocese of Ahmedabad (ODA) with HG Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios as the Metropolitan head.
His Holiness and Diocese Metropolitan thanked the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, Sultanate of Oman, for all their timely help towards completing the church construction work.
Fr Thomas Jose, Vicar/President, St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Ghala, along with the managing committee, general conveners and members of SMOC extended their thanks for contributing to the success with their presence and blessed the occasion. They include P C Cherian, Hon Trustee, and General Convener, K C Thomas, Hon Secretary, and General Convenor, Mathew Ninan Athimoottil, General Convenor, Ebi Oommen, General Convenor and Technical Advisor, managing committee and church construction committee members.
Metropolitan Mar Yulios had laid the corner stone for St Mary’s Church in Ghala, on September 16, 2017.
OCP News Service