La Moriyo Zegtho: A worship session where the audience was ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit, says Fr John Samuel

Liju Cherian
Indian Malanakra Orthodox Church

# Oriental Orthodox chants heard first time in symphonic mode
#Symphony sets new trend in Indian Orthodox music scene
#Metropolitan Dr Mar Seraphim compliments Fr John Samuel
#Musical spectacle propels many to come back to Orthodoxy
# Youths say it was an amazing trip and a life changing experience

BENGALURU – Everyone in the audience was moved to tears and those who missed may never get to watch such a unique event for years to come. This summed up the over two-hour long performance from La Moriyo Zeghto, a liturgical symphony to Oriental Orthodox beats.

The occasion was the celebration of 1,960 years of Orthodox Syrian Church in India and the centennial celebrations of the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox by Bengaluru Diocese at Christ University Auditorium on October 23.

At the end of the programme, Fr John Samuel, La Moriyo Zegtho’s conceiver and conductor, received a warm hug and a memento from Bengaluru Diocese Metropolitan HG Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim.

After months of toil, Fr John (called Roy Achen to many), was a much relieved man. His intentions of conveying a clear message of the richness, beauty and spiritual strength of the Orthodox liturgical chants had gone through.

Fr John Samuel profusely thanked Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim for providing him a platform him to prove, which probably had seemed risky at first.

Fr John says La Moriyo Zegtho was certainly a dream come true and confesses that “three of them who had gone astray from Orthodox to a new type charisma confessed and came back.”

If such was the strength of the performance, Fr John happily notes that God helped him throughout the programme culminating in its success.

Many who attended shared mixed views of the event but all confessed the Symphony had made them proud to be an ‘Orthodox Christian’.  

Febin John James noted the performance once again underscored how rich our Orthodoxy was and asserts Fr John’s view that his presence in Orthodox Church was very much due to the spiritual feel one gets from the worship.
Recalls Fr John: “All the singers and the orchestra chamber voices prepared not only physically, but spiritually too. It in fact turned into a worship session and everyone in the audience was filled with the power of the holy spirit. If that is achieved, my dream is achieved. I could feel the presence of all the holy church fathers who handed down these beautiful hymns throughout the programme.”

An ecstatic Joan Joseph goes nostalgic sitting amongst a large crowd with moist eyes was itself an awesome experience. She commented on Facebook:  “It indeed was worship to the Lord… It is just the LORD’s plan for me to witness this worship to Him with a voice of 53 archangels. Just feeling bad that I wasn’t one among them, but maybe the Lord has better plans for each one of us in his store! Thank you Lord for this amazing trip!

For Abraham Thomas, La Moriyo Zegtho, was a memorable night and he wishes that such events occur again. “Never ever in my life I have seen such a music spectacle. May be other choirs in India, this will lead an example. I bet no choir could match this.”
However, Fr John had the final word when he says: “Whoever heard it said it was unique. I believe it is the first time, not only in India but the world that the Oriental Orthodox chants were played in such a grand symphonic mode.”

However, more is expected from this young dynamic priest, a product from Mar Ivanios, Thiruvananathapuram. He is already into his next project on a liturgical workshop entrusted by the church.

La Moriyo Zegtho link on


Liju Cherian