Mar Seraphim to techies: Holy Eucharist is our participation in the body, blood of Christ

Indian Orthodox Church
Diocese Bengaluru
Liju Cherian & Jiju Thomas

IT group rechristens itself as ‘Fellowship of Orthodox Professionals’

BENGALURU/INDIA – HG Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan, Bengaluru Diocese, has counseled IT professionals about how to prepare themselves for the Holy Eucharist.

Dr Mar Seraphim who was addressing the recent monthly meeting of the Bengaluru Orthodox IT employees at the Mar Gregorios Cathedral, briefed about the two important phases in the celebration of Holy Qurbana namely about preparation rites (Tuyobo) and public celebration or Parasya Sisrusha. “There should be purity, we should fast (at least 6 hours) and you should have the holy body only with due preparation,” the Metropolitan said.

“If one eats in an unworthy manner, he or she will have judgment.” 1 Cor 11:29 “For anyone who eats and drinks without recognising the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself”.

In a landmark change, the IT group also unanimously agreed to rename themselves as “Fellowship of Orthodox Professionals”. The group will henceforth comprise not only of techies but also for all the Orthodox corporate/non-corporate professionals in the church.

Dr Mar Seraphim in his speech to the professionals said: “Holy Qurbana is our participation in the body and blood of Christ. This faith has been founded on our Lord’s words during the Last Supper (This is my body…my Blood) Following our Lord’s instruction “Do this in remembrance of Me” we offer the Holy Eucharist.

St Paul says: “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor 11:26, 27, 28) and instructs to participate in it with great devotion and care.

His Grace emphasised the importance of preparation to part take in the Holy Eucharist. “We ought to attend Holy Qurbana, which is solemn, and awful divine mysteries, which one must take part only with good preparation. We have to make peace with brothers. (Mathew 5: 23-24) “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against; leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift”. We should have repentance (Rom 8:26) in the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express”.
Dr Mar Seraphim briefed about the celebration of Holy Qurbana namely about preparation rites (Tuyobo) and public celebration or Parasya Sisrusha.

The important elements of the preparation are the vesting of the celebrant and the preparation of the bread and wine on the altar. The priest places the bread in the paten and pours the wine in the chalice and holds them in the form of a cross. Then he remembers the names of the faithful, the sick and the departed. Then he places the paten and the chalice on the altar and covers them with the veil (Sosappa). The preparation rites are concluded with censing.

The public celebration (Parasya Sisrusha) begins with a solemn procession around the altar. Formerly the bread and wine were solemnly brought to the altar in a procession. After the procession, the priest begins the Trisagion, which is addressed to Christ. Then the Epistles and the Gospel are read. Formerly, the lessons from the Old Testament were also read at this moment. The Gospel is the “life-giving proclamation” of the words and deeds of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our worship and our hope are founded on the work and the life-giving words of the Lord. In the early Church, the Scripture reading was followed by the sermon, a custom still followed by many churches.

His Grace concluded the session with the promise of going into the details of Holy Eucharist in the forthcoming sessions. The next meeting date is tentatively scheduled for April 15, 2012.

OCP News Service