Metropolitan Mar Seraphim says ‘Procession’ is not part of the Indian Orthodox liturgical tradition

OCP News Correspondent – 8/11/15 – Indian Orthodox Malankara Church 
BENGALURU – India: His Grace Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan, Bengaluru Diocese, has said that ‘Rasa’ (procession or pradakshina) is not really a part of the Indian Malankara Orthodox liturgical tradition. The Metropolitan was addressing the faithful of Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Hebbal Kempapura, Bengaluru.
The church celebrated their parish feast and harvest festival 2015 on November 8 with Dr Mar Seraphim leading the Holy Eucharist as the chief celebrant.
Mar Seraphim in a short perunal (festival) address on November 7 evening, spoke about what the festival signifies and why memorial feasts in India Orthodox are remembered as festival days.
The Bishop based his talk from St Paul’s message to 2 Corinthians from 5:1-10. “A waning soul craves for freedom and this freedom from death is celebrated as a festival. Pointing out that ‘Rasa’ has had no relevance in Orthodox liturgy, Mar Seraphim said it gained significance mainly as part of a Catholic background called ‘Roso.’ But we (Orthodox) perform this in a different way by way of procession or as a pradakshina,” His Grace added.
The Metropolitan who involved the faithful with his posers said during earlier days ‘Rasa’ was taken out to cleanse the land of its evils to make it holy and it was seen to it that only the holy persons were part of the procession. His Grace called upon the faithful to take part in the procession with sanctity and to maintain its holiness. Some time back when Chickengunya hit Kerala badly, a Rasa or pradakshina was carried out in Thumbon Diocese and it cured many of the ailing people.
Mar Seraphim explained the significance of the procession saying it denoted the second coming of Jesus Christ showing that we are the light of the world.
The church celebrated the 113th memorial feast of its patron St Gregorios of Parumala in a grand manner with a perunal procession around the church in Pampa Extension, with chenda mela and display of fire works.
Among those who took part include Very Rev P C Philip Cor Episcopa, parish Vicar, Very Rev John Thomas Cor Episcopa, Dn Nithin Rajan, N G Alexander as Treasurer, Mathew Koshy as Secretary and the faithful in large numbers. The week-long festival programme began on November 1 with a padyatra, perunal flag hoisting, nercha and distribution of sarees to the poor by the women’s wing Marth Mariam Samajam.
OCP News Service