The Indian Orthodox Church is also known as Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, a Church founded by St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, who came to India in A.D. 52. St. Gregorios Church London is the first parish church of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in the United Kingdom. and it is the mother church of all other parishes and congregations in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Our mission is to the people of Indian origin in the British Isles, and though we are completely Orthodox in our faith and practice, we remain Indian in our ethos and in our appreciation of the Orthodox heritage. The Malanakara Orthodox Church, as part of the Oriental Orthodox family of Churches, is in communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Church.But we also warmly welcome all who wish to worship and learn with us, whatever their culture.
- View full programme of the Holy Week 2014
- Please visit Lenten Prayer page for latest prayer updates.
- There will be Gospel Saturday Holy Qurbana services at both St.Andrew-By-The-Wardrobe church, Blackfriars and St.Gregorios church, Brockley on 19th Apr 2014
- Photo gallery is updated with latest church event pictures. View photos
'Nalpathaam Velli'- 40th Friday
The Great Lent has completed yesterday with the Holy Liturgy. 40 Kneeling has also finished. But it is not the end. There will be more kneeling down in the coming days. It is the expression of submission and penitence.It is the tradition of the church to move on to the Holy Week continuing abstinence, prayer and kneeling down, fasting with observing silence and meditation. As Jesus fasted forty days and walked His way towards Cross, Church advances further from the Great Lent to share the cross sufferings of The Lord. Great Lent equips the faithful to walk the way of the Cross.
We had the Holy Liturgy at Brockley lead by Rev Fr Varghese Varghese in the presence of Rev Fr Baby Mathew. I thank Varghese Achan and Baby Achan for blessing us. I also thank our members who joined for the Friday Prayer especially our Youth members for joining the noon prayer.
Lazarus' Saturday and Family Retreat
There will be a Retreat of the parish this afternoon at Brockley. It will begin at 14:00pm to finish at 16:00pm. Fr Varghese Varghese will be leading the retreat. I request all our members to come to church as families. We could make it a renewal gathering for all our families. After the retreat we need to prepare for the Palm Sunday. May I request all our members to join for the retreat and help in the preparations.
This Feast carries very significant ecological and environmental element.Colt represents the animal world and palm leaves represents nature. Human greed exploited the nature and it's resources to glorify themselves whereas church approaches nature as medium to glorify and praise His love and mercy in creating and sustaining everything.
-Tender Leaves and Branches- Branches of His Glory, it has to be held likewise, it has to be held as an extension of our own personality that always keep a deep longing for glorifying The Lord.
-Extremities join, He is glorified by the Angels up there and now He has limited Himself on a colt, confining Himself to the womb of time
- He made the children in their mothers' wombs, now they sing Hosannah to Him !
- He has chosen the colt among the mighty animals as He has chosen us from the mighty communities !!! As the colt we were impure or unholy once. He has called us to serve His Holiness and to share from His Life.
- He values humility and revealed it choosing the colt as His vehicle. He rides on humility, His carriage never claims anything that makes even the poorest feel they are the poorest !
- Prophecies have been fulfilled this day. He is The Lord and The Messiah who saves everyone.
- This Feast brings glories to the world and all the creation as it welcomes The Glorious to be walked upon their lives
- In the prayer of Palm Sunday it is written,' Lord, accept these praises from our sinful mouths as the praises you accepted from innocent children'. As He was ascending the height to Jerusalem, the old prompted their children to take stones and throw on Him, but as they have seen Him, they dropped the stones, took branches from nature and shouted Hosannah as a sacrificial offering for the sins of their elders !!!
-He walked on the tender branches, soothing leaves as He was riding towards extreme suffering: He made the walk way of suffering into a soothing one, he released and eased the pain of life and showed that this is possible if we take life as a gift and will of God
- Only innocence can glorify Him genuinely. Faith demands innocence, not intellect.
-We taste Eternity. It is the foretaste of that to come. We get a glimpse of what will be in the future as Moses had the vision of the tale end of God's Glory. This is what we are going to do. There will end time, we will have the white robe and the tender leaves will become a part of our personality.
'After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: "Amen ! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honour and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen." ( Revelations 7:9-12 )
This week church celebrates the Feasts of:
Mar Dionysius Mar Thoma VI ( 206th anniversary, entombed at Puthencavu Cathedral )
H G Gevarghese Mar Ivanios ( First Anniversary, entombed at Njaliyakuzhy Mar Baselios Dayara )
May their intercession help us.
Tomorrow is the London Marathon. Please leave home early in the morning to avoid severe delays. Please check traffic announcements.
Please find the Sunday School events and dates for arranging our diary.
Sunday 18th May - Unit Level SS Talent Competition
Saturday 21st June - District level SS Talent Competition at Poole
Saturday 28th June, Saturday, Sunday 5th 6th July - OVBS'2014
Saturday 12th July : Sunday School Day Out
I would request all parents to ensure participation from your children for the various events as we need to use such platforms to encourage them to discover and showcase their talents.
Lenten Area Prayer
The Area Prayer in Lent has been conducted well in various areas. Most of the families turned up for the meetings. These gatherings brought our families together to meet and understand each other. I liked the happiness and joy of our children in finding each other. They participated very well in offering prayer, singing songs, reading the Bible and responding to discussions. We need to ensure this fellowship go fruitfully in all areas. I request the cooperation and involvement of MC members, families and all members for hosting and organising the meetings and in catering love and fellowship among our families. I thank all the families who hosted the meetings and all the members for their much appreciated participation.
The prayer meeting of St Dionysius Fellowship ( Romford, Chelmsford, Harlow ) was held at K I Mathew ( Soman ) and Ponnamma's residence ( M 115 ) on Saturday 05 April. The meeting went well. I thank the hosts and the participants.
Holy Week programme has been sent to all members. There will be Holy Week Service both at Blackfriars and Brockley. Please assure your participation for the whole week.
Family Retreat Today
There will be a Retreat this afternoon (Saturday 12 April ) at Brockley. Fr Varghese Varghese will be leading the retreat. This is meant for all our members. Please come as families. We would together make it a renewal gathering in Spirit. The retreat will begin at 02:00 in the afternoon. After the retreat please help in the preparations for Hosannah and join for the evening prayer at 06:00 pm.
Senior Citizens' House Visit
Our Youth has organised House Visit of our Senior Members in the Holy Week on Monday, Tuesday 14 and 15 April. The time and route shall be informed. May I request all our youth members to join. If any senior members wish to join the group, please feel free to inform. Daily offices of prayer shall be done in the visiting houses according to the time. Please pray for the visit.
May I request all our members to bring flowers for Hosannah Service. You could pick flowers from your garden.If not, please buy at least one stem as your offering.
The Lenten Fridays were very Graceful and joyful. I gratefully appreciate the positive response of our members who found time to spend Fridays in the church and observing the Lenten discipline at home with prayer, kneeling down and fasting. Early church found it's strength in fasting and prayer gatherings. They found Christ in their midst. We could keep the Friday observation going after the Easter. I am very glad about the participation of youth members and highly appreciate them. I find the spiritual revolution for the community in exile through them ! We definitely had beautiful long Fridays of prayer finishing with sharing of kanji and payar that tasted best !!!
Yours in Christ
-12.04.2014 Rev. Fr. Thomas P John