Wednesday, May 28, 2014

21. Special Things Used in Divine Liturgy

1. Paten and Chalice.  2. Soseppa.  3. Lectionaries (a. Evangalion.  b. Enggarta.  e.  Qerjane)  4. Thaksa d-Quddasa.  5. Censer.

            People know that special articles are needed to do special purposes.  Painter uses brush and paint for painting.  A doctor needs quite different things to do treatment or operation.  Similarly, a carpenter uses chisel and hammer to give shape to the wood before him.
            In order to celebrate the Holy Mysteries becomingly we also need some special articles.

Chalice is a special vessel to mix wine and water required for the celebration of the Holy Mysteries.  As the Quddasa or Anaphoral part of the Qurbana is completed, the mixture of wine and water in the chalice is transformed into the blood of our Lord Iso’-Msiha.  The water that we mix with wine in this context is the Symbol of the Holy Spirit.

            Paten is the circular plate or vessel of metal where the bread for the celebration of the Holy Mysteries is kept.  As the mixture of wine and water becomes the blood of our Lord, so too the bread in the paten becomes the real body of Iso’-Msiha by the completion of the Quddasa or Anaphoral part of the Qurbana.

            Censer or thurible is the vessel used to burn incense during the Divine Liturgy.  Incense appears to be an essential element of the celebration of Qurbana.  Incensing in divine liturgy is the sign of forgiveness of sins, total surrender to God, perfect adoration, and of praise and thanksgiving that rise up continuously to God.  If so, how can there be a proper liturgical celebration without incensing?  Only when there are not sufficient ministers, one can celebrate without incensing rites.

            Soseppa is a square shaped linen vestment with a Mar Toma Sliba in the middle, made out of the same stuff as that of the Paina or cope.  It is big enough to cover the chalice and paten together.  It is used in the Liturgy as the tomb-stone of our Lord Iso’ -Msiha and as the kerchief which had been on his head, when he was buried (Jn 20, 7)

            Lectionaries are special books prepared for the ministry of the word in Divine Liturgy.  There are three kinds of Lectionaries for Mar Toma Nazranees: 1.  Evangalion: This book which contains only the Gospel pericopes, proclaimed during liturgical celebrations, is the living symbol of Iso’-Msiha, and kept always on the right hand side of the altar.  When needed, it is brought to the Bema in procession and is proclaimed therefrom.  2.  Enggarta: This special book contains all liturgical readings from the Epistles, and is kept on the lectern on the Gospel side of the Bema. 3.  Qeryana: This book contains all the liturgical readings from the Old Testament books, and is kept on the lectern on the southern side of the Bema.

            Thaksa d-Quddasa is the special book, which contains the prayers, hymns and rituals for celebrating the Holy Mysteries.  It is brought to the altar and kept on it only during the celebration of the Mysteries; otherwise, it is kept becomingly in the sacristy.  It is also good that the faithful have the full Thaksa with them during the celebration.
            Other special things like M-Qablana (pall), Sankeenj (purificator), Ketana (corporal), and so on are also used for the celebration of the Mysteries.  They are helpful either to cover the chalice or to purify the sacred vessels or to spread over the altar.

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