Thursday, May 29, 2014

22. Enarxis : Introductory Rites

            'From the beginning of the Qurbana up to the Resurrection-Hymn, “Lord of all, we praise you; ..  .” is known as Enarxis.'

In this part of the Qurbana, the Mar Toma Nazranees celebrate through various signs and symbols the salvific events like the Incarnation of the Son of God, its background, namely, the Old Testament history, the private life of Iso’-Msiha and His manifestation in Jordan.
The priests and other ministers in their proper liturgical vestments, enter the Bema, stand facing the Sanctuary, bow deeply as usual, together with the whole congregation and begin the Holy Qurbana.  The Sanctuary remains closed with the veil in the beginning of the Qurbana.

The Angels’ hymn, “Glory to God....” with which we begin the Qurbana is in fact a proclamation of the mystery of Iso’-Msiha’s Nativity - a confession of the mystery of Incarnation - a trumpet of the decisive call of God for salvation.

The Lord’s Prayer is a joyous response to the Lord’s call from the liturgical assembly.  Lord’s Prayer, we know, is the prayer taught by our Lord and thus is the supreme response to God’s call.

Psalms summarise the life of Old Testament, which, in fact, is the raison d-etre of Incarnation.  Thus the singing of psalms in the Enarxis is the recognition of Old Testament as part of the history of salvation and Iso’-Msiha’s private life according to its regulations.

'Sleeva Chumbanam'
The singing of psalms is followed by blessing of incense, unveiling of the Sanctuary, incensing of the sanctuary and the nave, and singing of the Resurrection-Hymn.  In Raza, the most solemn celebration of the Qurbana, there is the singing of the Anthem of the Sanctuary and kissing of the Cross before incensing and unveiling of the Sanctuary.

Blessing of Incense
The Mar Toma Nazranees proclaim the baptism of Iso’-Msiha in river Jordan and the divine manifestation through these special rituals.  The unveiling of the sanctuary symbolizes the opening of heaven.  The Trinitarian economy of salvation was revealed in the baptism of Jordan.  Here, at the conclusion of Enarxis,
the liturgical assembly confesses the same economy of salvation through the incensing rite.

The altar, being the throne of God or Sornos, is the unique place of contact with the Holy Trinity here on earth.  The Evangalion and the Mar Toma Sliba on the right and left sides of the altar proclaim the presence of the Son and the Holy Spirit on either sides of the Father.  Thus the incensing at this moment is a confession of and adoration to the most Holy Trinity, present in the Sornos.
Unveiling of Sanctuary
To listen Holy Raza Qurbana in Suriyani:

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