"A New Catechism for the St. Thomas Christians of India"
'Mar Toma Margam' is a book authored by Fr. Varghese Pathikulangara(http://pathikulangara.in/Biodata.htm) which has the objective of reintroducing the original 'Way of Life' of the Thomas Christians of India.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
22. Enarxis : Introductory Rites
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
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.
RESPONSE OF GOD’S PEOPLE
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.
CENSING AND UNVEILING OF SANCTUARY
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
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.