Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Faith, in the Orthodox Christian perspective, is something better to be experienced than to be explained. Orthodox Church accepts Holy Bible as the Word of God; the basis of our faith and practices. At the same time our faith is a living testimony of the Holy Apostolic Tradition within which Bible took shape. The three conspicuous characteristics of Orthodox faith are: Infant baptism, Intercession to saints and Remembrance prayers for departed souls.The celebration of Holy Liturgy-the sacrament of sacraments-is a unique event in the life of the Orthodox Church. The Holy Liturgy is the commemoration of our Lord's incarnation, ministry, suffering, sacrifice, resurrection and second coming based upon historical facts, and it connects with what is going on in the inward and heavenly sphere. This celebration helps the faithful to have experiences beyond time and space limitations and are assured of the call to deification-thesis. The liturgy is the time of celebration in which the faithful partake in the great events of the life of our Lord along with the company of great and many Saints. The liturgy is the time to receive blessing, peace, grace and to develop the spirit of sharing with others. Prayers and praises in the Holy Liturgy are used in both poems and prose, so that people can fully take part in the whole worship whole heartedly and in unison. The role of the congregation in the Holy Eucharist of the Malankara Orthodox Church is so vital, that we can say that, the whole church celebrates the Holy Eucharist under the leadership of the priest or bishop. According to the teachings of the church, we cannot have live without the Holy Eucharist. "Jesus said to them; I am telling you the truth; if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in yourselves. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him to life on the last day." John 6:53-54)The Eucharist worship is one through which the worshipper attains deeper and richer state of experiencing Christ than what is obtained through any other form of worship. Does your church practice "Open Communion?" In the strictest sense the Communion of the Orthodox Church is open to all repentant believers. That means we are glad to receive new members in the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox concept of "Communion" is totally holistic, and radically different from that of most other Christian groups. We do not separate the idea of "Holy Communion" from "Being in Communion," "Full Communion," "Inter-Communion" and total "Communion in the Faith."In the Orthodox Church therefore, to receive Holy Communion, or any other Sacrament (Mystery), is taken to be a declaration of total commitment to the Orthodox Faith. While we warmly welcome visitors to our services, it is understood that only those communicant members of the Orthodox Church who are prepared by confession and fasting will approach the Holy Mysteries.