Dr Yuhanon Mar Meletius Metropolitan will give clarifications to the doubts related to Orthodox Faith.
Please send name & parish name of those who ask questions.
We not publish these details in Orthodoxy page.
72. I am extremely grateful to Thirumeni for taking the effort to dispel the doubts of people like me. I am 57. About 10 years ago I had a sort of look-back on my life and a kind of 'conversion' -change in my paradigms. Then there was a kind of glow to my life which gradually got dulled in the 'business' and busyness of life. Now, I am actively seeking what went wrong and I came across 3 books- Philokalia, Orthodox Psychotherapy and Christotherapy. Christotherapy being less theological helped me grasp Orthodox Psychotherapy.
With a great deal of surprise and shame I became aware of the many many erroneous scripts that I still carry. I realize that I do need so much of inner healing/ correction that I am doubtful of ever improving my condition and become an authentic human with authentic values, which the writer says is God alone..
The author of Orthodox Psychotherapy tells us that we misuse the intellectual, mental and spiritual gifts of God, and so we have these problems/ inauthenticity or mismatch or fragmentation. The prayer after 'Our Father' during the Holy Liturgy 'to convert' what is an obstacle to what is useful and helpful makes sense here to me.
The first realization came when I read about 'logismoi'. I realised that my mind is a battleground. (kurukshetra) I also understood the truth of the statement 'As a man thinketh, so is he.' and the value of 'venda kastatha veen chintayum adiyaarennozhikka.' I realized that my reality is to a large extent, subjective and hence my judgments cannot be just.I was a foolish and haughty judge.
I understand that the values that I prided myself about may not really be all that good.
The author of ' Christotherapy' says ' -- every aspect of God's revelation in Christ, has a healing and enlightening meaning and value for the lives of men and women'.
Again, while referring to the healing events, woman with the issue of blood, woman at the well, blind man etc. the author says Jesus 'truly does know what is in individual human hearts (we ourselves are often confused and lack self knowledge) and often, gradually, led individuals in desperate need of healing through various stages of enlightenment until full healing occurred.
Though this may seem to be wrong, I now believe that "much of the suffering and disease that I have faced in my life is a direct symptom of misdirected concerns, erroneous assumptions and beliefs and inauthentic thinking and desiring.'"
I would like to see the 'healing and enlightening meaning' in the Gospels and I don't know how to go about it.
Can you help me? I am keeping away from Qurbana in this confused state. But I know well, from experience, that God renews even the most desperate situations and restores the years that the locusts have eaten. Could you suggest some books or prayers? 'Karunakkadale ' is my position exactly My wounds are severe. But God is kind and good and I have everything worldly-except this sense of incompleteness.
Susan Eapen, Thiruvananthapuram. Answer
71. There have been an increase in conducting muunninmel Qurbana (trimass?) in our churches. I have learned that such practices have no Orthodox base and do not comply with the Orthodox Christian practices. However, I see a lot of our own bishops conducting munninmel, anchinmel (and 101?) Qurbana. Our achen (Rev. Fr. Dr. George Koshy) has a written an article about the wrong practice (in both factions of the church). A few years ago, our Mor Athanasios thirumeni (Muvattupuzha) declined to conduct trimass (in White Plains church) even though the parishioners compelled. I respect him for taking a strong stand and parishioners had to obey him. What is thirumeni's opinion about muunninmel Qurbana. If you agree with Fr. Dr. George Koshy what can you do to completely stop this practice in our Churches?
Secondly, there have been a tremendous increase in giving titles such as Cheveliar, Captain, Commander (is Major and Major General next?) to laymen in church. I haven't seen such practice in Orthodox Church yet but it is a common practice in Jacobite faction. I guess it will come to our church pretty soon. Giving similar titles to church (Valiyapally, Cathedral, ??) began in Jacobite faction but shamefully, we have already followed them and is an item for competition! What is the meaning of giving such titles to parishes?
Aby Paul. Answer
70. In our church, there is no dress code for bishops. In catholic, other orthodox churches and even in Jacobite, there is a dress code for every bishop. When our bishops gather together for a meeting, we felt ashamed having so many colours and it is not a good think to see. Once one of our bishops used to wear red cassock during the divine liturgy. Now many of them even don’t use red cassock even in the holy Qurbana. Can our synod propose a common colour pattern for all bishops? Suppose if our priests too follow this type of dress code. how can we support it.? I prefer Red or at least rose to all bishops and must be in red for divine liturgy.
Lyju Eapen. Answer
69. I am a
catholic girl from changanacherry Archdiocese and i wish to marry an orthdox
boy. I think their arise a lot of issue regarding this.If i get married in
the orthdox Church,could i have to receive holy communion from a catholic
church or chooses to remain in communion with the Orthdox Church.My friends
who are in orthdox community are participating in Holy Catholic Qurbana and
they took holy communion from catholic priests and they also participating
in holy confection and also in holy adoration too. is their any problem for
this. What are the other formalities regarding the marriage?
68. Kindly let me know whether we can do engagement function on Wednesday, if yes, any restriction in food for all?. The function will be conducted by C.S.I people (brides family) and groom from Orthodox.
67. Is there any objection in Orthodox belief for Choir and musical instrument during church services.?
Any objection in Orthodox belief in Singing songs written by Protestants or others after the Holy Qurbana, especially during Kaimuth?
I regret to note that a large number of Orthodox believers (many left) are 'mesmerised' (brainwashed) by Pentacostal churches by their songs/music.
Abraham Chandy. Answers
66. Where you find the secret rapture in the Bible?
What is your understanding about the following verse?
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Shibu Podiyan. Answers
65. In our Orthodox qurbana during Thubden readings, If I am right, We never remember anybody who lived before Christ. Why?
64. During the ordination of anyone in to the priesthood, why does the celebrant cut off some of the hair of the person being ordained.
Why do priests and bishops wear what they wear, in and outside of service.
Ashwin Abraham. Answers
63. "What is the sea of glass mentioned in Revelation 4:6 and
Shibu Podiyan. Answers
62. "After resurrection our Lord Jesus, appeared to his disciples as narrated in the gospel of St.John. He breathed, and said receive Holy Spirit and they received the HS". Most probably 10 of Jesus Christ's disciples (Apostles) were there and have received HS. In Acts, on the day of Pentecost it seems these same disciples received Holy Spirit along with 3000 people. Is this not incorrect? Probably, 3000 people must have received Holy Spirit as new converts, not those 10 Apostles who had already received Holy Spirit as described in the gospel of St.John. I believe, receiving Holy Spirit is not repeated; that is why King David in Psalm 51 says "do not take away your Holy Spirit", since he had already received it. Can you please put some light on this?
61. During our Holy Qurbana,the priest prays for the salvation of the whole creation (sarva srishtiyudeyum mochanam). What is meant here – Is it the whole of the mankind OR the entire nature – including men, animals and plants.
In this connection another question – do the animals and plants have souls ?
60. In most our churches, the colour of the veil is red. Any reason?
The name in Syriac for the beautiful art works in Madhbaha.
The right place of Evengalion table.
Can an altar boy (appointed by our Bishops) enter the madhbaha of all the churches of our church (including JSOC) without the permission of the vicar (not to participate in HQ)?
Is there a patriarch now in Jerusalem by name ' Mor Gregorios'? If yes, his full name. If not, why we remember him in Ist tubden since it is for the fathers who are alive?
How can we say that the robber crucified on the right side of Jesus was saved and his name was Titus since it is not mentioned in St. Luke. In St. Matt., we read both insult our Lord.
Some things are doubled in St. Matt.ie two evil spirited men, two blindmen in Jericho, two donkeys in Hosanna. Any translation error?
At the birth time of Jesus, 3 wise men came by seeing his
star. One of my friend (Hindu) says this proves the validity of jyothisham&
jathakom. Any fact?
Saju, Saudi Arabia. Answers
59. Why did Jesus ask Mary not to touch Him?
58. Is there what is called Purgatory? Where do dead people live?
46. In 2 Kings 18: 4 we
read thus: "He (Hezekiah)removed the high places and broke the sacred
pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent
that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned
incense to it, and called it Nehushtan". Based on this biblical verse, how
could we justify our act of veneration of the holy Cross on the Good Friday
45. One of my close relatives, rarely participate in the Holy Qurbana and comments on those who participate regularly. He wondered how they could do it since the prayer says 'Ee sudhathakal vishudhiyum vedippum ullavarkku maathram nalkappedunnu'. He also said that we are told that of we participate when we are not pure it causes our death. I had heard once that the lines following the above, which says that the Trinitarian God is the only one who is Holy and that He is with us is the answer to this paradox. I also thought that perhaps that is why the unbaptised about whom we are unsure, are not allowed to participate. Anyway I said that it is not about our personal holiness as we cannot be holy. In Saadhakante Sancharam it says we can approach as a sinful but repentant son would approach the Father. I guess we should also be determined not to repeat the old sins. How can I give an answer to the question? If it is given here, I will take a print and give it to my relative (without my question)
I also heard some people say that usually
when they participate some kind of quarrel takes place afterwards. I
sometimes have the same experience because I come home dead tired after
fasting and gets very irritated as I want to lie down but have to prepare
Sunday breakfast and lunch etc. I am diabetic and my routine medicine etc
are totally upset and it takes a couple of days to recover from the effects
of hypoglycemia and acidity.. Now I do not participate in the bread & wine
on Sundays, but go on Wednesdays when the service is short and I can get
home to breakfast by 8.30. Can a sick person have medicine and food (some
vegetarian food or milk) and go for Qurbana? We were told in Bangalore we
must put a gap of 5 hours between eating and qurbana. Then if the service
starts at 6.30, but the Qurbana is given at 8.30-8.45, can we eat around
3.30? . But that would not help with taking medicines as I have to take it
at the same time each day. What is the solution? A working person staying at
some distance from the Church may not be able to attend the
44. I had a doubt which passed by mind while
reciting the Nicene creed during the Qurbana today. In the Epistle to the
Ephesian's St. Paul quotes "there is one body and one spirit, just as also
you were called in one hope of your caling; One Lord, One Faith, One
Baptism." The Apostle clearly Emphasise that there is only Baptism, and in
the creed we too affirm that there is Only One Baptism.
43. Can you please throw a clear light on the
topic "Trinity". Muslims also believe in Jesus, not as God, but as a
prophet. We can see, in many cases, Jesus is pleading to the Father for
doing miracles. Why can't he do it alone? Being a god, is there any need
for Jesus to pray to the Father? We can also see in Bible, Jesus saying;
"Your God and My God....Father is greater than I" etc. Also in Acts 3:26,
Jesus is referred to as "Servant" of God. It can be interpreted as "Jesus is
just a man like any other prophet. He doesn't have any Godly power or
divinity. The Father is the only God, whom Jesus also prays to". Kindly help
us to understand existence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit together as one
is attained through the Holy church only; despite exceptions also is a
possibility that again is determined by God". Could you please define the
41. Prayer for departed . we do remember , pray for departed in our Qurbana we do so
Jose Thomas, Bangalore: Answer
40. How to make prostration? Which one to touch the ground? head & nose or mouth & nose?
Mini Wilson. Answer
39. Bibically in which chapter / VS does say about lent or we should take the lent.
Jose Thomas, Bangalore. Answer
38. Does the sacrament of Baptism wipe away the ancestral sin? Can the sickness of an infant be attributed to the ancestral sin?
Biju Thariyan, New York : Answer
37. I wish to
know Do we believe the Saints through their photos or The holy cross shed
Some catholics 2-3 years before claimed
their Rosa Mistica Mathavu-I dont knowwhether
its St mary
shed oil & perfume from Icon, but not announced by their Cardinal,Recently
Some of Syriac orthodox churches proclaimed The icons of Saint mary shed
perfume,now its told The Holy Cross in Manarcad church poured over perfumed
oil-Is this the work Of SATAN, because we dont worship Saints we consider
them as heavenly mediators, Is their any Theological clarification for
this,of course we believe through mediation of Saints we get healing, Please
calrify this, The Orthodox Church should give a clarification for this
Sherlin Viju: Answer
36. In the west Syriac rite for burial service, before the oil is poured the following prayer is recited "O Lord God, by Whose Godhead's command and Lordship's authority this Your servant N. has departed from this temporal life, send unto him from above the succor of Your angelic hosts, and by means of this oil which is to be poured on his body, grant that he may become slippery and unrestrainable by the adverse powers and the hosts of the enemies who lie in wait in the air to wage war against the souls of men. Bring him safe to the heavenly abodes of light and exultation among the saints, so that, rejoicing and exceedingly glad, he may offer glory and give thanks to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever." Does this imply the idea of tempation of the soul beyond departure from this world? Is that possible during the first 40 days after the demise? Can you also shed some light on Jude 1: 9 Michael contending with the devil over the body of Moses? What's our take on the idea of Toll-Houses?
Biju Thariyan, New York: Answer
35. Is it correct/good to stich the icons of st.mary or st.gregorios on the back side of Kaappa other than the cross or dove which symbolizes Christ /Holy Spirit.Now a days many achans are using these icons.Can the achans use 'kunjadu'on the kaappa?
Fr. Varghese Chacko. Answer
What does it mean when
we say that Malankara Church is a division of the Orthodox Syrian Church in
the constitution of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church ( 1st clause ) ??
Could you please
explain what is "New Covenant"? and what is the implication in the orthodox
32. On His second coming,
what is happening our Spirit, Soul and Body? What are the duties of these
elements in this world to fulfill His plan? The growth levels of these
elements are equal or different? How we can feed to Spirit and Soul in
Orthodox Church was established by Apostle St Thomas, could You please tell
why did we accept Persian lineage of succession for the throne of
30. Can you please help me to understand Hell, Hades (Luke 16 23-24),Sheol(in old testment), Gehenna
Why there is a lighted
candle while the Kalpana of Bava Thirumeni is read in the church after Holy
Qurbana. What is the significance of that.
28. My question question relates to the accuracy of the Bible. Do you think man created religion because man, at his core is frightened of death, and the idea of dying? If I said that I was the incarnation of God and spread my ideology, got people to write a book on my philosophies and got many followers, why won’t you believe that I am God? There is a story, once upon a time there were a group of people that were chained to face the wall of a cave, one day a man turned his head around and saw light, he tried to tell the others that there was such thing as light, but the other people of the cave could believe him because they had never seen light before. This is how the fathers of the church (and its faithful) feel, they feel like the man in the cave that turned around and saw light, they feel like the man who tried explain light to the people who have only known darkness. But this is the truth, the fathers of the church and its faithful are not primary sources, they have not seen light, rather they have been told of light and simply just believe it and try to convince others of things they have not seen themselves. What I am saying is isn’t religion just a cult that believes in, from George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ a ‘Sugar Candy Mountain’. What do you think about the above statement?
George, Australia: Answer
27. My question is about amorality and the meaning of life. We know that God is all knowing and supreme, so then what is the meaning of life? God has created everything, us humans included so that we can fulfill His purpose (whether His purpose is purposeless we do not know). Are you saying that a murder has defied God (His purpose) by murdering? No, whatever He instilled has been done or will be done, so if He said that a person should murder, that person will murder for reasons that beyond our understanding; thus proving that there is no such thing as right or wrong in the eyes of God. So now tell me the meaning of life. If life is not necessarily to help others or to be good to others (because there is no such thing as right or wrong), then what is the meaning of life? This question comes down to fate and destiny; we will do what we were meant to do, and whether it was good or bad is totally irrelevant. Can you now see why I do not believe in heaven or hell? After some thought I have said the meaning of life is just to live it, but while you are alive, why not enjoy it? Do you agree with the philosophy of fate and amorality?
George, Australia: Answer
26. Jesus’ act of sacrifice that is a Holy Being spilling His Blood for us sinners. What is the logic behind such an act? How does shedding Blood make us forever holy? We can say the logic is passion, but such a selfless act (even though He knows He will arise) can't possibly set us free. How? What is the logic, it doesn't make us better people or lessen the fact that we are still sinners.
George, Australia: Answer
25. In my Orthodox Sunday School Book (Lesson 7- Abiding in the Lord through Holy Confession) it says "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (John 21:23). Now, the way in which we enter heaven is determined by our own holiness, so if our sins are forgiven we are holy and guaranteed a place in heaven, this is one of the fundamental ideologies about the Holy Eucharist as well. The above verse is Jesus telling his disciples about their power to forgive sins. Later down in my Sunday School Book it says "This authority is entrusted with the priests" and “When sins are confessed before the priests they are forgiven.". My question now relates to the Catholic Pope who according to their faith has the divine power to determine right in front of them whether they will go to heaven or hell, i.e. the Pope can forgive and retain sins. In this respect what is the deference between the Catholic faith and common sense (which should be the Orthodox faith). I know that priests are not a substitute for disciples or Jesus but if this is what is being taught in our Seminaries, I cannot help but wonder whether our deacons are taught that they are supreme. What I do not understand is that “This authority is entrusted with our priests". My argument is that this teaching is wrong, it is only a right given to the disciples.
George, Australia: Answer
Are we following any
particular proportion in the construction of crosses in our churches?
23. Could you please tell How many Heavens are there, Based on 1Corinth 12:2 as stated by St.Paul,and what are they?
Sam Pariyarathu: Answer
22. What version of HOLY BIBLE is
currently being used by Orthodox Church ? Did we change the version we are
using recently ?, If it is changed what is the basis of this change?.
21. Explain the real symbolism in the 'Denaha' perunal procesion and the service as a whole;
the symbol of carrying the bottle filled with water by a man and covering it with soshapha.
And what is the significance of blessing the Censor in the service
John Thomas: Answer
19. Could you explain me the following.
Why do we say that at least once in 40 days we should do confession to have holy communion continuously. What is the importance of 40 days?
18. - Is there any scripture verses which portray the importance of intercession and prayers....of saints in our life? or is it a belief that has been part of the tradition??
- state of our souls once we have passed away? is it living or resting or dead?
-difference between paradise and heaven or is it the same?
- is the faith if reincarnation(as humans) totally disapproving or is there any basis to it?
Nisha, India: Answer
Shiney Sunil, Saudi Arabia: Answer
16. 1.Pentacose kar parayunna maru bhasha (anya bhasha or Uncleared language) ..is it allowable in our sabha.???…But whn I read the bible that support this maru bhasha….Refer..1Corinthians 14:39
& Corinthians 14:21-39
2. While v praying Y we stand against East…For this I find an answer in bible Ezekiel 43:1-2 & 44:1…..But as per protestant They say that Tht is equal to Sooraya namaskaram..& they also say that Kizhakku(EAST) ninnu alla, padinjaru(WEST) ninnu alla, thekku (SOUTH) ninnu alla & Vadakku (NORTH) ninnum alla uyarcha varunnathu…….
Rubin P. Mathew: Answer
15. It is clear for me that St Mary didn't lose her virginity by the birth
of Jesus. Can you please make me clear about the fact that she was
virgin all over her life time.
14. Is Manna a Vegetable?
Shibu Podiyan, Washigton D.C: Answer
13. During the Commemoration of Saints, we normally remember mostly only saints of Malankara. Do you think it is important that we remember also our early church fathers like Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyril of Alexandria, Basil of Caesarea, John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Dioscorus of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem etc during their feast days and also priests talk something about their contributions then or during sermon?
John Thomas: Answer
12. Kindly let me know who is the successor of Apostle St. Peter.
George Rajan, Trivandrum: Answer
11. Is there any difference in belief & rituals of Jacobites from ours,recently 2 of my cousins married to Jacobite,
In orthodox church "mothiravazhvu is done only at marriage ceremony but for Jacobites its at time of engagement. In orthodox & marthoma churches brides wearing crown is banned since we have kireedam vazhvu, but in Jacobite church its compulsory the bride to wear crown,
In youtube we can see wedding of antiochian orthodox &other orthodox churches,all these orthodox churches they have unique rituals like "singing dance of Isaiah (a procession around sacrement table) &common cup,but why we dont have that,
Heard from aged that we are following antiochian rituals & thaksa,? but antiochian traditions r different,
The Holy Eucharist prayers of Jacobite & orthodox churches is different,Lent also jacobites have only 20 days & for us 50 days nombu is compulsory.If we go to Manarcadu pally for Qurbana its very difficult,but if we go to a malankara catholic church mostly same
Hope thirumeni could clarify my doubt,Can we receive holy communion from Jacobite church
Sherlin Viju: Answer
10. What is our teaching about Holy Spirit? Holy Bible says "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall sent send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father" (John 15:26) Again in John 16:7 Jesus says "….but if I depart, I will send Him to you". So the Gospel tells us the procession of Holy Spirit is from Father only, while sending the Holy Spirit is by our Lord Jesus Christ. This is my understanding of Holy Spirit. The Nicene Creed also confirm that "the life giving Lord of all, the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified"
In one of the premeon (first service during the Pentecost) says "Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and taken from the Son". To me ‘taken from the Son’ is very similar to the Roman Catholic faith ‘the Fillisque clause’. Is this contradicting our understanding of the Holy Spirit? Nowhere in the Holy Bible that says the Holy Spirit is taken from the Son. Could it be an error crept into ours when it was translated from Syriac to Malayalam and then to English?
Koshy Samuel, Kuala Lumpur: Answer
9. 1) Its mentioned in the Bible that "You must not call anyone her on earth 'Father'; because you have only the one Father in heaven"(St.Matthew Ch 23:9) but we will calls our high priests and bishops as father "Pithav". is it right?
2) Its mentioned in the Bible that "When you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it" (St.Matthew Ch 6:2), however may of Churches do have the different kinds of charity functions and the money collected from the members is announced in the church. is it right to do so?
3) what is the frequency to have the Holy communion? It is to be done on daily or weekly or once in year!
Vinsent, Muscat: Answer
8. What is the meaning for the usage of vettuthoppi in our churches during perunnal rasa?...From where we got this?
Mathew P C, Chengannur: Answer
7. Why our bishop's names are like this? How it came?
Jacob Mathew, Bahrain: Answer
6. I would like to know more about Baptism from a biblical point of view so that I have sufficient knowledge to explain to the Protestants when they ask ' Why Child Baptism?'
Paul, Colorado: Answer
5. KUNJADINE VREKSHAM NALKI
THEEKAL PARAJALAM NALKI
I SINCERELY HOPE, MY BELOVED BISHOP WILL HELP ME IN KNOWING THE FULL MEANING OF THESE THREE WORDS (KUNJADINE VREKSHAM, THEEKAL PARAJALAM & ESTHEERA MALSYAM). - (VARGHESE P GEORGE), BANARASI-UTTAR PRADESH: Answer
4. The description given about Melchizedek by Your Grace is very interesting. After reading it, I remembered, I had read an article by one of our Priests saying Melchizedek is Jesus Christ Himself. Is it a correct interpretation? Could Your Grace please shed some light into this as the one Your Grace has given does not tally with it? - Jacob Muringayil, London: Answer
3. 1. the hymn when bow the cross, before service of burial of cross. We adore the cross which has brought us salvation ,for our souls and like the thief we cry out "Christ ,remember us when you come into your kingdom"!
2. The Prayer on the North side during adoration of cross. Grant us ,O lord that we may offer true worship,in spirit and truth to your adorable life giving cross
The question here are (i) how come the cross brought, salvation of our souls/mankind ?to my understanding It is the sacrificial death of Jesus on cross brought salvation to our souls/mankind (ii) The offering of true worship in spirit and truth is to be submitted the Lord Jesus (who is the truth and Spirit) and not the cross, (iii) Is The cross life giving, how? (the life and resurrection is Lord Jesus) - Sam Pariyarathu, Kenya: Answer
2. Can you please explain the song Aadyacharyatham kaikkondu Aharon Moosayodonnichu..................?
Anju S - Answer