The sacramental consecration of three Rambans as new bishops of Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar held at a specially prepared sanctuary at the SCS High School grounds in Thiruvalla on Saturday. – Photo: Leju Kama
The Episcopal consecration of the three new Rambans of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, Varghese Mathai, K.V. Varkey and Oommen George, was held at the SC Seminary High School grounds in Thiruvalla on Saturday. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, head of the Mar Thoma Church, was the chief celebrant of the consecration service held at a specially prepared sanctuary (Madbaha) at the SCS grounds. The three Bishop-designates were escorted to the programme venue in a customary procession from the St. Thomas Mar Thomas Church at the SCS Mount at 7.15 am. A 101-member choir, Church Council members and clergy took part in the procession led by Geevarghese Mar Themotheos Metropolitan. Church secretary K.S..Mathew led the three bishop-designates by hand to the Mar Thoma Metropolitan as soon as the procession reached the specially prepared sanctuary.
The ceremony began with a holy eucharist at 7.30 a.m. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Saffragan Metropolitan delivered the devotional speech on the occasion. Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan of the Church, Geevarghese Mar Athanaseus, Geevarghese Mar Theodoseus, Joseph Mar Barnabas, Thomas Mar Themotheos, Issac Mar Philoxenos, Abraham Mar Paulose, all Bishops attached to the Mar Thoma Church and the Mr. Mathew were the co-celebrants of the consecration service. Youhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Kuriakose Mar Cleemis, Zacharias Mar Aprem, Bishops of the Malankara Orthodox Church, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of the Jacobite Syrian Church and Bishop Sam Mathew, Bishop Thomas Samuel, Bishop K.G. Daniel and Bishop Thomas K.Oommen attached to the Church of South India, were also present at the Madbaha. The consecration of the three new Bishops was held during the course of the holy eucharist. Each new Bishop seated on a chair, was lifted thrice amidst loud chants of `Oxion', a Greek word meant ‘that he is worthy' as part of the consecration ceremony. Joseph Mar Thoma blessed the new bishops and handed over the pastoral staff to them, marking the culmination of the installation ceremony. The newly consecrated Bishops passed on the Kiss of Peace to the Mar Thoma Metropolitan. The three Bishops were also renamed as Mathews Mar Makarios (Varghese Mathai), Gregorios Mar Stephanos (K.V. Varkey) and Thomas Mar Tithos (Oommen George) on the occasion. Finance Minister K.M. Mani; Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan; Rajya Sabha MP P.J. Kurien; Anto Antony, Kodikkunnil Suresh, Jose K. Mani, MPs; K.Sivadasan Nair, Thomas Chandy, Mathew T. Thomas, Mons Joseph, Raju Abraham and P.C. Vishnunath, MLAs; also attended the function.
A public meeting to felicitate the newly consecrated Bishops was also held. Cyriac Thomas, judge, Supreme Court, inaugurated the meeting presided by the Mar Thoma Metropolitan. Mar Chrysostum delivered the benedictory speech. Joseph Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, John V.Varghese, IPS, Ammanuel B. Ghareeb from Kuwait and Elizabeth Varghese delivered felicitations.