Prayer and Spirituality: Christianity
Sabbath of the Gospel, Sabatho Dasbartho or Gospel Saturday
Saturday following the Good Friday is known as "Sabatho Dasbartho" (Syriac), which means, "The Sabbath of the Gospel." Some Christians mistakenly call it as "Sad Saturday." It is truly a day of rejoicing. It was surely a sad day for the disciples/Apostles because none of them ever anticipated what took place during the week; betrayal, denial and deserting by trusted friends, the sudden arrest, hasty and unlawful trial, inhuman torture, striping naked, mockery and shameful death on the cross of their only hope and Master, Jesus Christ on Friday. Overtaken by grief and fear of insecurity they forgot that Jesus had forewarned them many times of the impending ordeals. We are compelled to take note of the sorry plight of the hapless women followers especially Mary, Mother of Jesus. However these fragile women displayed extraordinary valor to be present at the foot of the cross, risking all odds. In their extreme agony they thought they lost all hopes. More precisely, the Apostles feared that the same fate awaited them if the Jews found them. So, bitterly weeping and wailing they hid behind closed door. On that Saturday, the disciples in their human frailty never gleaned what actually took place beyond death and burial of Jesus Christ. But on Sunday they were taken by surprise to know the reality of life and victory over death that Jesus brought for them. After resurrection, Jesus spent forty days with the disciples and taught them concerning the Kingdom of Heaven, Acts 1:3. Thus Apostles knew from the Lord what he did on that Saturday; that Jesus did not lie in the tomb for long but in Spirit went down to Hades, broke it down and preached Gospel to all souls who were bound in hell due to disobedience of Adam right from Adam until that day. That Jesus descended into hell is more a truth than a doctrine. The epistle reading for the day is from 1Peter 3:13-22. St Peter wrote, "He went and preached unto the spirits in prison, v19. St Paul also wrote, "He first descended into the lower parts of the earth," Eph 4:9. St Peter further clarified that the spirits were in prison because they disobeyed the words of Noah. Only eight souls, Noah, his wife, three sons and their wives, (Gen 8:18 v20.) were saved. Genesis 7:21-22 say, "All the flesh died that moved on earth, fowl, cattle, beast, creeping things and man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died." It is evident that the prison St Peter writes about is in the unseen world. Protestants argue that "Prayer for the Departed" is illogical and unbiblical while all ancient churches hold it dear. Jesus Christ's preaching to the dead who were under the bondage of Satan was futile, if the souls could not hear or change, on the other hand, if they could, Jesus did a fruitful act and we ought to pray for them. As usual they employ all the rhetoric but miserably fumble to disprove that St Peter did not mean that Jesus descended into hell and preached Gospel to the dead. But Peter again says, "For this reason (Judgment) was Gospel preached to them that were dead." (1Peter 4:6) Commenting on 1Peter 3:19 Barclay says, "We are here face to face with one of the most difficult passages." (1Peter 4:6) "This very difficult passage ends with a very difficult verse." Peter is saying that all unrighteous people will be judged. Sexual immorality was the sin that God judged in the days of Noah. Righteous God affords everyone fair opportunity to be saved. Bible does not mention that Noah preached. Noah took a long time, 120 years, to make the Arc in the exact size and shape as God instructed. It was a public event and it was possible that people asked Noah why; he told them what God said but they ridiculed him instead of heeding and he warned them. Those who did not heed to Noah were judged by deluge; they died in flesh. Their spirits were confined in prison and it was to them Jesus preached Gospel. This place of prison is mentioned by many names; Hades, Sheol, Hell and Gehenna in the Old Testament. Modern scholars think that these words are more allegorical than actuality and there is no specific place as such. But some years ago certain people claimed that they discovered a huge empty hole in certain parts of the earth near Russia and suggested that they could be the hell, Hades, etc. of the Bible. Most scholars consider Hades and Sheol together and Hell and Gehenna together as if Hades and hell are different. However a close scrutiny would reveal that all these are different rendering of the same notion. Sheol is often translated as hell (Is 5:14). Barclay explains that "Hell is a punishment of the wicked; Hades was the place where all the dead went." (vol. 14: page 236.) But this contention is contrary to Luke 16:23. Spirits of all the dead go to Hades and there is neither joy nor strength in Hades. McKenzie says that Sheol is Hebrew version of Greek Hades. Underworld is the abode of the dead. The ancients considered that the universe was made of various levels. St Paul said he was elevated to the third heaven. (2Corinth 12:2.) The angels who lost their first estate are imprisoned in the second heaven according to legends. Hindus believe there are seven levels each for seen and unseen world; three are however explicit; for Hebrews, the world was flat rather than a globe, the upper level was heaven, the middle level was earth and the lower level was Hades. Sheol was considered a pit; bottomless pit, (Rev 9:1) where there are undying worms and dusts and darkness ( Job 17:13-16). Korah, Dathan, Abiram and their followers rebelled against the authority of Moses and went down to Hades (Num 16:30 &33). Near East concept was that no one who goes there returns. It is more like a closed room with locked doors, fortified with walls and gates (Mat 16:18). The soul in the Hades is under constant horror. There is no activity, no thought, no knowledge and no wisdom in sheol (Ezek 9:10). Sheol opens its mouth to devour, (Is 5:14). It is never satisfied, (Pr 27:20). It has great greed, (Hab 2:5), and is cruel, (SS 8:6) and no praise in sheol, (Ps 6:6). The grave was the entrance to Sheol, (1K 2:6, Job 21:13). It is a destructive power and agent of destruction at the same time. In many cases it means nothing more than a grave or place of burial. This is the place where all sinners were kept. But some say, Hades is simply the abode of the soul and no tormenting there. Luke 16:23 says the rich man was tormented in Hades. Of course, soul under confinement is under natural torments. But God has power to redeem from the power of the grave, (Ps 49:15). Hades is personified as a monster and destruction, (Mt 11:23). Christ has power over it for He holds the key of death and Hades, (Rev 1:18). Sheol itself is destroyed, where the souls are confined and gives them up for the final judgment, (Rev 20:13). Gehenna is gehinnom in Hebrew. It means the valley of the son of Hinnom. This was a valley at the south end of Jerusalem and the mark of boundary between Benjamin and Judah. Jews abhorred the very name of the valley for it had bad reputation; there was heathen worship; idolatry and human sacrifice, (2K23:10). 'Religious practices were forbidden there because there was a shrine of Molech to which children were offered sacrifice. Jews converted the valley into a garbage dump that smoldered ceaselessly,' (Orthodox Study Bible page 30). It was a waste disposal place where wastes and dead-bodies of criminals and animals were incinerated. It was a place of curse, death and corruption, (Je 7:32). Since it was a continuous process there was unceasing fire. It was infested with worms which fed on the carcasses, not to mention the filth and unbearable stench. The valley thus became a symbol of filth, torments, suffering and punishment which were the inheritance of the wicked after death. Isaiah hesitating even to name it, simply called a place of the rebels of Jehovah, who lie where worms shall not die and fire shall not quench, (Is 66:24). They ascribed Sheol, (Hell, Hades, Gehenna) as place where souls of all the dead who were wicked, immoral and disobedient reside and another place for those who lived righteously and died in hope. But that place is not given a name. Some people think it is another layer of the same place, but it is not. Bosom of Abraham is symbolic of heaven. Rich man died and went to Hades, the place of torments while Lazarus went into the bosom of Abraham. Both Abraham and the rich man could see each other and talk. But they were too far off placed and there was a huge gulf in between, (Luke 16:19-31). John Bunyan explains that there is an exit just close to the gates of heaven and a last minute sin could land in the hell rather; even after reaching the gate of heaven there is chance to miss the heaven. But I do not find a possibility of a two tier place. Jesus said to the thief that, "Today you will be with me in Paradise," (Luke 23:43). Therefore Abraham rested in paradise, which was not part of hell, waiting for the Judgment Day, (Dan 12: 2-3 and13). Hell is the home of the cursed waiting for judgment. It is compared to a furnace burning with brimstone. Brimstone was plenty available in the Dead Sea region and it burnt easily emitting foul odor and excruciating heat. All ungodly, false prophets and the beast are cast into the lake of fire, (Rev 19:20-21). It is also the bottomless pit, (Rev 20:1). It is full of darkness in the lowest pit, (Ps 88:6). The hell is also place of silence and darkness, place of destruction and land of forgetfulness. Psalmist asserts that the dead and those who go down into silence do not praise God, (Ps 115:17). He distinguishes himself from those who go gown to silence saying, "But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore," v18. So, surely the place where the righteous rest must be different from the place of the unrighteous. God and Satan are the factors behind heaven or hell. Presence of God makes it heaven and the presence of Satan makes a place hell. Homes where wicked deeds and talks take place are hell on the earth. Immortality of the soul and ability of the righteous to praise the Lord even after physical death and difference between the death of the wicked and righteous are clearly confirmed. Tormenting is so severe that there is eternal wailing and gnashing of teeth; where the dead do not rise nor praise God; God's wonders, loving kindness and righteousness are not revealed in darkness or in the land of forgetfulness, (Ps 88:10-12, Ps 6:5). All the unrighteous, Cain, (Gen, 4:8-17), those disobedient in the days of Noah, (Gen 6), inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, (Gen 19:23-29), those who resisted Moses and murmured against God, (Num 14:26-37, Jud 5), angels who left their first domain, (Jude 6). The angels are the celestial beings who out of arrogance wanted to equal God and were cast down, (Is 14:12-14, Ezek 28), false teachers who reject the authority of the Apostle, (Jude 8), Balaam who sinned by greed, (Num 22-24) and Korah who perished in the rebellion against Moses, (Num 16). Note: Some interpret that the angels assumed human form as in the case of three guests of Abraham, (Gen 18:1-15); (God in Holy Trinity form appeared to Abraham) that the angels were responsible for immoral alliance with "the daughters of men" and caused the great deluge in the time of Noah. "That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all they chose," (Gen 6:2). They base their arguments that the term "sons of God," is explicitly used for angels in the Old Testament, (Job 1:6, and Dan 3:25). Satan was once an angel by name, Lucifer or son of Morning. He seduced Eve in the Garden of Eden to sin. Similar involvement in inducing human beings to commit sin is strong possibility and yet that is not conceived in this context. About the redemption and restoration of the chosen nation of Israel, God always said, "Everyone that is called by my name," (Is 43:6, 2Chr 7:14). Thus the term "sons of God" refers to a chosen set of people, not celestial beings. "Adam was the son of God," (Luke 3:38). Genesis records two lines of genealogy (1) of Cain and (2) Godly line of Seth on which Luke rely. Cain's descendants were not given equal status as of Seth. They were wicked. Seth's descendants were the "sons of God." They were verbally instructed by the tribal Patriarchs not to have contact with the descendants of Cain. Prohibition of inter-racial and inter-religious marriage was very old practice and a popular norm until recently, (Genesis 24, Neh 13:23-28). It is still a taboo in many traditional families. During the days of Noah they broke this instruction and went to the daughters of Cain. God considered it a breach. All the more aggravating fact was that they did not follow a standard. Their intention was unholy. They went after lust of the flesh and did what they liked. Indiscriminate indulgence of sex, "alternate life," multiple partners and etc are heights of immorality at all times and God judged it. Present generation obsessed with all kinds of immorality is yet to learn a lesson from the great deluge, Sodom Gomorrah, Hellenistic culture, etc! The purpose of marriage is, "Not to lust after her but to fulfill the duties of the Law," (Tobit 8:8). What was destroyed in the huge deluge was Cainetic civilization which went against the righteous standards of God. Jesus said that angels are sexless, (Mat 22:30). Sex and sexuality is a peculiarity of flesh. For this reason, even assuming that the angel took human form they could not have sexual appetite for the angels have no flesh. How ridiculous is to think that angels once upon a time had such ability to assume flesh, impersonate humanity and lust after flesh? Angel is not called as man anywhere. Genesis chapter 6 is a discourse about sexual immorality among human beings, not celestial beings. The word, "giants" confused them it seems; but it must not be taken as 'monsters'; rather they were men of huge size, which is evident in the second part of the same verse, "The same became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown," (Gen 6:4). Again it says, "The Lord said, my Spirit shall not always strive with man for that he also is flesh, (Gen 6:4), "God saw that the wickedness of the man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, (Gen 6:5)." In both places man and flesh are mentioned. How righteous God can judge and punish humanity for the sin originated from and committed by angels? What was the relevance of Noah preaching, if he so did, to men for the offence of the angels? And why God will limit the life span of human beings to 120 years for the angels' fault? Some others argue that there were souls of both righteous and sinners in Hades and Jesus preached only to the righteous and Barclay justifies it, (vol. 14 page 241). It is another absurd argument. Jews believed that all dead people go to Hades, but they used the same word 'Hades' to mean merely grave and death, (1K2:6 and 9, Job 21:13). St Peter makes no distinction; in both 1Pe 3:9 and 4:6; which say, "Preached to spirits who are in prison" and "Preached to the dead." Some others believe that these statements are merely a matter of faith, not facts. They also bring funny argument that it is the experience of life, not a specific place, etc. Yet another interesting twist is that Moffat, a self-made translator says, "Enoch also went and preached to the imprisoned spirit," Barclay quotes the view of Rendell Harris, "The word Enoch was missed out in the copying of Peter's writing and should be put back in." But what did Enoch preach? Jewish literature developed many legends based on Genesis 6:2 and the great flood. Book of Enoch was one such popular legend during Apostles' time. It is important to note that at any rate the holy fathers did not consider it "inspired writing" for the reason that it contained spurious contentions. Enoch worked as an envoy of God. He announced to the angels who came down and seduced the women, Gen 6:2, their final doom; that for them, "Because of their sin, there is neither peace nor forgiveness." (Enoch 12:1, 13) According to 2Enoch 7: 1-3, the angels were imprisoned in the second heaven, not in Hades. How the announcement of final doom constitutes preaching? Gospel, on the contrary, is good news of salvation and redemption which Christ preached. (1Pe 3:19) Barclay is right, he says, "Without doubt it must be rejected. There is no evidence for it at all; and it is not natural to bring Enoch, for the whole picture is of Christ," page 240. Fr TP Alias commenting on this verse says, "That Enoch visited the spirits in prison, is recorded in the first book of Enoch. Jude quotes from the book of Enoch in verse 14-15. Epistles, 2Peter and Jude, have much semblance to the book of Enoch. Therefore, there is nothing wrong to impute the same idea in this epistle also. It might be that he wrote Christ visited instead of Enoch visited," Thiruvachanabhashyam, vol.3, page 123. This is a wild imagination and blind Protestant adaptation to think 'if Apostle had thought Enoch instead of Christ.' Church fathers do not seem to take that position. Apostle on the other hand is talking about what Christ, not Enoch, accomplished for the sinful humanity. Enoch was not a redeemer and he could never be a substitute for Christ. Enoch is fully out of context. It is a lackluster argument devoid of logic. Barclay says, "Many in repeating the creed have found the phrase "He descended into hell" either meaningless or bewildering and have tacitly agreed to set it on one side and forget it. It may well be that we ought to think of this as a picture pained in terms of poetry rather than a doctrine stated in terms of theology," page 243. In other words he says that the idea of Christ descending into hell is a fiction and the Apostles were wrong. Theory here applied is, "If I cannot understand, it is wrong and meaningless." The reason is obvious; if the Protestant theologians admit that the verse is correct they also have to accept the authentic Church doctrine, "Prayer for the Departed." With this assumption they ridicule it. Some people say, 'hell should be understood symbolically, not physically." Some say that 'hell is a state of mind, a result of living in sin and being away from God.' Yet others say, 'Bible is nothing more than a literature.' So there is no end to opinions; consequently sin is viewed lightly and some people have no shame to commit any sin. Orthodox faithful heavily rely on the words of Jesus, which are indisputable truth of immense authority. Jesus said that Heaven, Hell, Judgment, Angels, Satan, Soul and Salvation are realities, not fiction. As a faithful my responsibility is to believe what Jesus said and not analyze or investigate if it is real place or where it is, relying on my tainted faculty. Jesus admonished, "Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in the hell." (Mat 10:28, 25:41, Luke 12:5). Fathers of the Church expounded that the salvation Jesus brought through His suffering and death on the cross is for the whole humanity beginning with Adam. "Bringing salvation free for our fallen human race ... Thou did trample death by death ending our death, (Vesthleb hlofain Mashiho Aloho deelan / Dabmouthe l'mouthan dose vkathle)" Maneesa of St Severius. It was preordained even before the creation and for the benefit of the whole creation, not just one set of sinners of any one time. The Son assumed human flesh to identify with humanity and save the sinful humanity. He existed with the Father before the foundation of the world, "You loved me before the foundation of the world," John 17:24. He was "The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," Rev 13:8. That is why myriads of angels, the living creatures and the elders shouted "Worthy is the lamb who was slain." (Rev 5:12.) Another very interesting dimension: God knows all about Hades and has access to it at all times. "If I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there." (Ps 139:8) God's anger can burn the hell itself. (Deut 32:22) Isaiah 7:11 says God's power reaches the lowest and the highest areas of universe. Nothing is hidden to God. God is aware of the hell and destruction." (Pr 15:11) God has power over Sheol. He has promised to ransom from Sheol. "I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death." (Hos 13:14) God is in full control of life, death and hell. "The Lord, Kills and makes alive; he brings down to the grave, and brings up." (1Sam 2:6) Practical application of this verse is seen in Jonah. Jonah prayed to God in the belly of the fish. (Jon 2:1) God heard and delivered him from the bottom of the sea and the belly of the fish. The righteous shall not be left in Sheol; they will not see corruption. (Ps 16:10) New Testament proclaims that Jesus Christ trampled death by death and resurrected victoriously. His entry into hell or Hades was also foretold in the Old Testament. Psalm 24 is an exposition of Christ's triumphant entry into the hell. Jews recited this Psalm for the morning sacrifice on the first day of the week. Days are numerically known in Hebrew tradition, not by Sunday or Monday. "Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up you everlasting doors. And the king of Glory shall come in," v7. It is called the "Entrance of the King" in Eastern Orthodox Church. They recite this Psalm over the grave while putting soil in cross shape over the carcass of the departed in the hope that the soul and body are entrusted to the Lord. The Apostle's Creed says, "He descended into hell." This is an affirmation that Jesus died and that no part of creation is left out of Lord's grace. St Paul said, "He who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens that he might fill all the things." (Eph 4:10). Thus he claimed that "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth." (Phil 2:10). "Every creature which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth," sang praises to Jesus (Rev 5:13). The reason is obvious, Jesus revealed to John, "I am he who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Hades and death." (Rev 1:18). Justin Martyr rightly said, "The Lord, the Holy God of Israel, remembered his dead, those sleeping in the earth and came down to them to tell them the good news of salvation." That Jesus descended into hell is a cardinal doctrine of the Church. Thesmestho of the Holy Saturday is our best source of faith. Kaumo has the Haasa tune, which reads, 'By going into grave, O Lord, you crushed the devastation of the grave. Bring us to life from death and resurrect our buried ones. Then we proclaim in the prayers; Enyono, Kolo, Bovooso, Promeon, etc: (1) Life and resurrection was preached to the souls in the hell. "Forgiveness was not granted to everyone in the hell, but only to those who believed and acknowledged Christ," St Severius of Antioch. (2) He descended to the dead into hell and preached salvation. (3) He visited the dead in their abode in Hades, which were their graves. (4) His melodious voice called the departed saints. He went in Spirit, "They did not see his form but they heard the sound of his voice," St Clement of Alexandria. (5) He rested by the side of the dust of Adam and redeemed him from destruction. (6) He lay on the bed of the dead and redeemed them from death. (7) He who has life lay with the dead, today he rebuked death and trampled on its head and its crown fell away. (8) Today the Lord of Adam went down among the dead with love and mightily uprooted the fortress of the Hades and shed light in its chambers. (9) Prophesy of David that He who is Free lived among the dead in hell, is fulfilled. (10) God descended to the dead in the hell and broke all its structures. Death panicked hearing your voice and he dismantled its resources. Adam stood up and knelt down and worshipped saying, "O Son of God, forgive my offenses. Have mercy on me, I have sinned." (11) Death carried the Son of God, not knowing that He will destroy it. David saw this at a distance and said, "Lift up, O gates, your heads. Let the King of glory enter. Hell asked David, "Who is this King of glory?" He replied, "The Lord who has come to save," Ps 24. (12) God descended unto the dead to renew Adam who was his magnificent image. He blunted the sharpness of the hell, overthrew it and released Adam and sons who were imprisoned. (13) O my son, your Kabar equals bridal chamber; you slept in it as a bridegroom. The dead in the hell saw you and proclaimed that you are the resurrection. The dead will rise from the sepulcher by the voice of the Son and on the day of resurrection he will adorn them with the robe of glory. (14) He turned his face unto the hell; the dead who were in the hell came out and received him. His voice scared the inmates in the kabar and they stood before him horrified. (15) He who is valiant roared like a lion in the hell in this night. Satan and death got terrified at his voice. (16) The life-giver lay in the kabar. Adam woke up and cheerfully glorified him. (17) In this night mother-Eve loudly sang, 'Thanks be to the Righteous one who tasted death for our salvation.' (18) He chained the death in the hell. (19) In this night the Prince killed the death in its own place. He visited all the buried and lay with them. He tasted death and sprinkled his fragrance upon the dead and they came to life and praised him. (20) He went into the grave and killed the Satan and death and gave life to Adam and his sons. (21) In this night the souls which lay hopelessly in the hell saw the great light. O sun, contain your rays and hide your Lord's disdain. Go down and shine in darkness where your creator descended. He went down to hell and preached the gospel of resurrection. (22) The dead woke up when the one alive reached among them. They praised the one who is resurrection in the place where praise was ceased. He redeemed the debts that soared for generations. (23) He went into the hell as if to take bath. The merciful one sought his glorious image and self-comforted on seeing it. Adam went back to his rightful place, Paradise. (24) In this night he gave the hope of resurrection to the dead. He entered into the hell and plundered it. He dismantled its fortress, busted its corners and freed them that were under slavery and reinstated them to life. (25) He chained the strong one in his place. Let Adam rejoice. (26) Righteous Abel who was unjustly murdered sang praises to the one who lives and gives life. (27) For the sake of his image he went into hell and mercifully brought it up with him and promised eternal life. (28) For the first time Adam, the head of the tribe and handsome Seth and the generations of Noah and Abraham came and worshipped him. "Christ descended into hell in order to acquaint the patriarchs and prophets with his redeeming mission," Tertullian, 'On the Soul,' 55:2. (29) He went down to the pit of the dead to revive Adam and sons and to rescue them from the pit of cruel death. "In order to deliver all those who believe, Christ taught those who were alive on earth at the time of his incarnation, and these others acknowledged him when he appeared to them in the lower regions and thus they too benefited from his coming," St Cyril of Alexandria. (30) Death swallowed him even as the big fish swallowed Jonah. But without causing damage, it let him out on the third day. (31) O, King of kings and Lord of lords of both heights and depths, give peace and tranquility to your people and enable those in authority to praise you with true faith. (32) Today he asked, "O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory," IC 15:55. "Death is swallowed up in victory," Is 25:8. (33)Your divinity did not separate either from your soul or from your body; but uniting both in one you experienced death in your body. Without change (in your divinity) you became man. Free us from the second death. Gospel portion for the Holy Quorbono is from Mat 27:57-61. Joseph of Arimathia obtained permission from Pilate, took the body and buried. Mark 15:42-42, and Luke 23: 50-53, and John 19:38 unanimously to give credit to Joseph. But John adds that Nicodemus brought a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloe mixture and together they took the body, bound in linen and spices and buried Jesus. We begin the services on Holy Saturday a bit late in the morning. After the Night, Morning, Third hour, Sixth hour prayers and Thuyobo, we have Holy Eucharist. Holy Eucharist for both Holy Passover and Holy Saturday are in Haasa tone. Instead of Trisagion, the Kaumo of the day is recited. "Masiho dab mouthe aaheemeesusaan nahem l'aaneedain vesraham alain." meaning: "O Christ, you destroyed our death by your death, give life to our dead and give grace unto us." Peace is not offered because the resurrection is not yet announced. After the Holy Eucharist, we conduct Subkono or service of reconciliation and with that we conclude our Haasa observances. In some places Subkono is conducted before Holy Eucharist but conducting it after is more appropriate. Lent starts with Subkono and ends with the same. By this we insist that Forgiveness and Reconciliation are most important aspects of Christian virtues. My thoughts for the day are not conclusive. I could not avoid some repetitions, especially the prayer portion. I conclude with the hope that this would benefit our faithful. Let us together proclaim the mystery, "Kom Masiho men Kabaro" i.e. "Christ is risen from the sepulcher." "Mhaimneenaan vmaudenaan d'saareerois kom" i.e., "We believe and confess that, Indeed, He has risen."
Fr. K K John is an Indian Orthodox Church priest.
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