KOTTAYAM: Adapting the custom followed by their Hindu brethren of Ramayana reading during this month of devotion and ‘a return to nature’, members of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church started the first day of the Malayalam month of Karkkidakam with a similar exercise, reading from the Holy Bible.
The denomination as a whole resolved to observe Bible Maasam from Friday, with readings starting with the Book of Genesis.
The Martha Mariam Samajam, the organization of women among the laity in the Orthodox church, has been observing this tradition for the last two years in all seriousness. Their example has presumably activated the community as a whole to go in for a collective drive from this year.
The month of the Bible will be carried forward till August 14 in such a way that 720 hours are set apart for the reading of the Holy Scriptures.
The idea behind the move is to make members of the church more familiar with the Bible, and allow them to perfect themselves on a spiritual level.
Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Didymos I initiated the Bible Maasam observance by going through the first chapter of the Book of Genesis.
Community members will continue the readings in their respective homes and parishes through the month. From this year the month of Karkkidakam will acquire an additional name.
It will be known as both a Ramayana Maasam and a Bible Maasam.