PARUMALA: By 10 am local time tomorrow, the priest Metropolitan Elects will have their Profession of Rambans upon them. A full fledged ascetic is a ramban in the Orthodox Syrian tradition. From the third Century onwards, Orthodox Church consecrates only monks to the High-Priesthood and even today that tradition carries on.
Fr. Dr. John Mathews, Fr. V.M. James, Fr. Dr. Sabu Kuriakose, Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil and Fr. V.M. Abraham are the five priest Metropolitan Elects, who are entering into the monastic orders tomorrow.
“Preparations are over for the profession of ramban”, informed Manager, Parumala Seminary, Fr. Youhanon Ramban. The Catholicos has already reached Parumala and His Holiness has donned today the monastic vestments to the five priest Metropolitan Elects, after compline, the prayer for bed time or soothoro. Over 4000 people are expected to witness the historic moment tomorrow.
Catholicos Elect Paulos Mar Milithios, Kuriakose Mar Clemis, Zacharia Mar Anthonios, Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, Abraham Mar Epiphanios and Dr. Mathews Mar Thimotheos will attend the services.
When a priest becomes ramban, he has to put on the schema (masnaphsa) upon his priestly cap and this is done after tonsuring. This symbolizes that he has renounced the world completely and is embracing the yoke of asceticism. The schema, therefore, does not contribute towards high priestly vestments, but only means that the person, who wears it, is a monk. Any one, who wishes to enter into monastic orders and wishes to take the vow of asceticism remaining unmarried, can be a ramban. LL Catholicos Baselius Augen I was a ramban deacon. There are various arrays among rambans too, namely, ramban layman, ramban deacon, ramban priest, and ramban chor-episcopos. A bishop is always a ramban episcopos or ramban metropolitan.