RAS AL KHAIMAH, (UAE) : The consecration of St Mary’s Orthodox Church at Ras Al Khaimaih (RAK), one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, is indeed a milestone in the short period of the nascent Bangalore Diocese.
Shepherded by the Malankara Orthodox youngest Metropolitan, Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, the church will serve as a boon particularly among the Orthodox faithful and also to the vast disapora of the expatriate community.
Orthodox churches in the emirates of Fujairah, Dibba and Ras Al Khaima (RAK) also form part of the larger Bangalore Diocese.
Fr Manoj N Rajan, Vicar, managing committee and members of the St Mary’s Orthodox Church are all geared up to host the consecration ceremony of the newly constructed church on the land graciously donated by HH Shaikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicose of the East and the Malankara Metropolitan will be the chief celebrant for the two-day consecration ceremony on February 17 and 18, 2011.
The Catholicose is undertaking his maiden visit to the Arabian Gulf and Ras Al Khaimaih in UAE takes pride in this. To befit the occasion, the consecration ceremony will be followed by a public function and warm reception to the Catholicose on February 18.
Dignitaries from various walks of life and officials from the government of UAE and India are expected to take part.
Along with Metropolitan Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Kuriakose Mar Clemis, Metropolitan of Thumpamon Diocese, Abraham Mar Epiphanios, Metropolitan of Sultan Bathery and Dr Yuhanon Mar Demetrius, Assistant Metropolitan of Delhi Diocese will bless the occasion with prayers and esteemed presence.
On February 17th, the first part of the church consecration begins at 6.30 pm and on the next day, the second part will be from 7 am which will be followed by a Holy Trimass with Moran Mar Baselious Marthoma Paulose II acting as the chief celebrant.
For the public meeting and reception on Friday (a weekly holiday in the Gulf), Lokesh Mysore Kapanaiah, Indian Ambassador to the UAE will be the chief guest along with dignitaries like M A Yusuff Ali of the Lulu Hypermarket fame and leading businessman Dr B R Shetty.
The function will also see the launch of the church website and the release of the Koodasa Smaranika towards the end of the function.