ABU DHABI: ‘En Christos 2012′ held at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi on 12thOctober 2012 was indeed the fulfillment of God’s will on earth.
The Orthodox Christian Youth Movement (OCYM) of the Cathedral hosted the first ever fellowship meet of the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox churches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A warm reception was given to distinguished guests from the Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Russian and Indian Orthodox Churches and they were escorted into the Cathedral in a solemn procession.
The first session of the programme, titled – ‘ Salah -Vespers’ was led by Kuriakose Mar Clemis of Indian Orthodox Church ,Demetrios of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Fr. Araam Dekermendjian of Armenian Orthodox Church, Fr. Pavlo of Russian Orthodox Church, Fr. Woldegebriel, Fr. Gerima and Fr. Gebrehana of Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Representatives from the Armenian and Ethiopian churches led their parts of the evening prayer in their native languages. The clergy and congregation also prayed for the rulers and the ruling families of the UAE.
In the second session ‘Brahmabhavana’ the Churches introduced their history and cultural heritage, rendered hymns in their native language and presented traditional art forms. The session was declared open with a lamp lighting ceremony as the host choir group sang the hymn – ‘By Thy Light’ and a white curtain in the background was slowly raised to reveal a brilliantly coloured life-size picture of the risen Christ in radiance.
Blessings from Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicose of the East & Malankara Metroplitan and felicitations from Yuhannon Mar Polycarpos, president of OCYM were telecast.
A moment of silence was observed in honour of the blessed memory of the departed Holy Fathers namely Late Lamented (L.L.) H.H. Pope Shenouda of Coptic Orthodox Church, L.L.H.H. Abune Paulose of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, L.L. His Eminence Archbishop Aghan Baliozian of Armenian Orthodox Church, L.L.H.G. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, L.L.H.G.Job Mar Philoxenos and L.L.H.G. Paulose Mar Pachomios of Indian Orthodox Church.
Some of the main attractions of the evening were – hymns sung in four part harmony by the Coptic & Armenian choirs, a vibrant chant-and-dance by the Ethiopian group and hymns sung in different languages by the Indian choir along with a dance performance called Margam Kali.
The last session Agape was interspersed with a concluding prayer as the Orthodox faithful held lit candles and glorified God with chants of Imaste Ena En Christos. It was followed by a ceremonial dinner. Members of the OCYM were lauded for their initiative and the successful execution of the event.
‘En Christos 2012’ will go down history as a key achievement for the OCYM of St. George Orthodox Cathedral and will be remembered by the Christian Community in the region. This is a new beginning to nurture & promote relations among the Orthodox Christians, to understand the beauty of Orthodoxy and to embrace its uniqueness despite geographical and cultural differences.
The event was also an opportunity for the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church to celebrate the 1960th anniversary of the establishment of Christianity in India and the centenary anniversary of the Catholicate’s establishment in Malankara.
Reported by: Reji Mathew Meenadom