Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bangalore Orthodox Symphony, 23 Oct 2012..

With trumpets and the sound of cornet
Make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King  - Psalms 98:6
This evening, 23 October 2012, in the Christ University auditorium in Bangalore the Indian Orthodox church was celebrating the centenary of the establishment of the Catholicate and the 1960th anniversary of the establishment of Christianity in the country. The chief guest was the Hon. Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Sankaranarayanan, Catholica Bawa Thirumeni and other senior bishops from the church.

It was really history in the making in Orthodox circles. For the first time in Indian orthodox history and perhaps may be, in any orthodox church in the world, oriental or Eastern Orthodox this evening, after the main programme got over the highlight was stolen by the Orthodox symphony choir of Bangalore. Under intense training for the past four months under Fr. John Samuel, Vicar of the London Indian Orthodox church, the group gave a splendid show . . Aptly named La Morino Zegtho, the performance of achen and the symphony was mesmerising  !!

La Morino Zegtho, Bangalore orthodox symphony ..
Fr John Samuel in black robes conducting the symphony ..
The symphony was mind blowing to say the least !! With twenty instrumentalists giving company and 70 youngsters singing the different aradhana kramangal (orthodox chants)  in Syriac and Malayalam language right from Jesus' birth to crucifixion, and resurrection, the three hours programme from 7.30 PM to 10.30 PM was a meditation by itself.

Fr. John Samuel in indeed a very talented priest of our church and we are so fortunate to be witnessing history in the making in the Orthodox Church today in Bangalore. The programme was a fusion of Western instruments (8 violins, 2 cello. mandolin, acoustic guitar, keyboards, saxophone and a 6' big violin like bass instrument) with singing in parts, of the Syriac liturgy of our church. Little bit of Carnatic fusion also could be felt at certain places.

Watch youtube videos here

The unstinted support given to Fr John Samuel by HH Bawa Thirumeni and HG Abraham Mar Seraphim , Metropolitan of the Bangalore diocese has been rewarded well.

This performance was the dress rehearsal for the Nov 15 2012 Catholicate centenary celebrations at Marine Drive in Kochi Kerala which will be attended by a minimum of a lakh of people.

HG Mar Seraphim , the youngest Bishop of our church, has proved to be an asset for the Bangalore diocese and Orthodox Church as a whole.The coming days will see lot of space being devoted to this evening's performance in Bangalore in the news as well as in church circles.

As someone was mentioning, our youngsters, the future of the church, are indeed being directed and ably led by a worthy shepherd.. The three hours at the Christ auditorium, about 3000 of the audience, were taken for a heavenly experience by Fr John Samuel and his team of young musicians and singers !!

And with the support extended by Bawa thirumeni, we all know this is just the beginning  !!



  1. I blv the celebration should be rightly called establishment of Christianity, instead of Orthodox Church. Orthodox Church formed after the split from Jacobite Church and if we blv St. Thomas landed in India then there were only St.Thomas christians.

    Now you shall see every church celebrating the same way... after all most of them can trace their roots back to St. Thomas Christians.

  2. It was to a land of dark people he was sent, to clothe them by Baptism in white robes. His grateful dawn dispelled India's painful darkness. It was his mission to espouse India to the One-Begotten. The merchant is blessed for having so great a treasure. Edessa thus became the blessed city by possessing the greatest pearl India could yield. Thomas works miracles in India, and at Edessa Thomas is destined to baptize peoples perverse and steeped in darkness, and that in the land of India." – Hymns of St. Ephraem, edited by Lamy (Ephr. Hymni et Sermones, IV).

    not that I agree that everything was dark in India during that time... if it were so, no merchants would have braved the sea to come to India.

  3. I agree with your observation and I have changed it accordingly. There is truly substance in your observation.

    It is sad that the history of 1500 years were destroyed by the Portuguese Catholioc bishop Menezes from Goa in 1599 in Udayamperoor, leading to foreign domination of our church, which finally was overcome in 1912 with the establishment of the Catholicate. We saw many Thoma Christians switch sides, shifting their allegience to foreign faiths over 400 years.


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