Kunnamkulam : Seven new bishops were consecrated for the Malankara Orthodox church at Pazhanji St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral. The new bishops are His Grace Abraham Mar Stephanos (formerly Fr Abraham Thomas ), His Grace Thomas Mar Ivanios (Fr P C Thomas ), His Grace Dr Geevarghese, Mar Theophilos (Fr Varghese Joshua ), His Grace Geevarghese Mar Philexinos ( Fr Vinod George ), His Grace Geevarghese Mar Pachomios ( Kochuparambil Geevarghese Ramban ), His Grace Geevarghese Mar Barnabas (Fr Reji Geevarghese ) and His Grace Zacharia Mar Severios (Fr Zacharia Ninan ).
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews III, Catholicos of the East was the chief celebrant for the consecration ceremony which started towards the end of the holy Qurbana. All Metropolitans of the church were co – celebrants. The bishop designates were brought before the thronos ( sanctum sanctorum of the holy altar) during the cyclical prayers and incense offering in the course of the holy Qurbana and thereafter the consecration service began.
After elaborate prayers and songs, each candidate read out the Salmoosa ( the bond of allegiance to the doctrines and practices of the church )and signed and submitted the copies to the Catholicos. After this, the prayer invoking the Holy Ghost was performed and the consecration declaration was made while the chief celebrant laid his hand on each candidate’s head.
After this, assisted by the co-celebrants, the Catholicos donned the candidates with ceremonial episcopal vestements. Thereafter they were seated on thrones which were raised while the congregation sang “Oxios” which means deserving candidates.Following this, the newly consecrated bishops were given their insignia of authority such as golden chain, cross and the crosier.
Immediately after this, seated on raised thrones,each newly consecrated bishop read out texts from the gospels. The services came to an end with the new bishops offering peace to one another. His Grace Abraham Mar Stephanos, the senior most among the new bishops completed the last part of the Holy Qurbana.
Bishops’ consecration ceremony is taking place at Pazhanji St Mary’s Cathedral for the third time now. Before this, the last Bishop consecration of the Orthodox Church was in 2010 at Mar Elia Cathedral, Kottayam. Today, immediately after the consecration ceremony, a felicitation meeting was organised in honour of the new bishops. Smt. Veena George, honorable minister for health inaugurated the meeting.

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