Friday, March 18, 2011

Great Lent #13 - 19/03/2011

Meaning of Church Vessels contd.

The Chalice and Paten - The Chalice which holds the Eucharistic wine is the most important of all sacramental vessels. The Patent holds the Eucharistic bread. The Paten and Chalice recall the mystery of the Last Supper, the bread standing for the Body of Christ and the Wine for His precious Blood.

Shushafo (Veil) - This white veil is used to cover the Paten and Chalice. It represents the fact that the Divine Mysteries are hidden from the understanding of men and that the divinity and humanity united in Christ, the Divine Word, is beyond human comprehension just the same way as the transformation of bread and wine to flesh and blood of Christ is beyond our perception.

The Censer - It has a lower half and upper half, four chains and 12 bells. The lower cup of the censer represents the earth and the upper cup the heaven. The coal in it represents the sinners. The chains represent the Holy Trinity. The first chain stands for God the Father. The second and third chains represent the human and Godly nature of the son. The fourth chain represents the Holy Spirit. The 12 bells represent the 12 Apostles of Christ. The four chains have a total of 72 links to represent the 72 evangelists of the Old Testament who prepared men to be worthy of the new covenant with God. The fire signifies the Holy Spirit by whose contact the black coal shines and glows. The incense shows the grace of the Holy Trinity. As the smoke goes up to the high so also our prayers should go high (Psalm 141:2)

Marvahtho (Fan) - A Fan shaped silver object mounted on a long pole. In the center of the fans, the seraphic face and wings are represented. The fans symbolize the presence of angels around the altar. The sounds represent the seraphim's and the flutter of their wings around the mysteries. It is carried in processions and shaken at the most solemn parts of the Qurbana.

The Lectern (Gospel stand or Evengelion table) - This is the pulpit which symbolizes the heights of Mount Sinai from where God spoke to Moses and handed him the stone tablets (Exodus 34:2). Mathew 5:1 tells us that Christ went up a mountain to preach the gospel to the multitude. Therefore the Book of gospel, which points to Christ Himself, is placed on the gospel stand.

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