Holy Qurbana - 1
At the beginning of the public service, the veil closing the sanctuary is drawn aside, signifying the appearance of the promised Messiah. At this time we speak of St. Mary who brought forth the Christ and John the Baptist who baptized Him. The whole congregation sings a song of praise while the priest, the deacon and the servers go solemnly around the altar carrying lights and incense, and waving the fans. These two Saints are remembered and their prayers are asked for because they were the two most intimately connected with the incarnation of the Lord, Mary who brought Him forth and John who prepared His way.
The priest offering incense along with deacons holding candles move in a procession around the altar. The priest represents Christ, the High Priest. The deacon who leads the procession represents John the Baptist, and the other deacons represent the Apostles and Disciples of Christ.
“Holy art thou, O God!
Holy art thou, Almighty,
Hoy art thou, Immortal,
Crucified for us,
Have mercy on us.”
According to Bar Sleebi three sets of angels came down at the time of burial of Christ. They sang, the first set ‘Holy art thou god’, the second, ‘Holy are Thou mighty’, and the third ‘Holy art Thou immortal’ and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemose (Mark 15:43) inspired by the Holy Spirit burst forth ‘Thou that was crucified for us have mercy on us’.
God is a trinity and so the number three has special significance. After the Trisagion the priest and the congregation chant kurielaison (Lord have mercy upon us) thrice.