Today we will learn about Meaning of Church Vessels.
Thabilitho - this is a piece of wooden slab placed at the center of the altar and is covered with cloth. The Paten and Chalice are placed over it. It is consecrated with Holy Chrism by a Bishop during the consecration of a church. Each tabalitho has inscribed on it the following: "The Holy Ghost has hallowed this tabalitho by the hands of Mar..." and the year. The Holy Qurbana can be celebrated any where with this slab. Without this the Qurbana cannot be celebrated. Thabilitho symbolizes the cross on which our Lord was crucified.
The Cross - The cross is placed in the middle of the altar. It symbolizes our Lord's sacrifice on Mount Golgotha. The Cross is the symbol of peace, victory, and salvation. It is also described as the weapon in the struggle against Satan.
The sign of cross is made with the right hand. The thumb, first finger, and second finger are brought together and the first finger is extended further than the thumb and second finger, indicating that Christ is the One and Only Savior. The sign of cross is drawn starting from the forehead, down to the chest and then from the left to the right shoulder. This tradition symbolizes that the Lord Christ, came down to earth from the heights, and redeemed our earthly body from the gloomy paths of darkness (left), to the paths of truth and light (right).
Candles - God is the light of the world. Jesus said "I am the light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life" John 8:12. The candle in the middle of the altar represent the resurrected Lord. The twelve candles represents the twelve Apostles. The burning of wax reminds us that we should be prepared to sacrifice ourselves to lighten others.