Vachanippu (Suboro), Annunciation to St Mary - Smiocbristol
8:00 -11:00 hrs
St. Marys Indian Orthodox Church
402 1B Bank Rd, Pilning, Bristol BS35 4JG
Annunciation to the Virgin is one of the most important feasts in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, so important that the Holy Qurbana must be held on this day even if March 25th also happens to be Good Friday! (The Holy Liturgy is otherwise prohibited on Good Friday since the Church celebrates the death of Christ; in fact, the altar is stripped of all altar vessels and covered in black on Good Friday.)
Six months after John the Forerunner's conception, the Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth, a town of Galilee, unto Mary the Virgin, who had come forth from the Temple a mature maiden. According to the tradition handed down by the Fathers, she had been betrothed to Joseph for four months. On coming to Joseph's house, the Archangel declared: "Rejoice, thou Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." After some consideration, and turmoil of soul, and fear because of this greeting, the Virgin, when she had finally obtained full assurance concerning God's unsearchable condescension and the ineffable dispensation that was to take place through her, and believing that all things are possible to the Most High, answered in humility: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." And at this, the Holy Spirit came upon her, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her all-blameless womb, and the Son and Word of God, Who existed before the ages, was conceived past speech and understanding and became flesh in her immaculate body (Luke 1:26-38).
Bearing in her womb the Uncontainable One, the Blessed Virgin went with haste from Nazareth to the hill country of Judea, where Zacharias had his dwelling; for she desired to find Elizabeth her kinswoman and rejoice together with her, because, as she had learned from the Archangel, Elizabeth had conceived in her old age. Furthermore, she wished to tell her of the great things that the Mighty One had been well-pleased to bring to pass in her, and she greeted Elizabeth and drew nigh to her. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, she felt her six-month-old babe, Saint John the Baptist, prophesied of the dawning of the spiritual Sun. Immediately, the aged Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and recognized her as the Mother of her Lord, and with a great voice blessed her and the Fruit that she held within herself. The Virgin also, moved by a supernatural rejoicing in the spirit, glorified her God and Savior, saying: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior," and the rest, as the divine Luke hath recorded (1:39-55)"Shlomo, Peace be unto thee,"
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that marks the beginning of Holy Week, the holiest of weeks, in which the most important moments of Christ's life take place, which includes the suffering and torture.
Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, the day on which Christians annually observe the commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Easter is the most important Christian festival. As we celebrate this joyous Resurrection, we greet and embrace one another in Christ, thereby demonstrating our Savior's victory over death.