Wisdom of Life

We Mar Toma Nazaranees

marthoma-nazranis

We Mar Toma Nazaranees are the St. Thomas Christians of India.  We have our own special Christian life-style and liturgical celebrations.
St. Thomas (Mar Toma) was one of the twelve apostles (Slihe) of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is called Nazarene as the major portion of his earthly life was spent at Nazareth, a town in the northern region of Palestine.  Thus, Mar Toma Nazaranees are those who follow Jesus the Nazarene according to the unique faith-experience of Mar Toma (St. Thomas).
Mar Toma Margam
Mar Toma Margam is the unique Christian life-style of the Mar Toma Nazranees.  Margam is a Sanskrit word (now used in several other Indian languages too) that signifies the “way of life” or “life-style”, especially of a religious nature.  Thus Mar Toma Margam is the particular Christian life-style, introduced in India by Mar Toma, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.  Centuries back, in the beginning of Christian era itself, this special Christian life-style germinated in our own motherland India through St. Thomas (Mar Toma) who lived with, touched and experienced the Son of God, Jesus.
Mar Toma Margam is hope incarnate; the Bible is its heart and the Mar Toma Sliba (St. Thomas Cross), its expression.

“Mar Toma Nazranees (St. Thomas Christians) are those who live according to the Mar Toma Margam.  They are God-fearing and God-loving Catholics.  Their Qurbana and other liturgical celebrations have their own special features and distinctive characteristics.  Wherever they are, the Mar Toma Nazranees are bound to live according to this particular life-style.”

Holy Qurbana
            The Centre of Mar Toma Margam is the Holy Qurbana.  The most solemn form of Qurbana is called Raza.  The other two are solemn and simple forms of Qurbana.
Holy Qurbana is the re-enactment through signs and symbols, of the redemptive work perfected and completed in Jesus Christ.
 

On all important occasions when the Mar Toma Nazranees get together, the Qurbana is celebrated.
“When you are gathered together in my name, do this that I have done, in remembrance of me” (Order of the Raza).

Mother Tongue Of Jesus As Our Liturgical Language
Today we celebrate the Holy Qurbana in our own mother tongue.  But from the very beginning, namely, the time of St. Thomas the Apostle, up to July 3, 1962, we used to celebrate Qurbana in Syriac language.  Syriac, however, is same as the Aramaic language, the mother tongue of Jesus.  Both the Bible and the early Church tradition owe a lot to this language and its semitic cultural background.
To become scholars in Syriac language and culture, was always considered something very prestigious by Mar Toma Nazranees.  Syriac language was the medium of expression for Mar Toma Margam.

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3 Comments

  • T.A.George

    Dec 04, 2012

    Reply

    Ref. to our Suriyani language of our holy Mass, I had taken photo copy from our Holy Qurbana book, and showed it the Locals ( Arabs ) they in turned showed it to some senior professors of of Dubai Police Academy ( I am in Dubai, my sponsor is senior Police and the Director Gen of the Dubai Police Academy ) they cold not locate this language. Can you please tell at present where we can find these language, when it is read out many word are similar in Arabic. Thanks and regards, T.A.George

    • admin

      Dec 04, 2012

      Reply

      Hi George, Thank you for visiting our site. Appreciate your interest on our tradition. Suriyani or Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, is the language that was widely used in the Middle East until 8th century, before Arabic replaced it. East Syriac and West Syriac are the two dialects of Syriac. East Syriac was the living language in Persian Sassanids (3rd-7th century) and west Syriac was developed in the emperoros of Greek Byzantium, who waged war against each other. There are differences in the scripts, vowel system and pronunciation for these two dialects, but both these dialects have similar vocabulary grammatical structure. Click here to see the Wikipedia page about Syriac language. Check Nasranifoundation.org website to know more about Easters Syriac and for Syriac Transliteration tools

  • T.A.George

    Dec 04, 2012

    Reply

    Thanks for the response, I am eager and interested in knowing more and more on the roots of different Rites. I do spent some efficiency , knowledge, vision, imagination etc on the unification of Malayalam specking Apostolic Churches to One Shepard , please correspond with me on my mail id " T.A.George " , George Dubai ( I will also be having some roots at Cheruvally/Chirakadave , though I have not seen those places )

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