Questions and Reply

Question:

As per our belief How do I pray? When do I pray? What do I Pray? Is our prayers includes our own worldly matters? is it right to ask in pray about our personal matters or only spiritual matters? If its spiritual matters what all can request in the pray. In the Bible its mentioned about praying continuously? how do we practically do it.

Reply

There are two types of prayers. One is public prayer. The other is personal prayer. For public prayer the Church fathers have specified seven times in a day to pray. Theses seven times can be combined together to have two, morning and evening prayers. Our liturgies are to be included in this category.

Personal prayer can include all kinds of things, your personal petitions, your prayer for others and any other thing you want to present before God including penitence.

According to Orthodox understanding, there is no distinction between worldly and spiritual. Every thing is spiritual. Your request before God to get a job is for some a worldly thing. But for Orthodox it is spiritual. Any thing that will make you and your neighbor a better person is spiritual.  Yes you do pray continuously because what ever you do in your life is prayer. You study in your school, work in your office, spend time with your relatives or work in the field or drive your car, every thing has an element of prayer. That means you are presenting that particular time and what you do at that time before God and for your and other’s benefit. This approach will decide the quality of what you do. Every thing will be done in a prayerful mood, that is every thing as a presentation before God.

Question

1. What is the colour of MOSC flag? I’ve seen saffron and yellow used. What does it signify?

2. The colour of cassock used by bishops I believe differs. Why is this?

3. My final question is with regard to the concept of ‘dashaamsham’, where an individual is expected to contribute 1/10th of his income to the church. When the government provides tax exception for people below a certain income level, is it fair on the part of church to encourage this given the current rate of inflation and all? I don’t think our church has such a policy but few people are campaigning on this. What are your views on this matter?

Reply

1.The colour of the flag of Orthodox Church is yellow. I have not seen a good explanation for using this colour any where. Probably we got it from one of those Churches which influenced us in the past like the Chaldean Church and the Antiochean Church. There are other Churches also who use this colour like Greek Orthodox Church. Even the Vatican and the Papal flags have yellow on it. If you are looking for the meaning of yellow, it could be spirituality, joy etc.

2. The colour of the cassock of bishops has to be black just like that of the priests. But we followed the Antiochean Church that followed Old Catholic tradition of using red cassock for bishops. In India both black and red colours are not good for regular use due to our climate. So we try to lighten the red colour. Now we have light, reddish colours. Some of us use saffron colour following Indian tradition.

3. We in the Church do not make it mandatory for members to contribute one tenth of their income. This is an Old Testament practice and though they do not accept all of OT, the Pentecostals require its members to contribute this way that they can make some extra money in the name of God. There could be stray occasions of asking for 1/10 in our Church. That may be for a particular project and does not need to be a serious issue.

Regards and prayers

Thirumeni