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Looking for a Marthoma Life Partner? Register Free NowMalankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church (Malankara Mar Thoma Suriyani Sabha as it is called in native Malayalam) is one of the oldest groups of praticising Christians in the world. Believed to be followers of one of the original disciples of Jesus Christ - St. Thomas (also called Didimus or Thomas, the doubter). It is widely believed that the Apostle St. Thomas came to Muziris on the south west coast of India in AD 52 and laid the foundations of Christianity in this part of the world. Today, the headquarters is located at SCS Campus, Thiruvalla, Kerala, India and has over a million adherents spread worldwide. The goal and function adopted by the church is: To be the repository of the divine doctrines revealed by Jesus Christ and proclaimed by His Apostle, To maintain these doctrines in their purity, To promote the spiritual life of its members through the administration of sacraments and by the ministry of the WORD, To make disciples of all nations by the proclamation of the Gospel to all the world, and through the administration of Holy Baptism in the name of True God .
Since the history of the Marthoma Syrian Church goes back a few centuries ago, and because the first Marthomas were initially Hindus before they were converted to Christianity, it is not surprising that many of the rituals and practices seen in Marthoma Churches have a resonance in Hindu customs and practices. Since marriages are social ceremonies, weddings become the prized event where one gets to see a plethora of intermingling and interw oven customs. The minnukettu equivalent of thaalichaarth in Hindu weddings, dowry system and so on are customs that have found their way into the Marthoma wedding rituals from other religions.
Some Syrian Marthomas still believe in the authentici of horoscopes and astrology and it plays an important role in arranging a marriage. Like in most Christian sects, arranged marriages are not just common, but they are the norm. A Marthoma Syrian Wedding service in conducted in Malayalam and Syriac, an Aramic language, believed to have been spoken by Jesus and his followers, both. The verses are usually in Syriac and are sung in a lilting tone by the presiding priests. The groom, dressed smartly in a suit and the bride dressed in white, either a saree or a gown stand in front of the altar for the ceremonies to begin. The chief priest sings a few chosen verses in Syriac which are often repeated by other priests present at the ceremony. Once this is over, the priest blesses the maanthrakodi and the minnu, which are kept on the altar table with the sacred cross.
This done, the priest then moves towards the groom, and blesses him with the cross, after which he puts a gold chain with a cross around the groom’s neck. The same is repeated with the bride too. After this, the customs that follow are essentially similar to any other Christian wedding. The minnukettal, draping of the manthrakodi over the bride’s head are all akin to wedding customs in other churches.
The distinguishing feature of Marthoma weddings is the music. The church choir sings popular Marthoma Wedding songs like Vaaneenudayon, Edan thottam, aadimaneethi throughout the marriage ceremony. This make the whole ceremony, which is usually slightly longer than wedding ceremonies of certain other sects, both entertaining as well as beautiful.