Eight Days Lent in the Eastern Christianity

vpaulose By vpaulose, 4th Sep 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/q8w3uxov/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

Christianity is known for its Lent season of forty days. Christmas preparation is observed for 25 days as the season of Advent. But the eight days Lent observed in Christianity is not known to many.

The eight days Lent

Observation of “eight days Lent” has been a tradition for centuries in the Churches in the east. In the southern state of India, Kerala, it is celebrated with great devotion between September 1st and 8th of every year. Many Churches in the east, including Syro Malabar Roman Catholic Church, Syro-Malankara Roman Catholic Church and Churches of the Syrian Orthodox in Kerala observe these eight days with traditional rituals and prayers. The eight days Lent honors the birthday of St. Mary, mother of Jesus. September 8 is imagined as birthday of St. Mary which has been a belief traditionally. Eight days coming before her birthday are a season of a loving preparation for her birthday.

Eight days in honor of St. Mary birthday

St. Mary birthday on September 8

St. Mary is venerated as the greatest saint by Christians since she brought Christ to this world. Although the birthday of Mary is an old feast in the Church with its origin in Palestine, it came to be celebrated in the Churches on September 8 only since the seventh century. It was brought to Rome by the Eastern monks. Since then, it gradually spread in varied ways to the other parts of the World in the centuries that followed. Eight days Lent is one of those traditional customs that is observed in the eastern Churches, especially in the Syrian Churches.

Eight days Lent

Most of the Christians in Kerala fast and pray during these days from September 1 to 8.
In Kerala the eight days Lent is rigorously observed from first to eighth day of September with charitable activities and special prayers to honor St. Mary. Praying Rosary in groups is an important custom these days.

Historical background

Eight days Lent Feast in Syrian Orthodox Churches in Kerala

Although the eight days Lent is celebrated in many parts of Kerala, Manarcad St. Mary's cathedral, located near Kottayam, Kerala, is known as the most famous one or this “Eight days Lent Feast”(Ettunombu Perunnal). This cathedral church belongs to the Church of the Syrian Orthodox in Kerala. During the Lent days, the Syrian Christian ladies gather there by thousands and observe this Lent in all devotion for seven days. Nowadays people of all religions gather there with various obligations from Mother Mary. People believe that many miracles occur through the mediation of Mother Mary. People offer decorated ornamental umbrellas(Muthukkuda) as their offering to Mother.

Traditional processions

On the last three days of the eight day celebrations, processions are held with golden crosses and ornamental umbrellas, accompanied by and visited by thousands of devotees. It is really a feast to the heart and eyes.

A historical legend of the feast

Tipu Sultan, famous Muslim king of Mysore, invaded Kerala and reached Alwaye in 1789. He was against Christianity, since he was deadly against the English colonization in India. To show his hatred, the infamous Tipu let loose atrocities on Christian women. The dismayed hapless women sought to fasting and prayer on the other bank of the river near Alwaye for 8 days, seeking the intercession of St. Mary. They were relieved when Tipu was forced to retreat and go back at the attack on Tipu’s capital by Governor General Lord Mornington. It is said that on this retreat Tipu lost everything and died prematurely. The women of Kerala celebrate this as a grateful commemoration.

Tags

Catholic Church, Decorated Umbrellas, Eight Days Lent, Fasting, Kerala, Mother Mary, Orthodox Churches, Prayers, Procession, September 8, Syro-Malabar Church, Tipu Sultan

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Comments

author avatar Judy Ellen
5th Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you for this very informative and interesting article. Since I am Protestant I never knew about this tradition! The pictures are beautiful too!!

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author avatar vpaulose
5th Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you dear.

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author avatar Robb714
11th Sep 2012 (#)


Hate me as you will but to be honest, I am really growing tired and personally insulted with your articles confusing cults with Christianity which calls for none of these symbolic fasts, idol worship and shenanigans, unfortunately most of the followers of these false religions you mentioned are basically going to hell in the end. The only thing one needs to do to go to heaven is just simply believe that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, it’s that purely simple. All that other crap is just an exercise in futility. There is only one way and it is solely personal.

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author avatar vpaulose
11th Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you dear for your loving comment.

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author avatar JOSHY M J
4th Aug 2013 (#)

Thank you for this article on Mother Mary&manarcadu church.History about Sunorroh,(a piece of cloth from Holy Mary's waist string cloth)is originally now available in the form of a cloth in Homs Syria.It is a pity that a Holy country like Syria (which also has the body of Yahya -St.John the Baptist)is now den of thieves & killers of little children as part of war since 2010.May I ask all to pray for Syria.Rich countries like USA has a liability to help shopping killings in Syria

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author avatar JOSHY M J
4th Aug 2013 (#)

Sorry pls read stopping instead of wrong word shopping

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author avatar JOSHY M J
4th Aug 2013 (#)

During a first Friday discourse on Shalom TV on 2nd AUGUST 2013 Rev .Fr.Joseph Puthenpurackal was giving a warning to those who are very proud about their own beautiful bodies by giving an insight about the thoughts of the worms on the streets which has a great apetite on dead bodies.See,What thought is coming into these worms when it see a beautiful sexy lady passes by,...according to Rev Fr.hé says it think like this..:oh ! My mouth is full of saliva..there goes a tasty item to be in my palate tomorrow..(Read FM Holy Bible St.Mathew 12:43-45

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