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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Principles Of Orthodox Worship - III

by Fr. Dr. Mathew Vaidyan
Rituals, offerings and incense

God became man.

He took flesh, matter was used in the redeeming process of incarnation.

Rituals offerings and material objects were given sufficient role in the ministry of Jesus. St. Luke chapter 5 verse 14 states , “ And he charged him to tell no one : but go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing as Moses commanded for a proof to the people”.

Thus Jesus commanded to give offering and rites of thanks giving. Jesus is serious towards those who disobeyed the commandments. Jesus taught that offerings and rituals must help to be firm in faith and for the glorification of God. Jesus was respectful towards priesthood , offerings of thanks giving and vows .

Even St. Paul cut his hair at Cenchreae, for he had a vow (Acts 18:18). Bread , wine , water, oil and soil are all seen used in the redemptive process according to the Bible. “ You do this in remembrance of me, this is my body and this is my blood” commanded Jesus.

The offering of the incense is practiced in Christian worship ( See Rev. 8 : 3,4 Rev. 5:8, Heb 9:4, Mt.2: 11).

Offering of the incense is to get rid of the plagues to remove the foul smell of sin, to please the Lord with complete dedication and to keep the Biblical commandments ( See Num. 16:46- 50 ) . Ex. 35: 8, 2 Chron 2: 4, 1 kg 9: 25, Malachi 1:11 etc.)

With the offering of incense we are mingling with the prayers of all the saints. ( Rev, 8:4)

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