Tag Archives: Christian Literature Society

17 May, 1889 Birth of Military Chaplain Rev. T. M.Mathai

Father John McGovern gives mass in France during World War II. (U.S. Army Signal Corps)

For Illustrative Purposes – Military Chaplain Father John McGovern gives mass in France during World War II. (U.S. Army Signal Corps)

17 May, 1889:Birth of Scout Achen,Rev. T. M.Mathai,Punnathundiyil, Kuriannoor.
Rev.T. M. Mathai, was born as a member of the Punnathundiyil family of Kuriannoor, and he became a priest in 1913. He may be the only Mar Thoma Priest who served as a British Military Chaplain during World War Two.
He was also the first missionary priest in Karwar in Karnataka.  He was also the first priest of the St. John’s Mar Thoma Parish in Khadki, Pune. The Pune Mar Thoma congregation. The parish  then comprised of members from different areas namely Pune, Kirkee, Pimpri, Dehu Road, Dighi and Vishrantwadi.
He also served as the District Commissioner of the Scout movement in Kerala and was popularly known as Scout Achen . He stayed in Charalkunnu  for many years, before the establishment of the Sunday School Samajam Camp Center.
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Rare 1986 Documentary on the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church

A Must Watch Special Documentary with rare footage on the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church – (English/Malayalam) produced in 1986. It offers a peek into the history, rich culture and heritage of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church.

A Malaysian presentation in conjunction with the 150th Anniversary of the REFORMATION in the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church. (Please watch and share).

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World Sunday School Day: 1st November 2014 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got Sunday School)

George Romney's portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

George Romney’s portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

2nd November 2014 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 2nd November, 2014 as World Sunday School Day.

Robert Raikes (1735- 1811), an English Publisher, started the first Sunday School in the city of Gloucester in England in 1780. During the early days, reading, arithmetic and Bible was taught at the Sunday Schools.

In 1809, Church representatives of the Malankara Churches held a meeting at Kandanadu Church, near Ernakualam to arrange facilities to teach children in the Church about religion, prayers and sacraments. The India Sunday School Union was founded in 1876.The Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam was established on 25 February 1905, at the Maramon Convention. 


We encourage our readers to read and share this Free 4 page PDF Ebook Resource for your Sunday Schools and children’s services:  Robert Raikes and How We Got Sunday School


Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

Pages from History: 27 September, 1947: Formation of Church of South India (with Photos)

CSI union

                                Photo credit: http://www.csisynod.com

CSI Church logo

27 September, 1947: Formation of Church of South India (CSI) in 1947, as a union of Anglican, Presbyterian, Congregationalist and Methodist churches. The idea of a Church union was proposed in 1919 at a conference held in Tranquebar (now Tarangambadi) in 1919. After 28 years of discussions various denominational churches in South India established by different Missionary societies agreed to the formation of the Church of South India in 1947 after India attained independence. The inaugural ceremony was held at St. George Cathedral Madras (Chennai).

Today the Church of South India is one of the largest Protestant churches in India and is a member of the Anglican Communion and its bishops participate in the Lambeth Conferences. It is also a member of the World Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the National Council of Churches in India.

The Church of South India (CSI), Church of North India (CNI), and Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India jointly formed the Communion of Churches in India (CCI) in 1978 for mutual recognition of the ministry and leaders, inter communal relationship, and to explore possibilities of working together and other areas of cooperation in the fulfillment of the mission of the Church in India.

At the inauguration of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

At the inauguration of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

The presiding bishop of the inaugural function was the Rt. Revd. C. K. Jacob of the Anglican Diocese of Travancore and Cochin. A vast congregation gathered in the cathedral at Madras from all over the world. The following historical declaration was made by Bishop Jacob at the inaugural service.

“Dearly beloved brethren, in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ the head of the church, who on the night of his passion prayed that his disciples might be one, and by authority of the governing bodies of the uniting churches whose resolutions have been read in your hearing and laid in your prayer before Almighty God; I do hereby declare that these three churches, namely – the Madras, Madura, Malabar, Jaffna, Kannada, Telugu, Travancore Church councils of the South India United Church; the Methodist Church of South India, Trichinopoly, Hyderabad and Mysore districts; the Madras, Travancore and Cochin, Tinnevelly and Dornakal dioceses of the Churches of India, Burma and Ceylon; are become one Church of South India, and these bishops, presbyters, deacons and probationers who have assented to the basis of union and accepted the constitution of the Church of South India, whose names are laid upon this holy table, are bishops, presbyters and deacons of this church. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.” ~ wikipedia

Inauguration procession of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration procession of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration procession of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration procession of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Photo credit: www.csisynod.com

                                 Photo credit: http://www.csisynod.com

Presiding Bishop Rt. Revd. C. K. Jacob at the Inauguration of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Presiding Bishop Rt. Revd. C. K. Jacob at the Inauguration of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Clergymen from 5 Protestant faiths attending the inaguration of the Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Clergymen from 5 Protestant faiths attending the inaguration of the Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

St George's Cathedral, Chennai (photo credit - wiki)

         St George’s Cathedral, Chennai (photo credit – wiki)

Pages from History: 4 September, 1847: Henry Francis pens Hymn ‘Abide with me’

4 September, 1847: Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) writes the Hymn “Abide with me” (Malayalam – Koode paarkka neram vaikkunnitha, No.8 (7) in Kristheeya Keerththanagal). Lyte wrote this hymn at the end of his life, just two months before he died. The text for this Hymn was taken from Luke’s Gospel Ch.24 v. 29 “Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent”.

Henry Francis Lyte

Henry Francis Lyte

Pages from History: 3 September, 1889 – Birth of Sadhu Sunder Singh

Sadhu Sunder Singh was a member of an ancient, aristocratic, and wealthy Sikh family from the village of Rampur in the State of Patiala. He was very religious. Jesus appeared to him in a vision in the early hours of 18th December 1904. Like Paul he heard a voice “Why do you persecute me? Remember that I gave my life for you upon the Cross”. On Sunday, the 3rd of September, 1905, on his sixteenth birthday, he was baptized in St. Thomas Church at Simla according to the rite of the Anglican Church.

Sadhu Sundar Singh

Sadhu Sundar Singh

A month after his baptism, Sundar Singh donned the yellow linen robe that celibate Indian Sadhus wore and set out to preach the gospel, carrying nothing but a New Testament. From now on he would have no permanent home and no income.”I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord,” he said, “but like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all people of the love of God.’ He also authored eight books.  

He is believed to have died in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1929 on his way to Tibet. His body was never found. 

Sadhu Sundar Singh

Sadhu Sundar Singh

Pages from History: William Carey passes away (1834)

9 June, 1834: William Carey often called “the father of modern Protestant missions” dies, having spent 41 years in India without a furlough. His mission could count only about 700 converts, but he had laid a foundation of Bible translations, education, and social reform.

He also inspired the missionary movement of the nineteenth century, especially with his cry, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God “. As per his will he was buried in the Serampore Cemetery with the following inscription on the tomb stone “William Carey, Born 17 Aug 1761, Died 9 June, 1834; A wretched, poor and helpless worm, on thy kind arms I fall”.

William Carey: The Shoemaker Who Became the Founder of Modern Missions; John Brown Myers; London 1887

William Carey: The Shoemaker Who Became the Founder of Modern Missions; (John Brown Myers; London 1887)

William Carey's tombstone at the Serampore Christian burial grounds (Photo from http://www.careyfamilynetwork.co.uk)

William Carey’s tombstone at the Serampore Christian burial grounds (Photo from http://www.careyfamilynetwork.co.uk)

 

Pages from History: Anglican Church ordains first priest from Pulaya Community (1931)

31 May, 1931: Anglican Church ordains first priest from Pulaya Community. Due to the work of CMS missionaries many people from the backward classes were converted to Christianity. But Syrian Christians were not willing to worship with them or accommodate them in their churches or society.

Special churches were made to for them and they were  treated as untouchables by the high Class Syrian Christians. On 31st May, 1931, Mr. P. J. Isaac a member of the Pulaya community was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Moore in an effort to eradicate this social evil.

Pages from History: Parliament orders the publication of the Book of Common Prayer (1548)

1 April, 1548: The British Parliament orders the publication of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Though Thomas Cranmer is rightly credited with the final form of the BCP, he worked with a committee of scholars, including Reformer Martin Bucer, to shape his famous liturgy.

The Book of Common Prayer is the common title of a number of prayer books of the Church of England and used throughout the Anglican Communion. The first book, published in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English Reformation following the breach with Rome.

Prayer books, unlike books of prayers, contain the words of structured (or liturgical) services of worship. The work of 1549 was the first prayer book to contain the forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English and to do so within a single volume; it included Morning Prayer, evening prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion. The book included the other occasional services in full: the orders for baptism, confirmation, marriage, ‘prayers to be said with the sick’ and a funeral service.

Book of common Prayer 2

Title page of the 1662 Prayer Book, printed by John Baskerville in 1762

Book of common Prayer

Pages from History: Birth of Hymn writer Fanny Crosby (1820)

24 March, 1820: Birth of Hymn writer Fanny Crosby. Frances Jane Crosby commonly known as Fanny Crosby, was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns despite becoming blind after birth. She is also known for her preaching and speaking. During her lifetime Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the States.

To this day, the vast majority of American hymnals contain her work. Some of her best known songs include “Blessed Assurance”  “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home” “Praise Him, Praise Him” and “To God be the Glory”. Since some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 100 different pseudonyms during her career.

Hymn writer Fanny Crosby

Hymn writer Fanny Crosby