H.E. Veron Mar Enoch Ashe
Our beloved Metropolitan entered into his
eternal rest on January 18th, 2014. Mar Enoch was a dynamic
revelator and prophetic voice for the Universal Church. An
internationally recognized teacher and ecumenical pioneer, his profound
understanding of ancient hermeneutics was equally matched by the
ability to articulate these concepts in the modern global
context. The Mar Thoma Orthodox Church is eternally grateful for
the profound visioin of His Eminence, who changed many lives
forever. - Memory Eternal.
H.E. Avi Mar Abraham Penhollow
Bishop Avi Mar Abraham is currently the
Presiding Bishop of the MTOC. Mar Abraham served with Mar Enoch
at St. Mary of Magdala Cathedral in Fresno, CA and currently
resides at the Mar Thoma Orthodox Church of Denver.
WE ARE A COMMUNION OF
CHRISTIANS SEEKING CONTINUAL
UNION WITH THE ANCIENT FAITH
Mar Thoma Orthodox Church is a self-governing (autocephalous)
jurisdiction of the Universal Church of Jesus Christ. Our roots are
ancient and eastern. However, we also maintain our respective cultural
identity as contemporary people of the west.
teachings of The Mar Thoma Orthodox Church are derived from Holy
Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and Conciliar affirmation. Scripture
contains those truths taught by Christ to the Apostles and later put
into writing. Apostolic Tradition represents those truths, and the
conciliar nature of the church affirms the continuation of the
apostolic witness through the unity of the Spirit as manifested through
the people of God.
We are a Sacramental
that we recognize and practice Seven Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) as
channels of God's grace by which we share in the Divine Life of God
himself for our salvation. These include: Baptism, Eucharist.
Chrismation, Reconciliation, Ordination (Holy Orders), Holy Unction
(Healing and Last Rites), and Holy Matrimony.
We are a Liturgical
that expresses itself most fully in the Divine Liturgy (Holy Qurbana).
Our churches follow the example of Christ who maintained liturgical
worship and exhorted his followers to continue this practice. Christ
participated in the ritual and offerings of his time, but he also
emphatically declared that those who worship God must do so "in Spirit
and in truth." The Divine Liturgy is a sacrifice and worship offered to
God for the living and the dead, through which Orthodox Catholic
Christians share in the benefits of the bread and wine that are changed
by the Holy Spirit into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The
liturgies of The Mar Thoma Orthodox Church throughout the world derive
from St. James of Jerusalem, being the oldest continual liturgical
worship service in the Christian Church. Although the form of
expression may differ according to local and cultural standards, the
essential framework of each liturgy is that of all ancient Christian
We are an Ecumenical
that is commited to working side by side with all who proclaim Jesus
Christ as Lord. Differences of theology or denomination do not prevent
The Mar Thoma Orthodox Church from working together for the common good
for the sake of Christ.
affirm the doctrinal essentials of the First Seven Ecumenical Councils.
Our church officially
recognizes the first three ecumenical councils of the historic
Christian Church: Nicea I (325); Constantinople I (381); and Ephesus
(431). Additionally, our church affirms
the doctrinal truths and Orthodox continuity found in the first seven
ecumenical councils recognized by all Eastern
Orthodox Churches. Historically, our lineage is derived
from the Oriental Orthodoxtradition.
Such churches are often referred to as
Non-Chalcedonian, which only recognize the first three
councils as they do not believe councils 4-7 were truly ecumenical
(representative of the worldwide Christian communion). However, the Mar
Thoma Orthodox Church believes that much of the doctrinal discrepancy
Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions has more to do
with the accidents of history, differences of theological language, and
political factors, rather than essential beliefs regarding the
understanding of Christology. We pray continually for the healing
of this rift between the ancient churches, and we encourage continued
dialogue among the various factions.
symbolic statement of faith is found in the Nicene Creed,
which is common ground to Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans,
and most other Christian groups. Even churches that do not have a
tradition of using it in their services nevertheless are committed to
the doctrines it teaches.
to the Nicene Creed, The Mar Thoma Orthodox Church makes the following
statements about our Christian faith:
We are trinitarian,
in that we believe in the salvific work of the Trinity. We are
incarnational, in that we believe that Christ, as Son of God, came in
the flesh to redeem creation. We are charismatic, in that we believe in
the work of the Spirit, in the historical Church, in the teachings of
the doctors of the Church, in the lives of the saints, and each of us
believe, as do all Orthodox and Western liturgical Churches, in the
existence of a single God, who is characterized as creator, that is as
the origin of all that exists, and as almighty, that is beyond compare
in might, rule, time and being. There is no other God beside him and in
him only do we move and live.
believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son who was with the Father from
time immemorial, before the foundation of the world. We believe that in
his great mercy, God send his very Son to save the world. That eternal,
divine Son took flesh and became man in the person of Jesus, son of
Mary. He who knew no sin became of the same nature as the fallen
creation to redeem it by his blood on the cross. Through his death,
resurrection and ascension, Christ atoned for the sin of Adam, and made
us God's children. He became man so that men and women may return to
behold Mary as Theotokos, as God Bearer, as the vessel for the human
birth of Christ, who was truly God yet also truly man. Mary is to be
blessed in every generations as the one who brought forth the
incarnation of God. God saw it fit to choose a young maiden to bear his
Son and thus we must continually respect and venerate her.
believe that in the fullness of time, Christ will return in his great
glory to bring the fold back to himself and establish his kingdom,
where all may dwell in the blessed presence of the Almighty.
believe in the third person of the Trinity, who was in the beginning
and continues to reign in and over our lives. We believe that the
Spirit was the inspiration of the ancient prophets, of the doctors at
the ecumenical councils, of the prophets and teachers of today. We
believe that the Spirit informs the reason of men and women and thus,
alongside the traditions of the Church, helps us deal with present-day
crises and issues.
believe that we are part of a greater body of Christians, who have
worshiped and glorified God since the days of the Apostles. From these
Apostles and the hand of Christ came a lineage of which we are part,
the Apostolic Succession. This means that from Christ laying hands over
the Apostles and commanding them to go out into the world to preach the
Good News, generations of church leaders have carried on that great
commissions. These leaders were (and are still) called bishops, or
overseers. Our lineage comes from Thomas, Apostle and first Bishop of
India as well as St. Peter who first presided over the community at