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Rāzā (sacraments)

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Part of the series Mirianism
Chirin
‘Idtā d-Madniiḥā d-Miryin
1 Foundations of Faith
2 God
3 Sacraments
4 Monasticism
5 Holidays
6 Cosmology
7 Eschatology
8 Soteriology
9 Important Titles
10 Apostolic Succession
11 Sacred sites
* Discussion on Mirianism


The Rāzā’, or sacraments, are the sacred mysteries (rites) of the Mirian Church that are conveyed by the Rabbaney (Mirian teachers) unto their talmiydā’ (students; devotees). These mysteries are divided into two categories: (1) Mysteries ordained by Yešwa‘ Mašyaḥ Himself in the Gospels called "Gospel Sacraments," and (2) mysteries not ordained by Yešwa‘, called "Pastoral Sacraments," but recognized elsewhere in the New Testament. Unlike other liturgical Christian traditions such as the Assyrian Church of the East, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, Mirianism has no "Holy Orders" sacrament, the sacramentalized ordinations of bishops (episcupus qayomey) and other pastoral ministers. Rather, the confirmation of ministers is subsumed under the sacrament of Nizruwta’(Chrismation), albeit with an expanded version of the liturgical form. All the sacraments are presided over by the Rabbaney, though they are not considered to be "superior in Christ-hood" to laymen. They are entrusted and bona fide to teach the way of the only Rabbi (Matt. 23:8), and High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-15), Yešwa‘ Mašyaḥ. Thus, the sacraments are conducted by a representative of the Rabbanate; the representative is thus called a Rabban, or Right Reverend. There are seven Sacraments: Blessing of New Born Infants, Chrismation, Baptism, Eucharistic Divine Liturgy, Reconciliation, Holy Matrimony, and Holy Unction. These traditional sacraments are to be performed, with absolute mindfulness of their meanings, by both the giver (Rabban) and the taker (talmiyd).

Gospel Sacraments

Ma‘mawdiyta’ (Baptism)

Theology

In Mirianism, there is no concept of the "original sin" in the Augustinian sense; the sin of Adam (ḥiṭ’ d-’adam), or the "Fall of Man", has no grip on the true nature (ra‘yān d-rēyšīyt) of the human being. "Ancestral sin" (also known as consequential sin, or ḥiṭ’ d-pērā in Mirian Syriac) is the sin which Adam and Eve passed on to their descendants, as well as humanity as a whole. Consequential sin can turn into collective sin (ḥiṭ’ kanūwšyān) or individual sin (ḥiṭ’ qnawmay), all leading to a common source. However, the guilt (ḥuwb) of the consequential sin of Adam was not passed on to his descendants, but the consequences are inevitably suffered by them. "The act of Adam is not the responsibility of all humanity, but the consequences of that act changed the reality of this present age of the cosmos. Historically, Eastern Christians resisted the Western concept that Adam's sin compromises human freedom."[1] Karmic iniquities are indeed passed through human lineages, but do not have a hold on the inborn original mind (ra‘yān d-rēyšīyt). This is what is meant by "consequential" or ancestral sin.

One must repent and be baptized with the "inner water" to cleanse his/her conscience from the ignorance that produces "self-made" sin. This is what is meant by collective and individual sin.

Liturgical Form

In the Mirian Church, the Rabban immerses the recipient with water in a pool called Peškiin (literally meaning "pool"; sometimes called Peškiin d-Ma‘mawdiyta’ or "Pool of Baptism") and utters these words:

"This person is baptized by my hands into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"

Qurbānā (Eucharistic Divine Liturgy)

Also known as Qurbānā d-Qudishā, the Mirian Eucharist is a revised version of the Liturgy of St James, and is not conducted by a priest, but the Rabban and the Master of Ceremonies.

Theology

The Divine Liturgy (Holy Communion) is viewed as the ritualistic representation of the divine presence, made manifest in bread and wine. It is where heaven and earth unite, by our taking part in such a practice. "Eating and drinking the body and blood of Jesus means confronting here and now the one who is the judge as well as the savior of all."[2]

Liturgical Form

See here for the full text.

Ḥatnuw (Holy Matrimony)

Like many other Christian traditions, the Mirian Church puts an emphasis on the sacredness of marriage (ḥatnuw). It views marriage as a sacred act and is that which should be holy between an engaged couple. Blessings by a Rabban or a Nazirite are taken during a formal marriage. Yeshwa is believed to have sanctified marriage within the gospels, so it is therefore a Gospel Sacrament.

Pastoral Sacraments

‘Owlā’ Baruwk b-Ma‘mawdiyta’ (Blessing of Infants in Baptism)

The Blessing of Infants in Baptism is a sacrament of infant baptism as used by the ancient Churches. Echoing the baptismal tradition of the other Eastern Churches, ‘Owlā’ Baruwk is practiced on the eighth day after the infant's birth.

Theology

Like infant baptism for Orthodox Christians, ‘Owlā’ Baruwk is not just a symbol but also a means of divine grace and protection. It is infant baptism in form or function, and resembles that of the ancient Christian Holy Orders ritual in that the giver of the blessing uses the laying on of hands. This echoes the action of Yeshwa in Matthew 19:13-15.

The belief that children are born innocent of any curses of the Law is well founded in Scripture, but as children grow older (ages 7 and over), they have a tendency to develop sinful natures within themselves. A child may get baptized after birth as a covenant replacing circumcision in addition to receiving divine grace and protection. Because a child may have the mental capactity to take inner baptism at age 7, he/she can be baptized again through outer baptism by the laying on of hands before taking the Qurbānā. This also applies to young adults, older adults, and the elderly who are also subject to the consequential sin of Adam.

Liturgical form

In the Mirian Church of the East, the Rabban places his hands over the child to be blessed and utters these words:

"I bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"

The Rabban then gives the child a sanctified tonsure (giyzā’), and makes the sign of the cross over the infant.

Niyzruwta’ (Chrismation)

Liturgical form

In the Mirian Church, the Rabban seals the newly admitted with chrism, making the sign of the cross on the forehead, eyes, ears, nostrils, breast, back, hands and feet using the following words each time:

"The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit (Ruha d-kudisha)".

Tyaruwta’ (Reconciliation)

Also known as Confession, Tyauruta is not just "an occasion for the expression of remorse, the removal of guilt, or the assurance of forgiveness", but a time of spiritual/psychological evolution (transfiguration).

Theology

Liturgical Form (Absolution)

Mašyaḥuta’ (Holy Unction)

The sacrament of Holy Unction provides both physical and spiritual healing with holy oil blessed by the Holy Spirit. It is most commonly celebrated during Holy Week on Holy Wednesday evening, but private services are also common.

Theology

Holy Unction is enacted as a symbolic representation of mind and body becoming whole through the anointing of the sacrament taker with sanctified olive oil (Mishā). Since ancient times, oil has been used as a medicinal ointment for the health benefits that it provided. It serves as a substantial representation of the Holy Spirit, and acts as the physical aspect of the Spirit's blessing.

Liturgical Form

The full service is composed of psalms (beginning with Psalm 51) from the Old Testament, hymns of direct supplication to God, and prayers to the saints to intercede for the petitioner. Readings from the Gospels preceded by another New Testament writing, notably the epistle of St. James, are also given.

At the end of the service, the Rabban puts holy oil on the forehead, eyes, ears, nostrils, lips, chest, and hands of the parishioners in the form of the cross, saying:

"The blessing of the Lord our God, and our Saviour Yešwa‘ Mašyaḥ: for the healing of the soul and body of thy servant, [name], always: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amiyn."

Notes

  1. "Original sin." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 5 May 2009, 02:13 UTC. 12 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Original_sin&oldid=287974322>.
  2. Wright 2008, pg. 142

References

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