Churches join Vidyarambham

via PNS | Kochi published on September 28, 2009

Several Christian churches in Kerala joined the Hindus in observing Vidyarambham, the ceremony of initiating tiny tots into the world of letters, on Monday, the Vijayadasami day, upholding the secular tradition of God’s Own Country. While some churches were doing it for the first time, several others kept their love for the ceremony alive by hosting the festival of letters once again.

At St Thomas Jacobite Church at Kakkanad, off Kochi, a trendsetter among the churches in hosting the ceremony, Fr Varghese Kallappara, spokesman of the Orthodox Jacobite Church, gave scores of toddlers with the sweet feast of letters. The letters for initiation were different from those in the Hindu tradition: Fr Kallappara wrote on the tongues of the toddlers the first alphabets of mother tongue Malayalam, English and their holy language, Syrian.

Hundreds of tots and parents reached the Madre de Dues Church in Thiruvananthapuram city, popularly known as the Vettukadu Church for the ceremony. The Vettukad Church had been conducting special Vidyarambham functions for the past five years.

According to Fr Gladin Alex, vicar of the church, children from not only the Vettukad parish but from different parts of the State and belonging to different faiths had arrived there to get initiated into the world of letters there.

He said around 400 children took part in the function at the church on Monday while the numb er was below 250 last year, adding a steady increase in the number of children reaching for the ceremony was being noticed in the past five years. The Vidyarambham ceremony here, led by Fr Joseph Chalil and Fr Alex, included special prayers also.

Vidyarambham ceremony was also conducted at the St George Orthodox Church at Spencer Junction and the Bishop House at Pattom in the capital city. At the Bishop’s House, four toddlers were initiated into the world of letters by Major Archbishop Mar Baselios Cleemis.

More than 30 toddlers were given the taste of letters at St George Orthodox Church in Thiruvananthapuram, which had been hosting Vidyarambham ritual for the past three years.

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