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experiencing the Assyrian roots

Rediscovering the heritage

Today, a day before our daughter is officially due, Catherine and I got a chance to immerse ourselves into an important, ancient and still-living aspect of my heritage -- the Assyrian Community, at the Assyrian Food Festival hosted at Mar Yosip Church (Assyrian Church of the East) in San Jose.

We had great Assyrian and Persian food -- including Ashreshteh and saffron-rice pudding.

An unexpected gift

Delightfully, we got a copy of Californian Assyrian Bishop Mor Awa Royel's book "Mysteries of the Kingdom" (about the Assyrian Sacraments), addressed to us with his blessings and prayers and signed by His Grace himself!!

The history & the present

The Syrian Malabar Nasranis (i.e St. Thomas Syrian Christians of Kerala, India) and the Assyrian Church of the East (Persia/Iraq) are inextricably linked -- historically and ecclesiastically. For the first 1500 years or so of its existence, the Indian Church recieved liturgical practices and pastoral care from and found ecclesiastic kinship with the Assyrian church. 

Today, in a twist of history borne from evil circumstances too tragic to mention, we find a beautiful and poetic symbol of the diversity in the Church -- the Indian Assyrian Patriarch, Mar Aprem Mooken, is the spiritual head (locum tenens) of the whole Assyrian church. It is a matter of pride and astonishment to consider that a Malayalee man now heads a global church, primarily of Middle Eastern ethnic origin!

(sourced from here)

The future?

The recent increase in violence against life in the Assyrian community in Syria and Iraq and the destruction of ancient heritage is a source of much agony and pain. 

(sourced from here)
Through the searing loss and the tears, one can only look forward, hoping against hope, to the ultimate redemption and consummation of history in the return of the true King and Lord of the Assyrians -- Jesus Christ -- the true Savior and King of all peoples of the earth.

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