Holy Passion Week – Vaadhe D’ Thalmeeno
Christ is certainly coming into our midst. This is what His entry at Jerusalem signifies. The kingdom is in an important sense inaugurated when Christ entered Jerusalem. But Christ will also come into our own midst unexpectedly, amidst our own lives, and in connection to the hour of our departure from this world. So, whether we prepare for this meeting with Christ will be up to us. We can genuinely work towards Him like the faithful children of Israel who cried out in sincerity: “Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord”.
Vaadhe D’ Thalmeeno is a preparatory service conducted at the outset of the Holy Week, at the Third Hour on Monday Night, signifying the commencement of the Week of Passion of Lord Jesus Christ. The service revolves around the parable of ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom; five of them were wise, and five were foolish. The wise and foolish virgins are CHRISTIAN SOULS. This service involves a procession, around the Church, each one holding with lighted candles. After the reading of the Gospel (Matthew 25: 1-13), the Celebrant will stand before the closed door of the Western side of the church, knocks it, opens it and then invite the church congregation into the bridal-chamber of eternal joy in Christ Jesus our Lord, the Creator and Redeemer and Eternal Bridegroom of our souls. The Vaade ‘dalmeeno Service is a reminder for all to prepare themselves to enter into the ‘Harbor of Resurrection’
Bridegroom takes the five wise virgins along with Him, since only the wise five could possess the oil. The oil signifies the grace of the All-Holy Spirit of God which is obtained and acquired through fasts, vigils, prayer, almsgiving, and every good deed done for Christ’s sake. The oil in the lamps of the wise virgins, could burn long and brightly, and these virgins with their burning lamps were able to meet the Bridegroom, that is, from corruption to incorruption, from spiritual death to spiritual life, from darkness to light, from the stable of our being (where the passions are tied up like dumb animals, into a Temple of the Divinity, into the shining bride chamber (Heaven)
The blessed will rejoice in their recompense, when they enjoy that vision of Him in Whose presence the elements tremble. They will then go in with Him to the marriage. As they rejoice in the nuptials of the Bridegroom, they themselves will be the bride; for in the bridal chamber of the eternal Kingdom, they are united forever to their God. Thenceforth, that vision can never be snatched from them. The door of the Kingdom will close forever upon those left outside, who then will weep.
However, the same door is now open to all penitents. There will be repentance then, but it will be fruitless. When the Bridegroom comes, those that wasted time that might have be used for repentance shall not find pardon. Thus St. Paul warns us: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6: 2). The Prophet Isaiah says: “Seek ye the Lord, and when ye find Him, call upon Him” (Is. 55:6).
We need to prepare ourselves & wait for the experience of eternal life and for the revelation of the Kingdom of God (Rev. 21: 1). So, we should not be afraid or shaken in mind, “not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come”. (2 Thess. 2: 2) as to how and when the world will end, but should be watchful, vigilant, prepared and prayerful at all times, obediently and in faith awaiting, His Second Coming. Our focus should be on the preparation to Eternal Life in Christ. Diligently doing our duties, encouraging one another. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thess. 5: 11).