Meeting Concerning the Use of Lectionaries

22 December 2021 — Mir Izgadda, the Beit Knushta, the Teacher of Righteousness, +Mar David, the Teacher of Light, Garendra Tarendra, Michael Tarendra, and others met concerning the use of the various lectionaries within the spiritual communities of the Religion of Light. As most know, the Beit Knushta is primarily the governing body for the Assembly of Jerusalem and its communities (Mshikhanim, St. Thomas Christians, Thomasines, Netzarim, Yeshuans, and others) under the headship of the Teacher of Righteousness.

There were many topics discussed at the meeting, but what is being published here at this time, is the usage of lectionaries. Mir Izgadda stated that the usage of a single lectionary is appropriate, especially within the United Covenant. Spiritual communities that have entered the United Covenant should no longer use the older lectionaries. The St. Thomas Christians, most Manichaeans and the Ancient Orthodox Church of Jerusalem have entered into the United Covenant. Some members in Sout-East Asia and Yemen have yet to be reached concerning their invitation.

Mir Izgadda emphasized the importance of unity in all matters of liturgical life, both congregational and private. He stated, “This does mean that individuals can not have private devotions that are not part of the Covenant. For example, there are some from a Catholic background who may wish to continue using the rosary, or others who honour Saints that are not within the United Covenant’s calendar of saints. Such devotions are worthy as long as they do not conflict with the principles of the Religion of Light. However, all spiritual communities within the United Covenant, should be using the same lectionary.”

+Mar David stated, “If you as an individual are a member of the United Covenant, but serve the needs of brothers and sisters of a community that is not yet part of that Covenant, you yourself should be using the United Covenant lectionary, but you may continue serving those in your care with a different lectionary if it is necessary for them. In other situations, you may wish to gradually introduce the United Covenant lectionary to your spiritual community, even if they are not, or may never be part of that Covenant. It would be a blessing for them.”

Michael Tarendra stated, “It would be a blessing indeed! And it would be best if everyone was on the same page. Each spiritual community has its own saints and names of angels and Divine Messengers that are celebrated throughout the year, but when it comes to the United Covenant, there should be unity. If a person wishes to commemorate the memory of a saint from other spiritual communities, that should be fine, but when representing the United Covenant, we have certain obligations.”

The Lectionary for the United Covenant is based on the Scripture readings that are regarded as obligatory by Mir Izgadda in this era. He mentioned these in a message titled “Readings for Gatherings”. In that message he stated that “on the seventh day of the week (Saturday), you should come together to read portions of Torah. On Sundays, you should read the words of the Didache. On Mondays, you should read from the Gospel of Holy Prophet Mani. On Wednesdays, you should read from the appointed words of the Oahspe [only specific books of the Oahspe].” He also stated the importance of continuing to read sacred texts that we are accustomed to even if they are not central texts of the United Covenant. In the message he said: “In addition to these books, you should continue reading the sacred texts that are traditional to your community, for example, the Psalms of Israel, Proverbs of Solomon, New Testament, Gospels of Matthew and Thomas, Epistle of James, and others. But every day, you should read from the words of the Giliana Kudsha.” The Giliana Kudsha consists of the revelations (messages) given through Mir Izgadda and certain other Divine Messengers. The term literally means “holy revelations”.

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