H.G. Thomas Mar Athanasios
Rev. Fr.ipe sam
Kudassanad is a Christian dominated township blessed with great natural beauty. The early Christians of this area are believed to have come from the regions of Nilackal. Archaeological evidence proves that up to 14th century Nilackal was a thriving Christian settlement. The Christian communities enjoyed here a wholesome and vibrant life, interacting with the neighbouring kingdoms. However, gradually they had to flee to other areas, such as Aruvithura, Chengannur, Kallooppara, Kanjirappally, Kodassanad (Kudassanad), Mallappally, Poonjar, Ranni, Thumpamon and Vaypur due to certain natural calamity or as a result of the depredations of folks from the neighbouring areas. The newcomers found the place congenial for cultivation and conducting trade. The Kings of Pandalam dynasty, the erstwhile rulers, gave them land and enabled them to practice their religion. Situated on the top of Vyppin Kunnu (Mount Vyppin), blessed with natural beauty, the Cathedral gives the feeling of the house of worship on Mount Mardin. As an essential part of our Church ceremony, the sound of the bell marks the beginning and the end of the Liturgy and provides a framework of heavenly sounds for the Church service. The sound of the bell is one of the most powerful roots of our orthodox culture. One ought to experience them, their boundless, mysterious, powerful tolling. Bells became the voice to which the faithful responded. One is consumed by God's love and is drawn to the very heart of his Saviour. Joy and peace are overwhelming and his spirits are lifted as one gets into the church. "The Sound makes you forget all your earthly thoughts and elevates you to the heavenly heights. It fills your heart with a warm, joyous feeling; you seem to be in Heaven, and far-off Paradise resounds in your heart, filling your soul with joy and hope" (N. Olovianishnikov, "The History of Bells and the Art of Bell Casting"). The Church is a center of Christianity and shelter to the faithful as well as ornamentation to Kudassanad. Centuries back our forefathers worshipped at the churches situated far away in Kadambanad and later at the St. Mary’s Church in Thumpamon established around A.D. 900. As these two churches were situated very far away a church was improvised in Kudassanad for convenience of worship. Initially a location at Mulappumpallil was found to be best-suited for the Church. But owing to some local opposition, the plan had to be shelved: This led the Church to be constructed at its present site on St. Stephen's Mount. All records of the early church are lost, following which the exact date and year of the first church cannot be estimated correctly. The true fountainhead of India’s ancient civilisation could be traced to the elevation of mind and broadening of vision attained in such ambience, where man communes with nature in all its pristine beauty. This is the feeling one gets in the church yard on top of St. Stephen’s Mount: The human approach to blend a vision for returning to nature, love nature and keep all its God given bounties intact. Relax on one of the many Apostles’ staircases. It's a wondrous place to watch the sun rise or view a perfect sunset. On return after such a visit, one gets the feeling of William Wordsworth, after his famous visit to Glencoyne Park on 15 April 1802, which inspired him to write his most famous poem “Daffodils”, which concludes thus: For oft, when on my couch I lieIn vacant or in pensive mood,They flash upon that inward eyeWhich is the bliss of solitude;And then my heart with pleasure fills,And dances with the daffodils. As the poem is essentially a comment on the pleasure Wordsworth gained from solitary contemplation, his use of the word “Lonely” would not have the same meaning as ours. His true attitude to being alone is in the “Bliss of solitude”. We must woo Nature in solitude and silence to gain entry into her secrets. It's good to be happy again - taking time to relax - not thinking about much. Just sitting in nature, one can enjoy the peace and silence. You have enough time to spend an entire evening sitting in nature thinking of the forefathers who rest at the calmness and serenity of the cemetery just beside – musing over their concern for you when you were still a child, their love, their reprimands grown out of concern for your welfare, and many more unending sweet memories. The sun lights up the evening sky into shades of purple with its rays. The coconut trees and rice fields just under your eyes sway gracefully with the wind. The rustling of the leaves could be heard from a distance. The sparkling waters of the small stream just flowing below the valley seem to stretch endlessly into the horizon. Above, the floating clouds shed many fluffy shapes against the sky.
I want to add this Cathedral in my personal Churches List as: