The Festival of Tabernacles 2023 came to a colourful completion at the global headquarters of the Church of Light Emperor Emmanuel Zion (CLEEZ). The Muriyadu Zion campus at Thrissur district in Kerala witnessed a celebration following a month of purification and prayerful preparation.
Zion celebrates the Festival of Tabernacles also known as 'Koodarathirunnaal' in local language in reverence to God the Father who liberated the people of God from their slavery in Egypt, to renew the memory of them living in booths in their desert sojourn to the Promised Land. The celebration traces back to ancient Jewish history and the uniqueness of the event lies in the fact that from being celebrated once upon a time in 'undivided Israel', this festival today is celebrated nowhere else in the world.
Tens of thousands of faithful representing the various cultures and languages came by families to to remote village Muriyadu for the festival celebrations. They entered the festival precincts wearing white apparels through the gateway of Zion on which was written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
The celebrations commenced with the lighting of seven lamps (Menorah) at the celebration venue. A procession of the faithful bearing palm leaves accompanied by a band followed.
The message that a joyful and grateful praise and worship of God can result in the healing of mind and body was relayed in a homily concerning the relevance of the celebration. What followed was a praise and worship session accompanied with songs by a multi-lingual choir and spiritual gala. The sessions were led by brothers Saji, Naveen Paul and Jenil Jose. The Holy Mass was concelebrated by Most Reverend Binoy Mandapathil and Job. The decorations and illuminations reminding one of the tribal booths of Israel was a novelty to behold.