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Naheere - Order of Entrance into Heaven

Celebrated on the Eve of Monday during Passion Week, the Order of the Entrance into Heaven, commonly known as Naheere "the lights", revolves around the parable of the ten virgin, or bridesmaids (Matthew 25). The service commences with a procession with all lights off and the curtain of the altar drawn. The clergy and the faithful hold lit candles during the procession which gives the service its name. The service consists of prayers, hymns, and readings from the Holy Bible.

The service ends with a dramatic entrance into the altar resembling the entrance of the wise virgins into heaven: The celebrant stands in front of the closed curtain and chants: cal haw tarco (see hymn below) three times, each time the deacons and the faithful repeating after him. Then the priest shouts thrice moran, moran ftah lan tarcokh "O Lord, O Lord, open Thy door for us," after which the lights in the church are turned on and simultaneously the curtain is opened. The clergy enter the altar with a hymn of rejoice, accompanied by the peels of the bells on the fans and the censor.

Excerpts from the Naheere Service

Qolo: Mshiho Natareh Lcidtokh


Our Savior spoke in parables and proverbs.
He said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like the virgins;
Those who took the lamps and went out
To meet the bridegroom and the bride.
They all became drowsy and slept.
At midnight there was a shout,
"The bridegroom has arrived."
The wise ones entered with him,
And the foolish ones remained outside the door,
Crying and wailing, which no words can describe.

Qolo: Btarcokh Moran


At Your door, O Lord, I knock,
And From Your treasury I ask for mercies.
I am a constant sinner and have turned aside from Your way.
Grant me to confess and renounce my sins,
And to live in Your grace.

At whose door, other than Yours,
Shall we knock, O Gracious Lord?
Whom do we have to plead with You on behalf of our transgressions,
If Your own mercy pleads not?
O King, Whom the kings worship and glorify.

cAl Haw Tarco

Peter sat crying at the outer door:
Rabi - my Lord, open Your door;
I am Your disciple.
Let the heaven and earth weep for me,
For I have lost the keys of heaven.

Note: The celebrant representing St. Peter chants this hymn thrice; each time the faithful repeat after him. The hymn has a reference to Christ's giving the keys of Heaven to Peter. After this hymn, the celebrant cries thrice "Moran - Our Lord, our Lord, open your door to us."


Ma`de`dono: The Book of the Church Festivals (1984).

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Last Update: April 4, 1998