The history of Malankara Church in Bahrain starts from the first Holy Qurbana conducted on this island in association with themarriage ceremony of Mr. Kochandy with Deenamma blessed by Rev. Fr. T. S Abraham from the Ayroor Tengumthottathilfamily. Deenamma was Achens sister who came with Achen by sea from Bombay.
Rev. Fr. T.S. Abraham Thengum Thottathil
There was no church sexton or altar boys to assist Achen at that time. Hence Mr. Kochandy himself multiplexed as bridegroom and Altar boy. Thus Achen became the first Malankara priest to reach Bahrain. The believers continued to attend services in other than our mother tongue conducted in the American Mission Church, Roman Catholic Church and later on in the St. Christopher Anglican Church.
A MALAYALEE MARRIAGE OUTSIDE INDIA
The above heading was from one of the interesting news reported in Malayala Manorama newspaper in July 1937. The number of malayalees going abroad was very small in those days and there was no Orthodox Syrian Christian Churches in any places outside Kerala. Bahrain was no exception. Kochandy made the unusual decision of having his marriage in Bahrain. Finance and logistics were problems. He sent the necessary tickets to Ayroor in advance. Deenamma started for Bahrain along with her brother Rev. Fr. T.S. Abraham. They travelled to Bombay via, Madras by train. They stayed at Bombay in a friends house. After making some necessary purchases they set sail by S.S. Vita. Kochandys cousin P.V. Alexanderfrom Puthencavu also accompanied them. This was the brides party. They arrived at Bahrain on 23rd June 1931. Next day Fr.Abraham conducted the holy mass at the American mission church authorities. He carried with him the necessary priestly dress and accessoriesand service books. This was held at Bahrain. Kochandy and Deenamma received Holy Communion at the service.
The marriage took place in the evening at 5:30 p.m. Fr. Abraham conducted the marriage service in Malayalam with intermediate translation in English for the sake of the English friends who attended the service. The Orthodox service requires a sexton to assist the priest; his duties include carrying of incense, sounding the bells, holding the candles etc. There was no one else ordained to perform these functions other than the bridegroom who was fully qualified to do so. Kochandy multiplexed between the roles of Sexton and bridegroom efficiently.
Kochandy was wearing an expensive woolen dark blue suit with lines and Deenamma was in a white saree. Normally the dress for Kerala Christian women was mundu, Chatta and Kasavu Neriaythu (half-Saree) Once Deenamma was in Bahrain she started wearing sarees. After the marriage a grand reception was held at the residence of Kochandy. The large number of friends and relatives were thrilled in Bahrain and back in Indian about the unusualmarriage and its coverage in the paper. There was a very large demand for a copy of their marriage photo. Kochandy got the wedding photo printed by making a block and distributed 200 numbers of it to the friends and relatives.
Though their marriage was over in the church they had to appear before the Political Agent of Bahrain to perform the formalities of the civil portion of the marriage according to the Indian Christian Marriage. In the afternoon he took Fr. Abraham and Alexander to his company (BAPCO) and showed the refinery. After spending a hectic weeks activities and attending receptions in many friends houses, Fr. Abraham sailed back on 4th July 1937. Fr. Abraham carried with him lot of presents from Deenamma for all the girls and ladies at home.