September 28, 2007

The Origin of Demera and the Torch


As the modern man would communicate with remote areas through telephone, telegram, fax, media etc. and exchanges the necessary information each other, we understand from history that the ancient society expressed their victory, joy, and transmitted their messages by lighting 'Demera' or bundle of twigs on mountains.

'Demera' is a Ge'ez term that means adding and uniting. The word commemorate the hiding of the Cross of Christ by Jews because His Cross performed different miracles, such as: gave light to the blind, cleansed the lepers, expelled demons, gave life to the dead, etc. Hence, they agreed to bury the true cross of Jesus with two other crosses of criminals. The rabbis ordered the people to pile ashes and dirt on the site where the cross buried. Christ's Cross-was buried about 300 years.
However, as our Lord Jesus said "There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known," (Mat. 10:26), God chose Empress Helen, the mother of Constantine the great who guided by was able to find the site where the Cross was buried. She made 'Demera' (bundle of twigs) lit it and the smoke coming from the incense pointed the exact place where the cross was buried.

Empress Helen ordered her servants to start digging from Meskerem 17. (E.C) Onwards. Finally, the true cross was found on Megabit 10 (March 19) 327 A.D. The Queen then rejoiced and the people expressed their happiness by lighting a bundle of twigs (Demera). That is why the feast of the finding of the true cross or Demera of Christ is celebrated colorfully and joyfully. The Torah states, "Thou shall not remove thy neighbor's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance," (Deut. 19:14).
May the blessings of The Holy Cross be with us all, amen.
THE ABOVE ARTICLE WAS TAKEN FROM A BROCHURE Prepared by "The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Evangelical and Missionary Activities Department. Addis Ababa- Ethiopia,Sept. 26, 2002"
Cher Were Yaseman.
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