Aramaic Project No. 120 to 111 - Interviews and Performances - Video List

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Aramaic Project Number Description Duration Date and place of Recording Video
114

The Syriac translation of the Latin chant "Gloria"

This video takes us to a particular era in the history of Syriac chants and liturgy in South India. The Portuguese missionaries introduced some of the Latin-rite practices in the Syro Malabar liturgy. The singing of “Gloria,” during the liturgy of the Word, was one of them. Probably, Bishop Roz, S. J.(1559-1624), the first bishop of the St. Thomas Catholics, did the translation (the Bishop knew Syriac and Malayalam). The chant went of use in 1962 when the Syro Malabar Church vernacularized its liturgy. The revised liturgy did not include Malayalam translation of the Gloria. Syriac choirs from the period of transition do remember the melodies. We have a few recordings of this chant that are still on the editing table. In this video, Fr. Kalayil hints at a melody that Fr. Sylvester Thattil, CMI composed. Fr. Kalayil recalls that this melody was part of the celebration of Qurbana during the Syriac era. It also means that there were many compositional activities in Kerala during that era. Future historians of the Syriac music and liturgy in Kerala may have to take note of this piece of information. Fr. Albert Saldanha, S. J.(1896-1975, This video takes us to a special era in the history of Syriac chants and liturgy in South India. The Portuguese missionaries introduced some of the Latin-rite practices in the Syro Malabar liturgy. The singing of “Gloria” was one of them. Probably, Bishop Roz, S. J., the first bishop of the St. Thomas Catholics made the translation (the Bishop knew Syriac and Malayalam). The chant went of use in 1962 when the Syro Malabar Church vernacularized its liturgy. The revised liturgy did not include Malayalam translation of the Gloria. Syriac choirs from the period of transition do remember the melodies. We have a few recordings of this chant that are still on the editing table. In this video, Fr. Kalayil hints at a melody that Fr. Sylvester Thattil, CMI composed. Fr. Kalayil recalls that this melody was part of the celebration of Qurbana during the Syriac era. It also means that there were many compositional activities in Kerala during that era. Future historians of the Syriac music and liturgy in Kerala may have to take note of this piece of information. Fr. Albert Saldanha, S. J.(1896-1975, https://christianmusicologicalsociety...) included the transcription of six melodies of this chant in his “Syriac Malayalam Hymnal” (1937, https://christianmusicologicalsociety...). The melody that Fr. Kalayil refers to is not part of them. ) included the transcription of six melodies of this chant in his “Syriac Malayalam Hymnal” (1937, https://christianmusicologicalsociety...). The melody that Fr. Kalayil refers to is not part of them.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York 14
December 2018
5:25

1 Aug , 2018

Library of Sacred Heart Monastry, Chettipuzha, Kerala

113

Dr. Thomas Kalayil, CMI, speaks On "Sagdinan Mar," the Christological hymn

Note Dr. Thomas Kalayil’s take on the semantics of the phrase, “d’la pulaga” in the famous Christological chant “Sagdinan mar” is interesting. He thinks that “without division” is not relevant. Fr. Kalayil also draws attention to the many such theological hymns that did not see the light in Malayalam translation. Those treasures continue to be buried in Syriac poetry. Reference: http://christianmusicologicalsocietyo...

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
13 December 2018

8:13

1 Aug , 2018

Library of Sacred Heart Monastry, Chettipuzha, Kerala

112

The Two Founders of the CMI Congregation?

Note: This conversation is a corrective to the current narrative about the origin of the CMI Congregation. We are lucky to have Rev. Dr. Thomas Kalayil, CMI, a retired professor at Dharmaram Vidya Kshethram. The conversation is based on historical documents that highlight the role of Palackal Thoma Malpan (circa 1780-1841) and Porukkara Thoma Malpan (1800-1846) in the founding of a new religious congregation in India. Both venerable priests were personal friends, yet had different ideas about the nature and goal of religious life. Because of their sanctity, they ironed out their differences and went to seek permission from the Bishop (Maurilius Stabilini, 1777-1857), who advised them to take a different route. The fact is that these two holy priests are the original founding fathers. That fact was well known and celebrated a hundred years during the centenary celebration of the Congregation, in 1931. In the 1950s, however, the narrative changed to expedite the canonization process of Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871), a protégé of Palackal Thoma Malpan. Fr. Kalayil, an intellectually honest scholar, was candid when he said that the CMI leaders “manipulated” historical facts to serve their goals. We thank Dr. Kalayil for his honest appraisal. We hope this will help future historians of the CMI Congregation. See also https://youtu.be/a9_wtAs3WNs

Joseph J. Palackal CMI
New York
13 December 2018

 

1 Aug , 2018

Library of Sacred Heart Monastry, Chettipuzha, Kerala

111 Turgama (interpretative song): Fr Cyril Thayyil and Fr Joseph Kizhakkekkutt

 

Fr. Cyril Thayyil and Fr. Joseph Kizhakkekkutt sing the Turgama during Raza. Recorded on 28 July 2018. Note: Turgama (literally, “interpretation,” “translation”) is one of the popular poetic genres in Syriac literature. The Turgama we listen here is from Raza, the most solemn celebration of Qurbana in the Syro Malabar tradition. The servers and the choir sing the turgamma antiphonally. The purpose is to prepare the faithful to listen to the Gospel. In the opening verse of the song, the servers address the “faithful” (O dam haimnee), asking them to prepare their hearts so that Jesus can sow the seeds of Good News. The word “turgama” has a connection to the Malayalam-speaking people of Kerala, irrespective of their religious affiliation. The word is part of the Malayalam vocabulary with a modified pronunciation, from തുർഗാമ to തർജമ (tarjama), meaning, “translation.” It is an example of intra-cultural borrowing. In this recording, we hear the Turgamma in the voice of two young and talented singing priests, Fr. Cyril Thayyil and Fr. Joseph Kizhakkekkutt. Both priests are literate in Syriac and use their musical talents to celebrate the solemn sung Qurbana in the Syro Malabar churches. We are grateful to these priests for granting permission to post this recording on our channel. See another use of the word in reference to Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Targum

Joseph J. Palackal
New York
8 December 2018

5:08

28 July 2018

St. Mary's Forane Church, Anakkallu, Bharananganam