Funeral services for priests and bishops in the

Chaldean rite of the Syro-Malabar Church.

Reference Code : 008-010

  • Etha pus lek baslaamma (Syriac, "O church remain in peace") / Witawaangunnen (Malayalam, "May I bid farewell")

    a. The Malayalam version Witawaangunnen sung by Fr. Abel, C. M. I. Recorded on 20 Sep 1997 at Joseph J. Palackal's office in Maspeth, New York during Fr. Abel's visit to U. S. A.
  • b. The Syriac version sung by Fr. Probus Perumalil, C. M. I. (1922-2009) can be heard on track 18 in Qambel Maran. Fr. Perumalil’s rendition has a different vocal inflection.

    c. Click here to see the Syriac and Malayalam versions sung by Fr. George Plathottam (b. 1933). Recorded on 3 September 2011 at Old Cathedral Church, Pala, Kerala. This version is slightly different from Fr. Abel's and Fr. Perumalil's renditions. For example, the highest pitch in the melody in Fr. Plathottam's version appears in the first phrase, whereas it appears in the second phrase in the other two versions. Fr. Abel's and Fr. Perumalil's versions seem to be musically more logical.

    d. A preliminary study of this chant can be found in Joseph J. Palackal’s chapter, "The Survival Story of Syriac Chants among the St. Thomas Christians in South India," in The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities. Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

    e. Syriac text of the chant, printed at Mar Thoma Sleeha Press, Aluva (1948).



    f. The Syriac text printed at St. Joseph’s Press, Mannanam (1921) shows the history of different transmission of the text of this chant (see Ktawa dtesmesta dahlap annide [Book of Services for the Dead], p. 220). Joseph J. Palackal’s study is based on the Mannanam text.

    g. Malayalam translation of the chant by Fr. George Plathottam.
    h. Malayalam version of this chant by Fr. Abel Periyappuram, C. M. I.

Etha pus lek baslaamma (Syriac Version)- Funeral services for priests


Syriac version Sung by Fr. George Plathottam (1933-2016) Recorded on 3 September 2011 at Old Cathedral Church, Pala, Kerala, India

Note: This is a precious chant from the (East) Syriac repertoire of the Chaldeo-Malabar Church in Kerala. The chant is unique from the perspective of the text and the melody. The change of narrative voices in the text and the melismatic ending of phrases are note worthy. A detailed study of this chant can be found in my chapter in Music and World Christianities (Oxford University Press, 2016) http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/1... The chapter contains transliteration and translation of the Syriac and Malayalam versions of the text. The Syriac text is heard only rarely at present. We are fortunate to have this video from a celebrated singer of Syriac chants, Fr. George Plathottam (1933-2016).

Joseph J. Palackal
New York
7 Feb 2018

Transliteration and translation of text by Fev. Dr. Thomas Kalayil, CMI

1. Ēdtâ pūš(y) lēk(y) bašlāmâ:
ʾāzēlnâ lî:
W ̔āmōrayk(y) bzaddīqūţâ:
ṣallāw ͑ lay.
O church,
remain in peace,
I am going;
And thy dwellers in righteousness,
pray for me.

2. ʾAḥay wḥabray ḥabbībay:
͑ubdūhy ldukrān(y):
Dperšēt menkōn walālam:
ṣallāw ͑ lay.
My dear brothers and friends,
celebrate my remembrance;
Because I have departed from you and for ever,
pray for me.

3. ʾĀzēlnâ wlâ dāhēlnâ:
dmār(y) qārê lî:
Waklīl šubḥā sā ͗ēm ͑al rēš(y):
wamḥaddê lî.
I am going and am not afraid,
my Lord is calling me;
He is placing the crown of glory on me and is gladdening me.

4. Malaʾkâ detâ wdabrāk:
la ͑dēn nāwblāk:
Wqurbānâ lmārāk nqarbāk:
zel bašlāmâ.
May the angel who came and took thee to Eden,
lead thee;
We shall offer thee as an oblation to thy Lord,
go in peace.

5. Pūš(w) bašlāmâ kahnê zhayyâ:
dperšēt menkōn: Wmâ dqāymītōn bgāw bêt qudšâ:
ṣallāw ͑ lay.
Remain in peace,
O reverend priests,
though I have departed from you;
And when you stand in the sanctuary,
pray for me.

6. Pūš(w) bašlāmâ ʾaḥay wḥabray:
wabnay ͑enyān(y): Dsarheb māwtâ paršan(y) menkōn:
ṣallāw ͑ lay. Remain in peace,
O my brothers,
my friends,
and my companions;
Because death has hastened and separated me from you,
pray for me.

7. Pūš(w) bašlāmâ ͑ammâ gabyâ:
kenšâ prīqâ:
Māran nnaṭar laknūšātkōn:
ṣallāw ͑ lay. Remain in peace,
O chosen people,
redeemed congregation;
May our Lord keep your assemblies,
pray for me.

8. (If the departed priest was a Malpān)
ʾO talmīday wabnayenyān(y):
lâ teṭ ōnān(y):
Wmâ damlītōn baktābê:
ʾetdakrūnān(y).
O my disciples and my companions,
do not bear me;
Nonetheless,
remember me when you toil with books.

Wita wangunnen -(Malayalam Version ) Funeral services for priests

"Wita wangunnen" - (വിട വാങ്ങുന്നെ ) Chant from the funeral services for priests. Malayalam version of the Syriac chant "Etha pus lek" Sung by Fr. George Plathottam (1933-2016) Recorded on 3 September 2011 at Old Cathedral Church, Pala, Kerala, India

Note: This is the Malayalam version of a precious chant, 'Etha pus lek," from the (East) Syriac repertoire of the Chaldeo-Malabar Church in Kerala. The Malayalam translation is by Fr. Abel Periyapuram, CMI (1920-2001).The chant is unique from the perspective of the text and the melody. The change of narrative voices within the text and the melismatic ending of phrases are note worthy. A detailed study of this chant can be found in my chapter in Music and World Christianities (Oxford University Press, 2016) http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/1... The chapter contains transliteration and translation of the Syriac and Malayalam versions of the text. The Syriac text is heard only rarely at present. We are fortunate to have this video from a celebrated singer of Syriac chants, Fr. George Plathottam (1933-2016).

Joseph J. Palackal
New York
7 Feb 2018

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Wiṭawāngunnēn (May I Take Leave)

1. Wiṭawāngunnēn paripāwanamām
Baliwēdikaye wiṭawāngunnēn.
Muṛapōlinimēl balicheywathināy
Nin padatāril warikilla ñān.
May I take leave,
O ever sacred Altar of Sacrifice,
may I take leave.
From now on,
as usual to offer Sacrifice
At your footsteps I shall not come.

2. Wiṭawāngunnēn dēwālayame,
Wānawaṛ pāṭum paramālayame,
Swaṛggānandam wiḷayum ninnil
Patiyillinimēl enpādangaḷ.
May I take leave,
O House of God,
O supreme dwelling where heavenly beings [angels] sing,
In you where heavenly bliss abound,
Shall not tread anymore my feet.

3. Wiṭawāngunnēn dēwālayame,
Wānawaṛ pāṭum paramālayame,
Kīṛttana gānam pāṭunnatināy
Tirusannidhiyil warikilla ñān.
May I take leave,
O House of God,
O supreme dwelling where heavenly beings sing,
To sing the songs of praise,
To the sacred Presence I shall not come.

4. Iniyen pṛiyare,
pōkunnu ñān Antimayātṛa wandanamōṭe. Dēwālayame,
pōkunnu ñān Kaṛmangaḷkkāy warikillinimēl.
Now, my beloved people,
I am going,
With the final journey’s farewell;
O House of God,
I am going;
For the rituals I shall not come anymore