Resources for Researchers

1

Marriage Customs and Songs of the Syrian Christians of Malabar by Dr. P. J. Thomas

For a digital copy of the book please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
2

Dewaalya geethangal (Malayalam, Church hymns), edited by Fr. Basselios of St. Theresa, T. O. C. D.

Printed at St. Mary's Press, Elthuruth (1902). 172 pages (10 cms x 15 cms). The book contains text of Syriac hymns for various occasions, for the use of the church choir. A large number of hymns are translations of Latin chants that were composed anew in Kerala. Names of translators and composers of the melodies are unknown. The text is printed in Malayalam script, indicating that Syriac literacy was on the wane among the lay people in the Syro-Malabar Church, by the end of the 19th century.

3

Manuscript of Syriac chants in staff notation by Fr.Aiden Kulathinal, C. M. I.

 

Copied in 1948 from an earlier manuscript (now lost) by Fr. Aiden Kulathinal, C. M. I., at St. Theresa’s Monastery at Ampazhakkadu, Kerala. So far as we know, this manuscript contains the earliest transcriptions of model melodies from the liturgy of the Hours in the Chaldean rite of the Syro-Malabar Church, India. The 27 pages are divided into three sections: pages 1-14 contain 51 Syriac melodies from the Hours; pages 15-19 consist of notation of what looks like Western melodies (to be verified) without text underlay; and pages 20-27 contain Marian litanies in Latin with Syriac translation. The Syriac texts are written in Malayalam script. The original copy is at the library at Acharaya Palackal Jeevass Kendram, Aluva, Kerala. See more details in Palackal 2005, pp. 134-135.

 

Letter written by Fr. Aiden Kulathinal, C. M. I. to Joseph. J. Palackal.
4

The Syriac-Malayalam Hymnal, edited by Rev.Saldanha A, S. J.

Printed at Codialbail Press, Mangalore, for the Cathedral Church, Calicut, in 1937. Pp. 27 + 181 + x + v. Part I: Syriac chants of the solemn high mass of the Chaldeo-Syrian rite of Kerala (text transliterated in Malayalam, music in Western staff notation). Part II: Malayalam devotional songs in Western staff notation. This is the first publication of Syriac melodies in staff notation in India. Probably, these melodies were composed in Kerala. The Preface (in English and Malayalam, pp. 9-18) by Rev. Saldanha is quite informative, among other things, on the status Christian music in Kerala in the first quarter of the twentieth century. See Foreword, Preface, and Table of Contents
5

Kerala Kaldaaya Suriyaani Reethile Thirukkarmma Geethangal by Fr.Mathew Vadakel and Fr. Aurelius.


Kerala Kaldaaya Suriyaani Reethile Thirukkarmma Geethangal (Liturgical hymns of the Chaldeo-Syrian rite of Kerala), edited by Fr. Mathew Vadakel and Fr. Aurelius. Syriac texts transliterated in Malayalam script; music in staff notation. Printed at Codialbail Press, Mangalore. Published by S. H. League, Aluva. 1954. See Cover page and Table of Contents.

6

Syriac Translation of Latin Chants

The CD, Qambel Maran: Syriac Chants from South India contains six chants (tracks 19 to 24) from an interesting repertoire of texts that were translated from Latin into Syriac in Kerala during the Portuguese period. These texts were composed anew in Kerala, mostly for paraliturgical services. See a preliminary study of the Syriac version of the famous Latin chant Pange Lingua by St. Thomas Aquinas, in Palackal (2005: 112-117). These chants are reference points for a special period in the history of Christianity and Christian music in India .
7

Die Melodien des Chaldaischen... by Heinrich Husmann

Die Melodien des Chaldaischen Breviers Communenach denTraditionen Vorderasiens und der Malabarküste, edited by Heinrich Husmann. Orientalia Christiana Analecta, no. 178. Rome: Pontificum Institutum Orientalium Studiorum, 1967. Part I: Die Melodien des Commune des Chaldaischen Breviers, ach der tradition des vorderen orientes. Gesungen von P. Ephrem Bede, Chaldaischer Chorbischof, Patriarchalvikar in Kairo. Part II: Die Melodien des commune des Chaldaischen Breviers, nach der tradition der Indischen christen der Malabarkuste. Gesungen von P. Amos C. M. I., Generelakonom des Ordens Carmelitarum Mariae Immaculatae, Prior General’s House, Ernakulam, Kerala.

8

Puratanappatukal (Ancient Songs [of the Syrian Christians of Malabar]) by P. U. Lukas.

Compiled by P. U. Lukas (Puthenpurackal Uthup Lukas). 10th ed. Kottayam: Jyothi Book House. 2002. First published in 1910. Pp. xxxiv + 240. This book includes the complete text (pp.142 - 155) of the songs of Marggam Kali.

9

Kristeeya Keerthanangal (Christian Hymns): Staff Notation


Published by Department of Sacred Music and Communications, The Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Thiruvalla (2002). Pp. ii + 757. Contains notation of over 484 melodies from the liturgy of the Mar Thoma Church. Certain significant details regarding the structure of the lyrics (pallawi-anupallawi-charanam, for example) and meter are missing in this edition. For these and other important information on the hymns, researchers may consult Malankara Mar Thoma suriyani sabha parasyaradhanakramam (Order of Public Worship of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church), published by the Mar Thoma Sabha Publication Board, Thiruvalla.
A call-to-attention to the rich repertoire of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church can be found in Palackal 2005, pp. 123-125.
10
  • Funeral services for priests and bishops in the Chaldean rite of the Syro-Malabar Church.

    Edta 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.
11. Funeral services for priests in the Syro-Malankara church

Chants sung by Fr.Paul Nilackal Thekkethil. Recorded at Oasis Digital Studio, Ranni, Kerala on 18-19 Feb 2012. In this recording, electronic tamburu was used for sruti; in actual service organ, keyboard, or harmonium is used for accompaniment.

12

Gānādhyāpakan

Title: Music Teacher (Book I)
Lyrics and music for :
Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday,Good Friday,
Benediction, Christmas midnight services,
prayers for the beginning and end of the calendar year.
Lyrics: Fr. Abel, C. M. I.
Music: Rafi Jose
Printed at: Mar Louis Memorial Press, Ernakulam, Kerala. 1969.

Gaanaadhyaapakan Gaanaadhyaapakan

 

This book is a valuable addition to the resources for researchers on the Christian music of Kerala, India. It tells the story of the meeting of the musical minds of two great men: Fr. Abel Periyappuram, CMI (1920-2001) and Mangalappilly M. Jose (d. 2010), popularly known as Rafi Jose. Their collaboration happened in the 1960s at Ernakulam, Kerala. That was the time of transition of the Syro Malabar liturgy from Syriac to Malayalam. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Syriac liturgical texts, Fr. Abel wrote lyrics in Malayalam for the Holy week services, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Christmas midnight service, as well as prayer services for the beginning and end of the calendar year. This was also the time when Fr. Abel pooled the best musical talents in the greater cochin area and formed the Christian Arts club, which eventually would evolve into Kalabhavan. Mangalappiily Jose was one of those gifted musicians; he had already become immensely popular by singing the Hindi film songs of Muhammad Rafi (hence the nickname “ Rafi Jose). Fr. Abel tested his talent as a composer by entrusting the new lyrics to Rafi Jose. Rafi Jose composed captivating melodies to those lyrics that became instantly popular. (These melodies continue to be sung in the Syro Malabar churches until this day). The gramophone company of India published a record that included two of Rafi’s compositions: “thālathil weḷḷameṭuthu” (for Maundy Thursday) as well as “gāgulthā malayil ninnum” (for Good Friday). These soulful melodies were heard from the public address systems of most of the churches in Kerala and became imprinted in the minds of the people of Kerala.

Meanwhile, Fr. Abel and Rafi Jose embarked on an unusual project of publishing this book (printed at Mar Louis Memorial Press at Ernakulam, in 1969) with the lyrics and music of their songs in Western staff notation. The book is a monument to their great talents, their musical collaboration, and their intention to enhance Western musical literacy among musicians in Kerala.

In the absence of an Introduction, we do not know who transcribed the melody in staff notation. To clarify this, I had a telephone conversation with Rex Isaacs (18 August 2016), who was closely associated with Christian Arts Club and, later, Kalabhavan. Rex is a violinist in the Western tradition and comes from a family of musicians. Rex told me that he assisted Rafi Jose in preparing the score of the melodies of “thālathil weḷḷameṭuthu” and “gāgulthā malayil ninnum” as well as the background music for those melodies, before they traveled to Madras (Chennai) for the audio recording at HMV studio. Rex reiterated that the transcriptions that are printed in the book are not his. He thinks that Mr. Patrick David, who knew Rafi Jose, very likely prepared the score that is printed in the book. Rex added that he could not understand the reason for the addition of a bar line after the time signature on the opening staff, and then a measure-long space and bar line at the beginning of subsequent staves. In any case, the score helps us to understand the melody as the composer envisaged it; it also helps us to understand how a great singer like K. J. Yesudas emotes with and interprets the melody, and gives it a different life.

I happened to see the book, by chance, during a visit to the music library at Nadopasana at Thodupuzha, that I started in 1986. This was in the first week of August 2016. While browsing through the collection of recordings and books, Fr. Kurian Puthenpurackal,CMI, the director of Nadopasana brought a set of books from his personal collection. Gānādhyāpakan was one of them. I was overjoyed to see the book, and immediately recognized its historical value. Fr. Puthenpurackal said that he got the book from Fr. John Kachiramattom, CMI several years before. Ironically, this book and its content never came up in my conversation with Fr. Abel, during my three years at Kalabhavan.

The book assumes another layer of importance at the present time. It offers a definitive answer to the recent disputes regarding the authorship of the melody of "gāgulthā malayil ninnum." The dispute arose after the publication of an article (“gāgulthā malayil ninnum”), on Rafi Jose by Shajan C. Mathew in the Sunday edition of Malayala Manorama Daily, on March 27, 2016. In the article, Shajan Mathew cited much evidence to support the authorship of the melody by Rafi Jose Another living composer, however, disputed Shajan’s findings and claimed authorship of the melody. The Christian Musicological Society of India gladly presents the pdf version of the book for the benefit of scholars and journalists as the final proof of the authorship. May the soul of Rafi Jose have the last laugh, and rest in peace!

References
Courtesy
Joseph J. Palackal
www.TheCMSIndia.org
August 18, 2016
13

Dhaṛmagīti

ധർമമഗീതി
Hymnal in Malayalam
Compiled by the staff and students
Dharmaram College, Bangalore
Printed at K. C. M. Press, Ernakulam, 1963
Commercial Movies & Christian Worship in Kerala: A Musical Intersection

This hymnal is a witness to a period (1950s to 1970s) in the history of Christian music in Malayalam, when composers of lyrics looked up to film tunes in Hindi, Malayalam, and to a lesser extent, Tamil, and wrote Christian lyrics to the meters and melodies of popular film songs. These songs reached Kerala through the government sponsored All India Radio.. The hymnal also shows the intersection of commercial movies and Christian worship at this time in Kerala, India.


The hymnal was intended for private use at Dharmaram College, the Seminary of the religious congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculatethat the saintly Palackal Thoma Malpan (1780-1841; my collateral ancestor),PorukaraThomaMalpan (1799-1846), and Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871) founded in 1831 in Kerala. The title of the hymnal takes after the Sanskrit name of the seminary, Dharmārām, which literally means “garden of virtues.” In the 1960s, over two hundred seminarians lived and studied at one point in time at Dharmārām, The hymnal was in use until the 1970s.

There are 133 songs of which 130 are in Malayalam and the other three are Syriac chants printed in Malayalam script. Thesongs are grouped under 12 headings:

  1. Hymns in praise of Jesus: songs 1-38
  2. Hymns in praise of Blessed Virgin Mary: 39-65
  3. Christmas songs: 66-74
  4. To the Holy Spirit: 75-79
  5. To St. Joseph: 80-86
  6. St. Thomas the Apostle: 87-93
  7. St. Theresa of Avila: 94-100
  8. St. John of the Cross: 101-105
  9. St. Theresa of Lisieux: 106-110
  10. The patron saints of different residence buildings of the Seminary
  11. Songs for various occasions:
  • Syriac chants for the Benediction: 117-118
  • Litanies: 120-124 - Stations of the Cross 125
  • Hymns to the Holy Spirit: 126-128
  • Stations of the Cross 125
  • Hymns to the Holy Spirit: 126-128
  • The Lord’s Prayer: 129
  • Hail Mary: 130
  • Hymn to Mary: 131
  • Dedication to the Holy Spirit
12. Malayalam translation of the Latin chant Te Deum: 133

 

The tune is indicated in parenthesis below the title by the opening words of the film song to which the lyrics are written;in some cases, the name of the film in which the song appears is also mentioned. The number of stanzas and the number of verses in each stanza coincide with those of the film song. These songs were not part of the official liturgy of the Syro Malabar Church, they were sung during such paraliturgical services as the Holy Hour (adoration of the Blessed Sacrament), Benediction, prayer gatherings, litanies and novenas to saints.


The hymnal lacks an Introduction. Hence, we have no information on the thought process that went into its preparation and publication.What is conspicuous by its absence are the names of the lyricists. It is possible that a few of those hymns were written by the talented students at the seminary. Some of the hymns were popular among Catholics all over Kerala.
The preparation of the hymnal took place during the time when the Syro Malabar Church was engaged in translating the liturgy from Syriac to Malayalam. The inauguration of the Malayalam version took place on July 3, 1962, one year before the publication of this hymnal. The inclusion of the Syriac chants shows the continuity and comfort level of the worshippers with the Syriac language and chants. Two of the three Syriac chants (117 &118) are translations of the Latin chant Pange Lingua by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1244). The third one (65), šlām lēk (“shanti to you [Mary]”) is a chant in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The community used to end the night prayers with a hymn to the Blessed Virgin. This Syriac chant was sung on that occasion..


Interestingly, there is only one instance of using a melody from a Tamil film (38); Tamil is the language of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. Yet, the Christians in Kerala were more tuned to the film songs in Hindi, the language of the distant north. One reason may be that All India Radio. stations in Kerala gave greater importance to Hindi songs than Tamil songs, and cinema theaters in Kerala screened comparatively more films in Hindi than Tamil .


This hymnal is a case in point for an uncanny musical interface of commercial movies and Christian worship in Kerala. The Catholics were quite comfortable in celebrating their faith by singing secular melodies with their visual connotations. The hymnal also portrays the poetic imagination of a particular period in the history of Christian lyricists in Kerala, and bears a testimony to the theological thinking and prayer vocabulary of the time. Finally, this hymnal documents the names of a number of popular songs and the names of films in which they appear, indicating cross cultural communication within the country.

Joseph J. Palackal
New York
1 November 2016

14.

Aramaic Grammar Vol I & II

(Approved by the University of Kerala)

By Rev. Fr. Thomas Arayathinal, M. O. L.

Printed at St. Joseph's Press, Mannanam, Kerala, India. 1957

 

 
14

The Syriac Manuscripts in Mannanam Library

Paper Presented

by

Fr. Emmanuel Thelly C.M.I.

in the

Symposium Syriacum VIII

Eighth International Congress of Syriac Studies

held at

University of Sydney, Australia

on 26th , 27th June 2000

NOTE: Fr. Emmanuel Thelly, C. M. I. (1925-2015) was kind enough to give me this copy of the paper that he presented at the Symposium Syriacum VIII, Eigh-th International Congress for Syriac Studies, held at the University of Sydney, Australia from June 26 to 30, 2000. Fr. Thelly spent innumerable hours at the archive at St. Joseph’s Monastery at Mannanam to gather the information that is presented here. This is a golden treasure for researchers on an array of topics, ranging from language and linguistics to music and history. I hope these manuscripts are still intact at the archive. Recently, the monastery has decided to digitize the materials at the Archive and make them public. That will be a great boon to scholars around the world. I cherish the sacred memory of Fr. Thelly, who helped me immensely during research for my doctoral dissertation on Syriac chants at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and pray for his continuous blessings on the Aramaic Project and anyone who is involved in Syriac studies.

 

Joseph J. Palackal
New York
27 April 2017

15

The wedding Songs of the Cochin Jews

and of the

Knanite Christians of Kerala:

A Study in Comparison.

Prof. P. M. Jussay

16

Āghōshamāya Slīwāppātha

(Malayalam, solemn Stations of the Cross)

By

Br. Jose L. Mawunkal

Songs and prayers for the fourteen Stations of the Cross in Malayalam First edition, 1929

Printed at the Jubilee Memorial Presss Seminary-Puthenpally, Varappuzha.

Slīwāppātha

സ്ലീവാപ്പാഥ

This is the original edition (1929) of one of the most popular versions of the Stations of the Cross in Malayalam. The 32-page booklet (6.4” X 3.8”) contains hymns, prayers, and meditative reflections on each of the fourteen Stations, written by late Fr. Joseph Mawunkal, a member of the Arch-diocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, in Kerala. At the time of publication, the author was a seminarian, identified as Jose L. Mawunkal, at Puthenpally, Varappuzha. The work received a warm reception from the Catholic Keralites because of its high literary and poetic qualities. Until the 1970s, this was the most popular Stations of the Cross among the Syro Malabar and the Latin Catholics in Kerala. Even today, several communities continue to use this version, with slight change of words in the opening stanza. The words kṛūšum thāngi-pōya took the place of kḷēšāwaha- māya, and fit well into the melody. Fr. Mawunkal composed the lyrics to the meter and melody of two songs that were already popular among the Catholics in Kerala: Dēwēšā yēšuparā or īšoyē enpithāwē. The opening words of these songs are indicated above the first stanza,in brackets. It is possible that these two songs were modelled after popular Hindi movie songs. Writing lyrics to popular melodies from Hindi movies was prevalent until the 1960s. See many more examples in another Malayalam hymnal, Dhaṛmagīti (see no. 13 under Resources for Researchers The title of the booklet deserves attention. It is a combination of the Syriac word slīwā (Cross) and the Malayalam word pātha (way) according to the rules of the Malayalam syntax. Although Syriac literacy was already on the path of decline among the laity in the first quarter of the twentieth century, many Syriac words remained in the vernacular prayer vocabulary. More importantly, the centuries-long presence of the Syriac language in the region created the comfort level of the Syriac Christians in formulating phrases that combined Syriac and Malayalam words. This is but one example. The advertisements that appear on the back cover will be of much interest to the historians of Malayalam hymnals and prayer vocabulary in Kerala. The first advertisement is for a Malayalam book that contains prayers and songs for the popular devotion of Eucharistic adoration, one hour adoration on the first Fridays of the month as well as forty-hour adoration once a year, in parishes.The advertisement specifically mentions the Syriac and Malayalam versions of the songs for the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. These songs are given in the Malayalam script. It is interesting to know that this book included also Latin chants (Pange Lingua, Tantum Ergo) in the Malayalam script. Personally, I have a vague recollection of my aunt (father’s sister) singing Tantum Ergo from this book at the end of our family prayer. It means that the Syriac Christians were quite comfortable in singing Latin chants (at home) that the Portuguese missionaries introduced in Kerala. We do not know yet if the Latin chants were ever sung in Syro Malabar churches.The second advertisement is for a three-part hymnal that the author edited: Bhakthagānamālika (Garland of Devotional Songs). Part III consists of 73 songs,probably written by Fr. Mawunkal, and Part I was going for a second edition, according to the advertisement. The booklet is also a contemporary witness to the numeric literacy of the Keralites. The page numbers appear in Arabic numerals, whereas the number of the Stations and stanzas appear in the Malayalam numerals. During this transitional period, the Keralites were familiar with both systems of writing the numerals.The Malayalam numerals went out of vogue in the second half of the twentieth century. So, too, the price is given in the name of the local currency (chakṛam and aṇa; later this changed to rūpa and paisa). I hope future researchers will be successful in locating the books that are mentioned on the back cover; they are primary source materials for the musical aspect of the religio-cultural history of Kerala.

Dr. Joseph J. Palackal
New York
14 June 2017

 

Liturgical Contributions of Blessed Chavara

by
Rev. Dr. Antony Vallavanthara, C. M. I.

 

Note: Dr. Vallavanthara (1942-2008) emailed me this document, which is the result of many years of his arduous research, on 30 April 2001. The document contains a wealth of information on the history of the Syro Malabar liturgy in East Syriac, and the role of Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871) in the renewal of the liturgy in the 19th century. Vallavanthara refers also to the role of Palackal Thoma Malpan (circa 1780-1841), the Rector of Pallippuram Seminary and the mentor of Saint Chavara, in inspiring Saint Chavara to undertake these activities. This document will be of immense value to future researchers. Joseph J. Palackal. 24 September 2015.

 

The lectionary that Blessed Chavara prepared was only to complement what was existing. He prepared readings for certain feasts that were introduced after the printing of the Missal in 1774, the Lectionary in 1775 and the reedition in 1844. He prepared the manuscript and sent it to Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith around 1866. Here he only borrowed the reading from the Roman Missal. The whole reading is not written but only the indications to the versicles in the scriptures are given. The manuscript is kept in the Archives of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

Borrowed from the Roman Tradition

The three books in the third category, namely the Small Office of Blessed Mary, the Rite of Holy Saturday and the Rites of Forty Hours Adoration, are borrowed from the Roman tradition and are nothing but Syriac translations adapted to the Malabar Church. It was more the pastoral and spiritual need of the community that prompted Blessed Chavara to prepare these texts.


The Small Office of Our Lady:

This consists of 36 folios written in Blessed Chavara's on hand. The rubrics are written in red and the text in black. This is a Syriac translation of Latin text of the Small Office of Our Lady. Here the originality and genius of Blessed Chavara is that he organizes this according to the triple division of the office into Ramsa, Lelya and Sapra in the Malabar and East Syrian traditions. And it is here that he reveals his love for the ancient traditions. This was never printed.


Rites of the Holy Saturday:

In the Malabar tradition as in all the East Syrian traditions, there is no special ceremony for the Holy Saturday. To meet this need Blessed Chavara himself prepared the ceremony for the Holy Saturday. This is a Syriac translation of the liturgical text and ceremonies of the Roman rite. From the manuscript written in the hand of Blessed Chavara we know that his was a free translation. The text was prepared on 1865 and sent to Rome for approval. The approval was received in 1870, but it was printed only in 1922. We know that a literal translation was prepared and published later in 1934.


Rites of the Forty Hours Adoration:

He has introduced the 40 Hours Adoration in the Malabar Church. For the celebration of this rite he has prepared the text and the rites. This again is borrowed from the western tradition and a translation into Syriac form, Latin to suit the Malabar tradition.


Ritual of Benedictions:

Blessed Chavara translated various benedictions from the Latin traditions. The book was printed only after the death of Blessed Chavara.

The Malabar Traditions preserved

Blessed Chavara's most substantial contribution in preserving the Malabar tradition is the organization and publication of the Malabar Breviary, the Malabar Calendar and the Office of the Dead. The most important of all the three is the organization of the breviary. The Malabar calendar is the most important work after the breviary. It is in the preparation of these two that we see the liturgical genius of Blessed Chavara and his great contribution to the preservation of the ancient traditions of the Malabar Church. The work of Blessed Chavara with regard to the organization of the Breviary and the Calendar and its importance is the main object of this study.

The Office of the Dead

Blessed Chavara prepared the Office of the dead, a long one and a short one and the burial services. Burial services are organized according to the different persons: for priests, adult lay people and for children. In organizing this Blessed Chavara has not merely collected the ancient texts, he also edited them making them shorter. The office of the dead was not printed in Blessed Chavara's life time. It was first printed in 1882 by his successor Kuriakose Eliseus Porukara. In the preface of this work Kuriakose Porukara gives this details. "This office consists of the longer office of the dead and the shorter, as it was divided by our Father Respected Kuriakose Elias whose memory resounds in the whole Kerala today." Later different editions were published until the year 1967 when the Office of the Dead was prepared in Malayalam.

The Breviary

The Breviary of Blessed Chavara is a great land mark in the history of liturgy, not only of the Malabar Church, but also of the East Syrian Churches. The Chaldian breviary edited by Paul Bedjan and published from Rome in 1896, is generally considered as the first edition of the East Syrian breviary. For that reason the breviary of Bedjan, though romanized and much corrected by Bedjan, is considered by the scholars today as the source book for the study of the history of the breviary in the East Syrian tradition. For the same reason, it was taken by the Roman Liturgical Commission of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches for the restoration of the liturgy in Malabar, as one of the most important source books. But, in fact, thirty-five years before Bedjan's Breviary was published, Blessed Chavara had published his own edition of the Oriental Syrian Breviary, as it was known and was in use among the St.Thomas Christians in Malabar, basing himself on the Malabar manuscripts and in consultation with the Malpans of Malabar. This really is a monumental work in the history of the Liturgy of the East Syrian tradition.

The Calendar

The next important work of Blessed Chavara is the liturgical Calendar of the Malabar Church which he prepared for the first time in the history of the Malabar Church. It very well reveals his love for the ancient traditions and his concern for its preservation. The specialty of this liturgical calendar is that it reveals different layers of the ancient traditions that had outlived the romanization process during the three centuries after the Synod of Diamper of 1599. Through this calendar Blessed Chavara preserved one of the two most ancient traditions of the structure and organization of the liturgical year that existed in the East Syrian tradition. This in all probability dates back to a period prior to the reorganization of the Liturgical Year generally attributed to Iso Yahb III. We shall discuss in detail the history and development of this calendar after discussing the Breviary of Blessed Chavara.

The Breviary of Blessed Chavara

As we have mentioned above, at the moment when Blessed Chavara went about the renewal of the Malabar Liturgy, the missal and the lectionary were already in fixed form with printed texts. But what remained without proper organization, was the breviary. There was no proper, uniform or common text. Nor was there any uniformity in the celebration. The celebration of the divine office of the feasts was slowly going out of use. Almost all the writers of the period are unanimous in reporting the actual plight of the divine office. Blessed Chavara himself and his two contemporary biographers, Leopold Missionary, his spiritual father and Fr. Kuriakose Porukara, his successor witness to this truth. Fr.Leopold writes: Then the canonical offices in Syriac were recited in different places differently. In order that there may be unity of order in the recitation of the divine office, with the order of the vicar apostolic, our father Prior called together many Malpans from different places in the monastery of Kunammavu and after consulting them he corrected the differences. With the intention of getting it printed, he transcribed the whole breviary in his own hand. From these acts of his it is clear how much interest and desire he had in performing the sacred ceremonies of the Church.

Father Kuriakose Porukara describes it in his own way:

He desired to organize the canonical office of the priests of the Syro-Malabar Church and the rubrics of the Mass according to the tradition of the Holy Church. He also wanted, after having obtained the permission, to make these offices shorter and to establish uniformity every where in these things. Therefore, he collected the ancient books of the divine office from different place and with great care reformed its rubrics. He prepared the divine office for the whole year with great care and wrote out the whole book in his own hand. He sent this book to Rome through Rev.Father Bernardine, so that it may be properly examined there and after printing it to be sent to Malabar.This is the version that we see in the Latin text in Positio which follows slightly different version in the recent edition in Malayalam of the same biography of Blessed Chavara by Kuriakose Porukara.



Father Kuriakose Porukara writes:

Since the Syriac books of the divine office was in practice in each church differently and with diversity, in order that there may be unity and uniformity everywhere, our Father Prior with the order of the Vicar Apostolic collected the ancient books from different places and gathered many Malpans at Koonammavu and after having corrected the difference, with much pain prepared the complete breviary very neatly and in an orderly way, in his own hand.Regarding the work for the reorganization of the book of the divine office Blessed Chavara himself writes with a lot of clarity in his letter of 1st February, 1869 to the priests of Malabar

Now the second part, that is, the Divine Office, which consists of 7 Hulale for the days of the (great) Fast, Sundays ten, and for Nativity 21, like that it was very heavy and the office of the feasts also is long like that. Since it was difficult to write in the book of the feasts is very difficult and since they did not contain all the feasts given in the Thaksa and for many other reasons each one recited the canonical prayers differently. Moreover the mass was often of the saints and the divine office of the week days without proper integration. Hence the canonical prayer were abridged and reorganized in accordance with the order of the late Archbishop so as to unify the Mass and the canonical prayers. All these citation very well show the genius of Blessed Chavara. In the first place, his main interest was to restore the ancient traditional practice of the divine office in the Malabar Church. Secondly his concern was that there should be unity or uniformity in the celebration of the divine office in different places in the Malabar Church. Thirdly he wanted that there is proper integration in the liturgical celebrations according to the spirit of the liturgical year. When there is a feast or commemoration the mass and the breviary should go hand in hand. He was also aware of the heaviness of the office, so he did not hesitate to shorten them when and where that was needed. His approach was balanced and methodical. He took care to collect all the available documents and to consult the available specialists, namely, the Malpans of Malabar. Through all these he wanted to keep up the ancient traditions of the Malabar Church.

Even as a seminarian under Malpan Thomas Palackal, Blessed Chavara was aware of the situation of the books of the divine office. Therefore he had shown great interest in the organization of the books of the divine office. He had been inspired and encouraged in this work by his professor, Father Thomas Palackal. We are told of this by Fr.Porukara Kuriakose: In those days the divine office of (the ordinary days and) the feasts which has been recited in ancient times was in such a state that it was slowly disappearing. To restore anew this practice of reciting the divine office, in consultation with his Malpan, he (Blessed Chavara) collected the books from different places and with great labor transcribed it with his own hand and very well practiced all the rubrics of reciting it.This experience and training under Father Palackal helped him in his work in 1862 when Bishop Baccinelli entrusted Blessed Chavara with the work of the organisation of the breviary when he was the Vicar General of the Syrians under Bishop Baccinelli, the Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly.

Blessed Chavara had completed the work of organization of the breviary already in the year 1862. This is very clear from his letter dated 31st May 1869 addressed to the head of the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith. He writes: We humbly request you to obtain permission to recite the divine office for whole year according to the order given in the copies we sent to the Sacred Congregation some seven years back for approbation. This is how we read in the Latin text of the letter which is a resume rather than a word by word translation of the original Syriac. In the original Syriac text the date is clearly indicated as 1862.

We have another reference in a letter of much earlier date, which Blessed Chavara sent to Rome with the signature of Archbishop Bernardino. The letter reads: We are very happy about the interest that you show in getting the Syriac book of canonical prayers examined and approved which we sent to the Sacred Congregation for approbation about two years back through Msgr. Cunard. We are glad to hear that the scrutiny of the books are coming to an end. We hope that after having finished the scrutiny, the book will be approved soon. Our elderly fathers are waiting with great interest to see the new approved book of canonical prayers. The letter clearly says that the divine office was sent to Rome "two years before". But unfortunately in this letter there is no date. Therefore it is not useful for us for fixing the date when the books were sent to Rome. Still it gives us a lot of information about the work of Blessed Chavara and the enthusiasm and joy with which he was waiting for the final realization of the dream he so dearly cherished.

Blessed Chavara had to wait long to get any response from Rome. Already seven years have elapsed until 1869. He did not have much hope that the breviary could be printed in Rome as was the missal in 1774. Hence he proceeded to get the printing done through local means. Both Father Porukara and Chavara speak of it.Father Porukara writes: Since he found that, under the circumstances of those times, it was difficult to have the books canonical prayers printed in Rome he decided to print it in Koonammavu and collected the prices of the book in advance from the priests and the clerics and with the aid from Mannanam made the types of Syriac, Malayalam and Latin and published the Psalter and waited for the permission from Rome. Here Porukara is saying that he waited for the permission after printing the Psalter. But in the letter of Chavara dated 1st Kumbam (February), 1869, part of which we have quoted above, Blessed Chavara says that permission was given. He very well describes the different circumstances. But he does not mention the printing of the Psalter. From his letter it would appear that he was planning to print the whole breviary. Blessed Chavara writes: And since the only possibility is to get these books printed through him (the Archbishop), as it is difficult these days to get them printed there (Rome) or by some other means, and since permission is received to pray it and because it is difficult to do it by writing, arrangements are made to print it in the stone press under my own supervision. In order to raise the means to print the book that is in use for all the Sundays Feasts and the Fast of the year and also (the prayers) for the feasts according to the Thaksa and to make a calculation of the number of books to be printed this letter is sent. This circular letter is dated 1st February 1869 and the letter to Propaganda is dated 31st May 1869. In the first letter Blessed Chavara says that "permission to pray the breviary was received". But in the second letter Blessed Chavara requests for permission: "We humbly request you to obtain permission to recite the divine office". This shows that there is some incongruence in the two letters. If he says permission was received before February 1869, why should he ask again for permission after three months?

Fr. Placid is of opinion that Blessed Chavara died before getting the permission "to print the canonical prayers". For him the permission is for printing. Placid bases himself on the words of Father Kuriakos Porukara. Placid writes: "As very Reverend Father Porukara Kuriakos says, Father Chavara printed the Psalms and waited for the permission to print the (canonical) prayers. But he died in 1871". However, from Fr. Porukara's writing we cannot make out the year about which he is speaking when he says "and he waited for the permission". Further, Placid's statement does not agree with the words of the letter Blessed Chavara wrote on 1st Kumbam 1869, which Placid quotes on the same page. Since from the circular letter we know that as he found that the divine office cannot be printed in Rome, he decided to print it in Kunammavu under his own care. That means, even though he asks the cardinal to obtain the permission, he assumes it and does not "wait for the permission" as Porukara says. Rather he considers the permission given as valid for printing the breviary. According to Father Placid the first part of the breviary prepared by Chavara was published from Koonammavu. But we have no means to determine exactly the date of the printing of the first part of the breviary.

We have found out a few copies of book of the canonical prayers that satisfy the description given by Father Placid. There is no indication on the volume as to when and where it was printed. There is no preface or letter of introduction. It is printed in the so called stone press (Kallachu). From the type it seems to be printed in Kunammavu or Mannanam. Since Father Placid says that the first part of the breviary prepared by Blessed Chavara was printed in Koonammavu we think this was printed in Koonammavu.

The Organization of the Breviary

The Breviary of Blessed Chavara, as we know it today, contains the first part of the Hudra according to the Malabar tradition covering the periods of Annunciation, Nativity and Epiphany, including the three days of the Prayer of the Ninevites. In the structural portion it follows the ancient East Syrian tradition. However, in its organization of the commemorations we find the influence of the romanization that began in the Synod of Diamper and culminated in the two editions of the Thakasa in 1774 and 1844 and the Lectionary of 1775.

The volume consists of three sections, the first section contains the Psalms and the hymns of Moses. The second section contains the order of the different offices Ramsa, Suvaya, Lelya, Sapra and Kuthaya with the common for the Sundays and week days with the variations of the pair and impair weeks. The fourth section is the Hudra part of the volume and contains the prayers for the Sundays, Feasts and Commemorations and the ordinary days that come within it.

The following are the three sections of the book.

Page Numbers Section Decsription
  Section 1  
1-249   The Psalter: 150 Psalms and the Hymns of Moses
259-252   Prayers before the Canonical Offices
  Section 2. The Common of the different Offices  
253-276   Office of Ramsa
276-282   Office of Suvaa
282-309   Office of Lelya
310-331   Office of Sapra
332-338   Office of Quthaya
  Section 3 Ordinary for the seven days of the week  
  Sundays  
348-365   Lelya of Sunday
365-372   Qala d’Sahara
373-384   Sapra of Sundays
  Mondays of the Weeks  
385-389   Ramsa of Mondays of the Pair week
390-398   Ramsa of Mondays of the Impair week
398-407   Lelya of Mondays
407-412   Sapra of Mondays
  Tuesdays of the Weeks  
413-417   Ramsa of Tuesdays of the Pair week
417-425   Ramsa of Tuesdays of the Impair week
425-434   Lelya of Tuesdays
434-439   Sapra of Tuesdays
  Wednesdays of the Weeks  
440-448   Ramsa of Wednesdays of the Pair week
448-459   Lelya of Wednesdays of the Pair week
459-463   Sapra of Wednesdays
463-467   Ramsa of Wednesday of imprair week
467-475   Lelya of Wednesday of the Impair week
  Thursdays of the Weeks  
475-479   Ramsa of Thursdays of Pair Weeks
479-487   Ramsa of Thursdays of Impair Week
487-899   Lelya of Thursdays
499-503   Sapra of Thursdays
  Fridays of the Pair Week  
503-506   Ramsa of Fridays of Pair Week
506-509   Ramsa of Fridays of the middle week
509-517   Ramsa of the Fridays of the Imprair week
517-526   Lelya of Fridays
526-531   Sapra of Fridays
  Saturdays of the Week  
531-534   Ramsa of Saturdays of the Pair Week
535-541   Ramsa of Saturdays of the Imprair Week
541-550   Lelya of Saturdays
550-554   Sapra of Saturdays
  Section 4: Choices for the Commemorations  
554-558   Commemoration of many martyrs
558-559   Commemoration of one martyr
559-559   Commemoration of Virgin and Martyr
  Commemoration in the month of January  
563-565   January 13: Marios, Martha and Audipas
565-566   January 23: St. Emaranthina, Virgin and Martyr
566-568   January 26: St. Agnes
  Commemoration in the month of February  
568-569   February 3: St. Bailius, Bishop and Martyr
569-571   February 6: Dorethea, Martyr and Virgin
571-572   February 8: Apolonaia, Virgin and Martyr
572-573   February 14:St. Valentine , Martyr
573-574   February 15 Faustine and Jolita, Martyrs
574-575   February 18: Simeon Bishop and Martyr
576   Suraye Dilanaya: Suraye of choice
577-936 Section 5. Hudra Prayers according to the Liturgical Periods Those of the Times (Dilanaye d’Sauna)* See Note below table  
  Period of Annunciation (Suvara)  
577-585   First Sunday of Annunciation
577   Ramsa
579   Lelya
583   Qala d’Sahara
584   Sapra
585-597   The first Week of Annunciation
585   Monday of the Pair week
588   Tuesday of the Pair week
  All the Wednesdays the ordinary is celebrated  
590   Thursday of the Pair Week
592   Friday of the Pair Week
593   Friday of the Middle Week
584   Friday of the Impair week
586   Saturday of the Pair week
597-603   Second Sunday of Annunciation
603-610   Impair week of Annunciation
603   Monday of the Imprair week
505   Tuesday of the Impair week
  Wednesday : ordinary of the week  
607   Thursday of the Impair week
584   Friday of the Impair is given above
  Saturday of the Impair week  
611-616   Third Sunday of Annunciation
613   Ramsa:
614   Lelya:
615   Qala d’Sahara
616   Sapra
617-   Wednesday of the Four times
617   Ramsa
617   Suvaya
619   Lelya
621   Qala d’Sahara
    Quthata
623-629   Friday of the Rogations
626-628   Saturday of the Rogations
629-635   Fourth Sunday of Annunciation
629   Ramsa
630   Lelya
634   Qala d’Sahara
635   Sapra
636   The fast before the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ Small office
636   Basaliqe
637   Suvaya
638   Lelya
641   Qala d’Sahara
642   Sapra
646-695   On the Day of the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord First type with Octave
646   Ramsa:
655   Lelya
655   First Mauthua
659   Second Mauthua
663   Third Muathua
676   Qala d’Sahara
684-695   Sapra
695-714   On the day of the feast of St. Stephen the first Martyr Type 2 with Octave
695   Ramsa
697   Lelya: First Mauthua
698   Lelya: Second Mauthua
699   Lelya:Third Mauthua
704   Qala d’Sahara
707-714   Sapra
715-734   On the day of the Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist Type 2 with Octave
716   Ramsa
716   Lelya: First mauthua
717   Lelya: Second Mauthua
718   Lelya: Third Mauthua;
724   Lelya: Madrasa
726   Qala d’Sahara:
727   Sapra:
734-751   On the day of the feast of Holy Innocent Children Type 2 with Octave
752-764   On the day of the feast of the St. Thomas Bishop and Martyr Small office
764-772   The Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
764   Ramsa:
765   Lelya
768   Qala d’Sahara
770   Sapra
771-777   Sunday after the feast of St. Thomas
771   Ramsa: direction
772   Lelya
776   Qala d’Sahara
777   Sapra directions on
777-793   On the day of the feast of St. Sylester Pope and Confessor
  Period of Nativity( Yalda)  
794-809   Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and Octave Type 3
794   Ramsa
795   Lelya
802   Qala d’Sahara
803   Sapra
810-815   Octave of the feast of St.Stephen
815-821   Octave of the feast of John the Apostle
821-816   Octave of the feast of innocent children
  Period of Epiphany Deneha  
826-832   Day before the feast of Deneha
826   Ramsa
828   Lelya
830   Qala d’Sahara ( type 2)
832   Sapra
833-856   Feast of Deneha of Our Lord Jesus Christ
833   Ramsa
835   Lelya: First Mauthua
836   Lelya Second Mauthua
837   Lelya Third Muathua
842   Qala d’Sahara
845-856   Sapra
856-862   Monday to Saturday of the Octave
856   Second day of the Octave
860   Third day of the Octave
861   Fourth, Fifth and Friday
862   Saturday
862-868   Sunday within the Octave of Deneha
868-871   The Octave of Deneha
872-873   Monday of the Pair week
874-876   Tuesday of the Pair week
876-877   Thursday of the Pair Week
877-879   Friday of the Pair week
879-881   Friday of the Middle week
881-882   Friday of the Impair week
882-884   Saturday of the Pair week
884-889   Second Sunday after Deneha
889-890   Monday of the impair week
890-891   Tuesday of the Impair week
891-892   Thursday of the Impair week
892-893   Saturday of the Imprair week
894-898   Third Sunday after Deneha
898-903   Fourth Sunday after Deneha
903-907   Fifth Sunday after Deneha
908-912   Sixth Sunday after Deneha
912-921   Monday of the Three days fast
921-924   Tuesday of the Three days fast
924-928   Wednesday of the Three days fast
928-933   Seventh Sunday after Deneha
933-936   Eighth Sunday after Deneha

 

* Note: There is no subtitle for the periods of the Liturgical Year as “of the Period of Annunciation”, or “ of the Period of Nativity” or “ of the period of Epiphany”. in this section. Simply the first Sunday of Annunciation is given followed by the second etc. But for the facility of distinguishing we have given these subheadings


The Organization of the Offices

In this organization of the book of the divine office, what interests us in our study are the second and third sections. The second section is important for its organization of the offices, while the third reveals the mobile parts that vary according to the Liturgical Period.

Today we know only of Ramsa, Lelya and Sapra in the organization of the divine offices in the Malabar Church. But in the earlier times a few other offices were in use. Father Bernard, the historian of the Malabar Church, in his history of the CMI Congregation, speaking of the divine office says: The Canonical prayers are generally recited as three parts, namely, Ramsa, Lelya and Sapra. However, during the time of the fast (like Fifty days Fast, three days Fast) there are three other special parts, called Kuthaya,Endana and Subaa. Of these Kuthaya is said during the Sapra, Subaa as part of Ramsa. Endana is said in the middle of the day.

The second section very well reveals the depth of Blessed Chavara's knowledge of the ancient traditions and his care in safeguarding what was uniquely of the Malabar Church. It informs us that the offices like Suvaya and Kuthaya were in existence in the Malabar Church at the time of Blessed Chavara. Now these offices are not known in Malabar as they are integrated in the other three and hence they have lost their specificity. It is worth noting here that Blessed Chavara was preserving these offices of Kuthaya, Subaa and Endana almost at the same time as Bedjan was engaged in editing the breviary where he suppressed them. Hence we have to have great veneration for the memory of Blessed Chavara of his contribution.

The Organization of the HudraThe Organization of the Hudra tc \l 4 "The Organization of the Hudra" The Hudra, the third section of the volume, contains the offices for the periods of the Annunciation, Nativity and Epiphany and for the feasts and commemorations that occur during these periods according to the Thaksas of 1774 and 1844 the lectionary. One of the anomalies that Blessed Chavara felt was that "the mass was often of the saints and the divine office of the week days without proper integration". The purpose of the reorganization was "to unify the Mass and the canonical prayers". Hence in reorganizing the divine offices he integrated the feasts that came from the Roman tradition that has been introduced in the Missal and Lectionary into the breviary.

Here below we give the details regarding the organization of the prayers according to each liturgical period. They will reveal to us how the feasts taken from the Roman tradition are integrated into the ancient Malabar tradition.


Period of Annunciation


1st Sunday of Annunciation
Monday-Saturday of the 1st week of Annunciation
2nd Sunday of Annunciation
Monday-Saturday of the 2nd week of Annunciation
3rd Sunday of Annunciation
Monday-Saturday of the 3rd week of Annunciation
4th Sunday of Annunciation
Monday-Saturday of the 4th week of Annunciation


The Period of Nativity


Feast of the Nativity of the Lord
St. Stephen, the first Martyr
John the Evangelists
Feast of the Slain Children
Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
Feast of Sylvester the Pope
Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord: the Octave of Nativity
Octave of St. Stephen
Octave of the Slain Children


The Period of Epiphany


The day before the Feast of Epiphany
The Feast of Epiphany of the Lord
Monday to Saturday
Sunday within the Octave of Deneha
The Octave of Deneha
Monday-Saturday of the 1st week
2nd Sunday after Epiphany
Monday - Saturday of the 2nd week
3rd Sunday after Epiphany
Monday-Saturday of the third week
4th Sunday after Epiphany
Monday-Saturday of the 4th week
5th Sunday of Epiphany
Monday-Saturday of the 5th week
6th Sunday after Epiphany
Bausa d'Ninevaye :Prayer of the Ninevites
Monday of the Prayer of the Ninevites
(Ramsa, Subaya, Lelya, Qala d'Sahara, Sapra and Kuthaya)
Tuesday of the Prayer
Wednesday of the Prayer
Thursday-Saturday of the 6th week
7th Sunday after Epiphany (Hadb'samba Sabiaya)
Monday-Saturday of the 7th week
Eighth Sunday after Epiphany (Hadbsamba Sthiyaya)

The volume ends with the eighth Sunday after Epiphany. We have not been able to find a copy of the other volumes. We presume that there were two other volumes. But the manuscripts that Blessed Chavara sent to Rome is not traceable. Hence we do not know the details of the organization of the prayers according to the other liturgical periods.

However, from the Calendar of Blessed Chavara, that we will analyse below, we can somehow understand the structural organization of the liturgical periods. For, as we shall see below, the Calendar of Blessed Chavara and also the later Malabar Calendars side by side with the romanized liturgical periods also indicated the Malabar liturgical periods.

This was a conceived provision in view of the breviary. Since these indications are given in view of the recitation of the breviary, it should be the same as the liturgical year in the breviary he provided. The first calendar appeared three years after the breviary was sent to Rome for approbation. Hence we have to think that the structure of the Liturgical Year in the organization of the Calendar should be the same as that of the breviary of Blessed Chavara.

We know that Blessed Chavara collected all the manuscripts available from different places and consulted the Malpans in this regard. But he has also introduced feasts for Roman tradition. Still here we have a valid question. What are the sources that Blessed Chavara used when he introduced prayers for the feasts that he had found in the Missal which were not in the ancient traditions of Malabar? A search into that question is beyond the limits of this article.

Blessed Chavara's attempt to get the breviary he organized, approved by Rome did not realize before his death. He died in 1871. We do not know what was the fate of the volumes that Blessed Chavara sent to Rome in 1862 for approbation. But we know that five years after the death of Blessed Chavara, on the 4th February 1876 a breviary greatly different from the one he organized has been introduced in the Malabar Church.

A valid question arises: why was Rome silent to the petitions of Blessed Chavara? Why did Rome give no approbation to the breviary organized by the Blessed Chavara according to the Liturgical periods as it was known in Malabar? Why did they introduce another breviary? This is an area where much research is to be made.

The work of Blessed Chavara in the organization of the breviary and the attempts he made to print it shows what interest Blessed Chavara had in the restoration of the ancient traditions of the divine office in the Malabar Church. Through this work he was preserving in the Malabar Church a very ancient model of the Liturgical Year of the East Syrian tradition that has outlived the romanization process initiated by the Synod of Diamper and continued by the missionaries for the three centuries following. Since we do not possess all the parts of the divine office we cannot know the complete structure of this liturgical year. It is through the Calendar that this tradition was bequeathed to us. Hence we shall study the calendar and then discuss the significance of Blessed Chavara's contributions.

The Calendar of Blessed Chavara

There did not exist any systematically organized calendars in the Malabar Church as we know it today until the time of Blessed Chavara. Up to the 18th century the Epact in the liturgical manuscripts showing the dates of the feast of Nativity, beginning of the fast, the feast of Resurrection, Pentecost was sufficient for the computation of the liturgical periods and the feasts and fasts. The liturgical periods known in Kerala followed one of the two earlier East Syrian structures. However, after the Synod of Diamper, especially with the printing of the Missals and lectionary in 1774-1775, the liturgical year was romanized so much so that the liturgical periods and the feasts and fasts were fixed more according to Roman tradition. However, the ancient Malabar / East Syrian tradition could not be completely replaced.

The liturgical calendars as we know them came into existence with Blessed Chavara. The first liturgical calendar properly so called was printed by him. It was in Malayalam. Later under the first indigenous Bishops the calendars were made in Syriac. Later the calendars came to be printed in Malayalam. There were two different editions of the calendars in use, one published by the Bishops and another of the CMI Congregation with feasts special to them. They continued sometimes after 1962 when the liturgy was restored and the restored liturgical year following the model of Supplementum Mysteriorum was introduced.

As mentioned above, the first printed calendar that was ever used in the Malabar Church was prepared by Blessed Kuriakos Chavara in 1865. We have different sources that inform us of the work of Blessed Chavara in the preparation and printing of the calendar. Father Kuriakos Porukara in his biography of that Blessed Chavara says that he prepared the "Thukasa" and the Liturgical Calendar. The Chronicle of Mannanam Monastery tells us about the preparation and printing of the calendar for the year 1866 by Blessed Chavara. We have the following words of the Chronicle:

Therefore Father Prior was asked to go to Kunammavu at least on the day before the Nativity of Our Lord. Therefore Father Prior with great difficulty completed the printing of the calendar of the year (18)66 and then proceeded to Kunammavu with that.

Father Lucas Vithuvattickal tells us that since 1865 till the year of his death it was Blessed Chavara who had prepared and printed the Calen But the earliest copy of the calendar that we have been able to trace out was that of 1871, the year in which he died. We know that he had completed its preparation as early as August 1870. This was the last calendar that Blessed Chavara had prepared and he died on 3rd January 1871. In his letter, dated 30th August Blessed Chavara asks Father Alexander Kattakayam to continue this work for the following years. Blessed Chavara writes to Kattakkayam: "I sent to you the calendar of 1871. Please take care to print all these there, as in this year, for it is not convenient to print it here.

Besides the one of 1871 we could trace still another edition. It is dated 1876. The 1876 edition is a reproduction with required changes for the year. We present them to show the differences in the number of the weeks in the liturgical periods because of the change in the date of Easter each year.

Liturgical Period 1871 Calendar 1876 Calendar
Sundays after Nativity
(this period is not named)
- -
Period of Denaha (Epiphany) 7 7
Period of Sauma (Fast) 7 7
Period of Qyamtha (Resurrection) 7 7
Pent.1-7 Period of the Sliha(Apostles) 7 7
Pent 8-15 Period of Qaitha 9 8
Pent 16-22 Period of Sliva (Cross) 7 7
Pent 23-26 Period of Qudas Edtha 4 4
Period of Suvara (Annunciation) 4 4
Sunday Ozhiva 1 1

These calendars are important for the fact that they give us a glimpse into the ancient traditions of the Liturgical Year as it was known and practiced in the Malabar Church.

The calendar is in Malayalam, the dates are given both according to the Malayalam Era (ME) and according to Anno Domini. But the names of the months are given according to ME alone, which stand in a special way to denote also the months of Anno Domini. Here below we give the list indicating the sequence of the months in ME and AD. This system of naming the months was followed in the ecclesiastical documents of the last century. The months are named:

Makaramasam month of January
Kumbhamasam month of February
Meenamasam month of March
Metamasam month of April
Idavamasam month of May
Midhunamasam month of June
Karkidakamasam month of July
Chingamasam month of August
Kannimasam month of September
Thulamasam month of October
Vrischigamasam month of November
Dhanumasam month of December

The first column of the calendar is the dates of ME months and second those of AD months. The Sundays and feasts days of obligation are marked with a cross. The feasts that were days of obligation are marked with cross in brackets. The calendar begins with the first of the month of January (19th Makaram in the ME). The month of January is called Makaram. The liturgical periods are given in the sequence of the days and months. The Liturgical periods are structured and named according the Roman liturgical calendar. But in the nomenclature the ancient Malabar names of the periods are retained. Thus we have the names Suvara (Annunciation), Deneha (Epiphany) used to denote the periods and Qyamtha to denote the feast of Resurrection. For the periods of Fast and Resurrection Malayalam names Nompu and Uyirppu are used. The Sundays after Pentecost until the period of Suvara are named as Sundays of Pentecost and the Malayalam equivalents of quinquegessima, sexagessima and septagessima are given as in the Roman calendar. Hence we have the following structure


1st to 7th Sundays of Deneha
70th Sunday
60th Sunday
50th Sunday
1st to 6th Sendays of Nompu (Fast)
1st to 7th Sundays of Uyirppu(Resurrection)
1st to 26th Sundays of Pentecost
1st to 4th Sunday of Suvara
Sunday of Ozhiva

In this structure the calendar fully follows the Roman tradition as has been seen in the Missal of 1774, the Lectioanry of 1775 and the Thaksa of 1844. Only that in the nomenclature of the liturgical periods the Malabar tradition like Deneha, Suvara, Qyamtha and Nompu and Uyirppu in retained.

However, where the calendar becomes the witness of the ancient tradition of the Malabar Church, is in that this calendar gives side by side with the romanised system also the ancient system of the organization of the Liturgical Year, with the structure and nomenclature of the liturgical periods, as it was in practice in the Malabar Church in 1871. This is given on the right hand side of the calendar whereas the romanized system is seen on the left hand side of the calendar. The ancient names are given in Syriac. Actually, the ancient system is given to help the celebration of the divine office indicating the liturgical periods parallel to the one given in the breviary that Blessed Chavara prepared. In the beginning of each liturgical period according to the ancient system, the calendar gives the name of the period in Syriac. Thus on the first Sunday after Deneha we have the name d'Deneha (of Epiphany), on the quinquegessima Sunday is marked d'Sauma (of Fast), on the Easter Sunday daQyamtha (of Resurrection), on the 1st Sunday of Pentecost daSliha (of the Apostles), on the 7th Sunday of Pentecost d'Qaitha (of Qaitha) and 16th Sunday of Pentecost daSliva (of the Cross). On the 23rd Sunday of Pentecost we have the indication to the last period as Qudas Edtha. Hence we have the following organization of the Liturgical periods.

d'Suvara Period of Annunciation
d'Denaha Period of Epiphany
d'Sauma Period of Fast
daQyamtha Period of Resurrection
daSliha Period of the Apostles
d'Qaitha Period of Qaitha (Summer)
daSliva Period of the Cross
d'Qudas Edtha Period of the Glorification of the Church

This structure of the Liturgical Year is what has been preserved in the Malabar Church through the Calendar of Blessed Chavara. As we have mentioned above this is one of the two ancient traditions of the structural organization of the East Syrian Liturgical Year.

Significance Blessed Chavara's Liturgical Renewal Efforts

The originality of Blessed Chavara in all his liturgical renewal efforts, is that he always was the son of the soil, in love with the traditions of his Church. This is very clearly seen in his work of the organization of the breviary. He was faced with two problems. First the breviary was unorganized and was going out of practice. Second, there was lack of integration in the liturgical celebrations, the mass was often of the saint and the breviary of ordinary days. His concern for the spiritual renewal of the Church and the preservation of its traditions moved him to action.

At the time of Blessed Chavara, the liturgical books in Malabar were changing from the ancient East Syrian model into the Roman model. The ancient liturgical books of Hudra, Thaksa d'Yuamasa Shimme and Thaksa d'Kahana and Qeriyana and Evangelion were changing into Roman tradition of separate liturgical books of missal, sacramentary, breviary and lectionary. Already the Missal and the lectionary were a fixed with a lot of romanization. Divine office alone remained without much roman influence as it was unorganized. It is at this moment that Blessed Chavara started with then work.

In his search for the tradition, he always based himself on the local sources. Two sources of the tradition were available, the text and then the practice. To be truthful to the textual tradition, in the organization of the breviary, he collected all the available manuscripts and compared them, based on the finding he corrected the books and made his own edition. In this he consulted the Malpans, who were versant with the texts and the traditions. As in the case of the texts, the Malpans were the best sources and the best resource persons for determining the living traditions of the practices of celebration and rites. With this approach he attempted to safeguarded genuine tradition.

But Blessed Chavara has shown his originality and love for the traditions in his attempt to find integration. The driving force in this attempt for integration was his sense of the unity of the liturgical celebrations. In the ancient tradition Onisa d'Ramsa (Hymn of the Vespers), Onisa d'Lelya (Hymn of the Night Prayer), Onisa d'Sapra (Hymn of the Morning Prayer), the Readings, the Gospels and Onisa d'Raza (Hymn of the Eucharist) are the elements that reveal the spirit of any liturgical day or period. But in Malabar Onisa d'Raza was suppressed in the missal and breviary has separated from the missal. Hence what keeps the unity of the day are the three onisas (Hymns) and the readings. Further in the ancient time Mass was only for Sundays, Feasts and commemorations. Now introducing daily mass changed the situation.The new festal system was introduced for which there was no equivalents in the Malabar traditions. Hence divine office was of ordinary days. To solve this problem he introduced new prayers in the breviary borrowed from Roman tradition but translated into Syriac and adapted to the Malabar taste. In this he was trying preserve the ancient tradition of the unity of celebration in this.

This sense of unity of celebration is very well seen in certain instructions in the calendar. For example, his instruction "for the days other than Sundays, Feasts and communication, for which no reading is given, using the readings of the Sundays is in accordance with the Thuksasa" reveals very well his oriental mind. Here he is affirming the supremacy of Sundays in the liturgical year and the sense of the spirit of Sunday's to permeate the whole week. This is something very special revealing his liturgical genius. Blessed Chavara's concern for the preservation of the ancient traditions (Malabar and East Syrian), is seen even in his borrowing from the roman tradition. He felt that unity ( even uniformity) of rituals as a good value preserved. Hence he was not afraid to borrow from the Roman tradition. But in borrowing he referred first to the oriental traditions and then to the Roman tradition. He asked himself, whether it goes with the Eastern tradition. This mentality of his is well seen from his letter of permission from Rome for introducing the reading of the Gospel of John at the end of the Mass as was in practice in the Roman tradition and not to use incense in private mass. His argument is that even the East Syrian Church follow such practice. " I request you to permit us to read the Gospel of John at the end of the Mass, for all the rites, even the Chaldean Syrians, do this; similarly, because the use of the thuribles and incense in the private masses is difficult ( especially when celebrating in the churches of the Latin rite or of the Chaldean Syrians where it is used only in the Solemn Mass) I request you to permit us to use thurible and incense in Solemn celebrations only".

Why Did Blessed Chavara Introduce Roman Tradition

It was his concern for the spiritual promotion of the people of God and his sense of the unity of the Catholic Church that made him to borrow. He did what he did in the theological thinking of his milieu. We should remember here that even thirty five years after the restoration attempts and within milieu of the post Vatican II Eucharistic theology, the Malabar Church still continues to have the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Hour and more especially on the Thursdays of Lent and Way of the Cross on the Fridays of Fast, even though we are aware that they do not belong to the East Syrian tradition. Nor is it in perfect consonance with the Oriental or contemporary Eucharistic theology. Still we continue. But the originality of Blessed Chavara was that he always insisted that this should be in accordance with the spirit of the ancient Malabar and East Syrian traditions. That is why when he borrowed the Little Office of Our Lady, he transformed it in the model of Ramsa, Lelya and Spara. The very fact that he was always insistent on translating the text into Syriac and that he always made free translation within the context of the Malabar Church, is a revealing sign of his love for the traditions.

In this, his mind was that of great personalities of the Malabar Church like Thomas Paremmackal and Joseph Kariattil, who felt that borrowing something from the Roman Church is not against the traditions of the Malabar Church, but whatever it be, it has to be celebrated in the liturgical language. Hence just as Joseph Kariattil and Paremmackal had translated the Roman Pontifical so has blessed Chavara introduced many things from the Roman traditions but introduced it in the context of the Malabar Church.

Similarly we have to understand Chavara in his living context as regards his borrowing devotional practices from the Roman traditions. There had been a lot of devotional practices in the Malabar Church, borrowed from the Roman tradition, and introduced by the western missionaries in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which nourished spiritual life of the laity, religious and priests alike. Blessed Chavara, like any other lay man or priest of his time, nourished his spiritual life from his early childhood from such practices. He has also promoted such practices very ardently and even introduced such practices in the Malabar Church.

Blessed Chavara Preserved the most Ancient Malabar Tradition

In the organization of the Breviary and the Calendar Blessed Chavara has contributed to the preservation of an ancient Malabar Tradition. The structure of the Liturgical Year that has been preserved in the Malabar Church through the Calendar of Blessed Chavara, as we have mentioned above, is one of the two ancient traditions of the structural organization of the East Syrian Liturgical Year.

The study of the ancient manuscripts of lectionaries and breviaries in the East Syrian tradition reveals different structural models. All the models found in them can be reduced to two very ancient models, which in all probability existed prior to the reorganization of the East Syrian Liturgical Year attributed to Iso Yahb III (7th cent). If we compare the structural model of the Liturgical Year in the Calendar and Breviary of Blessed Chavara with the model in the Breviary edited by Paul Bedjan, or of the Trichur Breviary of the Church of the East or of the Supplementum Mysteriorum, we find that they are different. In Supplementum, as in the other two breviaries, we have the following model of the Liturgical Year.


Annunciation,
Nativity,
Epiphany,
Fast,
Resurrection,
Apostles,
Qaitha,
Elia,
Finding of the Cross (Sliva),
Moses
Qudas Edtha.

This pattern with different variations can be seen in many manuscripts of the East Syrian lectionaries and breviaries dating from the 7/8th centuries. However, there are few rare manuscripts, dating from 8/9th century, like Vatican Syriac 22 dated 1301 from the Malabar Coast, which show a different model. They reveal a structural model which is different from the above as given below .


Annunciation,
Nativity,
Epiphany,
Fast,
Resurrection,
Apostles,
Qaitha,
Elia,
Finding of the Cross (Sliva),
Qudas Edtha.

The difference in structural and nomenclature is from the period of Qaitha onward. They have periods of Elia, Finding of the Cross, Qudas Edtha ( this we call EFQE model) whereas the Supplementum Mysteriorum, has Elia-Finding-Moses-Qudas Edtha (this we call EFMQE model).

Our study of the East Syriac manuscripts of breviaries and lectionaries, including Malabar manuscripts, has brought us to the conclusion that the different structural models that we find in the different manuscripts is a mixture of two earlier traditions that existed in the East Syrian traditions. Of these, the first begins with the seven weeks of Moses and ends with seven weeks of Elia and the periods of Annunciation, Nativity, Epiphany, Fast, Resurrection, Apostles and Qaitha coming in between as follows


Moses
Annunciation
Nativity
Epiphany
Fast
Resurrection
Apostles
Qaitha
Elia

The second, on the other hand, begins with the period of Annunciation and ends with Qudas Edtha and the periods of Nativity, Epiphany, Fast, Resurrection, Apostles and Qaitha coming in between. The first has no period of Qudas Edtha and the second has no period of Moses and Elia. Thus we have the following models


Annunciation
Nativity
Epiphany
Fast,
Resurrection,
Apostles,
Qaitha,
Finding of the Cross
Qudas Edtha

The three known theological interpretations of the Liturgical Year by the Anonymous Author( 9/10th cent), Raman Bric Ipso (14th cent) and the Unknown Theologian (16th century) point to these two traditions.

What has been preserved in the Calendar and Breviary of Blessed Chavara is the remnant of the second model in the East Syrian traditions. Our researches into the manuscript traditions of the lectionary and breviary in the East Syrian and Malabar traditions has made us convinced that through the breviary and Calendar of Blessed Chavara one of these two ancient traditions of the structure and nomenclature of the Liturgical Year has been preserved. This is a great contribution which has great significance in the study of the history of Liturgy in the Malabar and East Syrian traditions.

We shall stand with respect and veneration to the great liturgical genius of the Malabar Church, ever mindful of his love and concern for the traditions of his Church. Let us follow his examples and be instruments and channels in preserving the valuable traditions of our Church.

Notes

(reproduced here as they appear in the original; cross references to these notes are missing in the body of the article)

  1. Fr. Lucas Vithuvattickal, Beatifications et Canonizationis Servi Dei Cyriaci Eliae Chavara Sacerdotis Cofundatoris Congregationis Fratrum Carmelitarum Mariae Immaculatae (+1871), Poistio Super Introductione Causae et Super Virtutibus Ex Officio Concinnata
  2. Thukasa, Mannanam, 1868.
  3. Positio, p.484
  4. Placid TOCD, Nammute Ritu, Mannanam, 1944, 1951, p.132
  5. Positio, p.499-500
  6. Positio p.282, 381
  7. Ksava d'sesmestha dahalap anidhe, Mannanam, 1882, p.2, Positio, p.281
  8. Positio, p.493
  9. Positio, p.484
  10. Blessed Chavara was the first Prior of the CMI Congregation. He was known as Father Prior.
  11. Sthapaka Pithakkanmar, Mannanam, 1996 p.24, Quoted by Placid, TOCD, Nammute Ritu, p. 131.
  12. Already he had completed the work of Thukasa (the book of the rubrics) and the calendar. They form the first part that Chavara mentions here. Blessed Chavara's letter dated 1 (Kumbam)February 1869, Chavarayachante Sampoorna Krithikal, Vol.4 Kathukal,p. 130-131, Positio p.310, Valerian TOCD, Chavara Kuriakos Eliachan, Mannanam, 1935, pp.315-316, quoted by Fr.Placid C.D., Nammute Ritu, Mannanam, 1942, p.132.
  13. The Latin text of Positio gives this while the recent Sthapaka Pithakknmar, Mannanam, 1995 does not contain it.
  14. Kuriakos Eliseus Porukara, A Short History,, p.32-33, 1905,1989, (New edition)
  15. Sthapaka Pithakkanmar (Founding Fathers), Mannanam 1995 p.24, Latin translation in Positio p.478.
  16. The letter dated May 1st 1869 gives a slightly different latin text:""Tandem te obsecramus ut nobis obtineas permissionem recitare divinum officium totius anni juxta ordinem iam abhinc septem annis S.Congregationi ad effectum approbationis propositum", Positio, p.312. Valerian TOCD, Chavara Kuriakos Eliachan, p.226, quoted by Placid TOCD, Nammute Ritu, p.130.
  17. Positio 312 cfr. footnote 69.
  18. In malayalam text we have the name Vunard, which in all probability is Bernardine.
  19. Letter to the Propoaganda Fidei,Chavarayachante Sampoorna Krithikal, kathukal, p.29
  20. Positio, p.485.
  21. Valerian TOCD, op.cit., p.315-316, quoted by Placid TOCD, Nammute Ritu, p.132-133.
  22. The Latin translation in Positio is slightly different. Cf. Positio, p.310.
  23. Placid TOCD, Nammute Rithu, 1951, p.133.
  24. Bernard of St. Thomas TOCD, Malayalathile Kaldaya Suriyani Reethil Chernna ka.ni.mu.Sabayute Charithra Samkzhepam, Mannanam, 1908, p.16.
  25. Positio, p.644
  26. Letter of Blessed Chavara to Father Alexander Kattakkayam, dated 30th August 1870,
  27. Positio, doc.XII,1,f. p.397.
  28. Deneha Sesham 1-am Njayar: First Sunday after Deneha. It reveals that what was still prevalent in the use was the expression basar Deneha, though the calendar gives d'Denaha.
  29. The Sunday after Ascension is called the 6th Sunday of Resurrec
  30. Positio p.312
  31. Supplementum Mysteriorum was prepared and proposed by the Liturgical Commission of the Oriental Congregation for the restoration of the Malabar Liturgical Year.

Copyright

Copyright: Christian Musicological Society of India. Do not use any part of this article without prior written permission from the Christian Musicological Society of India. For permission please send request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pallipuram Cross

 

Remnant of the ancient wooden cross at St. Mary’s Forane Church, Pallippuram, near Cherthala, in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, India.
Joseph J. Palackal
©2013 Christian Musicological Society of India

This is one of the two earliest available material witnesses to the presence of Christianity in India in the early Christian era, the other being the granite Cross at Chennai. This Cross originally belonged to the Christian community at Kokkamangalam, which lies on the same western bank of the Vembanad backwaters, about 12 kilometers to the south of Pallippuram. Kokkamangalam is important in the history of Indian Christianity, because it is one of theseven locations where St. Thomas the Apostle is believed to have established Christian communities. Later, the Cross reached Pallippuram, under unusual circumstances.

According to the local legend that Christians hold dearly, and transmit passionately from generation to generation, against any historical probability, the Apostle himself made this Cross and gave it to the Hindu converts to Christianity at Kokkamangalam. Those who opposed the new religion became angry, and threw the Cross into the Vembanad backwaters; it landed on the small island off the Pallippuram mainland. The Hindu women, who went to the island to cut grass for their domestic animals, inadvertently struck the Cross with a sickle; the Cross started bleeding. Afraid and confused, and not knowing the significance of the unusual artifact, they reverently carried the Cross to the main land, and entrusted it to a Christian family there. The Christians built a small thatched hut to house the Cross, about a hundred meters to the west from the bank of the backwaters. When the community grew larger, a bigger church was built, yet another five hundred meters to the west, where the present St. Mary’s Church stands. There are slight variations in the details of the story among different families, but the main theme remains the same.

Historical veracity aside, there is no other living community in India that possesses a material object which, according to them, has the spiritual significance of an umbilical cord to the Apostolic faith.

As an artwork, the equal-armed Cross, which seems to fit in a full circle, has a unique shape that makes it different from similar crosses seen in India or in other cultures around the world. The tripartite endings have two petals bending inward, without touching the petals of the adjacent arms. The middle portion of the Cross is thicker than the arms. Exposure to the tropical weather of the region has evidently taken a toll on the wood. A closer examination is required to ascertain whether the Cross is glued to the wooden frame, or if the frame and the Cross were carved from a single piece. In the absence of data from carbon dating, the antiquity of the Cross remains elusive. It is not clear if the wood is natural to the region, or if it was brought in from elsewhere.

Ironically, answers to these, and other even more crucial questions, are lying in the open, exposed to the elements, on the granite slabs that are inserted into the western wall of the Parish rectory. Centuries ago, these slabs were part of the edifice of the earlier church. They contain inscriptions in a script that is yet to be decoded. These slabs are waiting for a Jean-Francois Champollion who deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphs to unveil the many clues to the history of India and Christianity. Surprisingly, neither the Syro-Malabar Church, nor the Archaeology Department of the Government of India, seem to be interested.

Until the 1970s, the Cross used to be in a circular niche on the top of the reredos of the southern-side altar, which is dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle. The niche above the statue of the Apostle (see photo) is adorned with depictions of flowers and peacocks peacock is a common motif that appears in paintings and regional folk songs about the Apostle. At present, the Cross is kept in the Parish archive, and is made available for public veneration twice a year: on the feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle (July 3), and during the festival days of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15), the Patroness of the Parish.


Photo of the Cross, courtesy: http://pallippurathamma.org
See more photos at http://palackal.org



Copyright: Christian Musicological Society of India. Do not use any part of this article without prior written permission from the Christian Musicological Society of India. For permission please send request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Aramaic Project - Song List

S.No Songst Title Occassion/Purpose/Context Artist Youtube Link Aramaic Project Number Notes
1 Aareem tharae For the ceremonial opening of the church door, when the procession reaches the Church door) K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5e  
2 Ahai Qambel Deacon's invitation to receive the holy communion from the Solemn Qurbana. Sebastian Menachery Video 52m  
3 Alleluia the solemn Qurbana of the Syro Malabar Church Marth Mariam Church Choir, Kuravilangad Video 38  
      Rev. Dr. George Koyilparambil Video 19  
4 Ammaanaa (My people) The lament from Good Friday services. Sebastian Menachery Video 52j  
5 Ammaanaa ewudes for Good Friday K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5b  
6 Āwdīnan mār (Institution Narrative) Words of the Institution/Institution Narrative Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt Video 15a  
  Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25p  
  Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian Video 6k  
 
Rev. Dr. George Koyilparambil
Video 50b  
7 Awūn d’waśmayyā Lord's Prayer
Fr. Emmanuel Thelly C.M.I.
Video 1a Recitation
      The First Communion children of St. Jude Syro Malabar Church in Northern Virginia, Virginia, USA Video 23 Practice Session
      The St. Jude Syro Malabar Church choir in Northern Virginia, Virginia, USA Video 23a Practice Session
      Catherine Video 10a Recitation/Instruction
  Awūn d’waśmayyā Lord's Prayer with Thrice Holy and Doxology First Holy Communion & Confirmation candidates of St.Jude Syro Malabar Catholic Church in Northern Virginia, USA. Video 21 Recital during First Holy Communion & Confirmation
      The Sisters of St. Thomas Video 18a  
      Catherine Video 10b  
8 B’eda d’yawmaan (On this Festival Day) Hymn to the Blessed Virgin Baby Anamthuruthil & Children's Choir at St. Mary's Church (aka Suriyanippally), Palluruthy Video 26 Text of the Malayalam version is by Fr. Abel Periyappuram, C.M.I.
      Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25g Three melodies of “B’eda d’yawmaan;” one melody starts on off beat.
      Sisters of St. Thomas Video 18b New Melody
      Dr. Jacob Vellian and team Video 6a  
      Paul Joy Vathappillil Video 7  
9 Bar Maryam     Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt Video 15c  
      Dr. Joseph J. Palackal Video 43 Instruction/Conference
      George Thaila Video 53 Melody of Bar Maryam used for the malayalam song: Nalla Mātāwe mariye/ Nirmala yawusēppitāwe
10 Barek Maar (Bless O Lord)   Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt Video 15f  
      Sebastian Menachery Video 52c  
      Marth Mariam Church Choir, Kuravilangad Video 32  
    Using melody of Exsultet Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25l Using melody of Exsultet
    The ordinary melody Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25m The ordinary melody
     
Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian
Video 6l  
11 Daa malen Melody of Hosana Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25c Influence of Latin chant
12 Emare d’alaaha (Lamb of God) Concluding part of the Syriac translation of the Latin Litany Sebastian Menachery Video 52l  
      Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian Video 6g  
13 Ennaana lahma(I am the Bead that came down from heaven) Solemn Qurbana (Syriac) of the Syro Malabar Church Marth Mariam Church Choir, Kuravilangad Video 39  
14 Ha ennaa Raaza of the Syro Malabar Liturgy K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5j Sung in three ascending pitch registers
15 Hā qēs slīwā Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday
Fr. Augustus Thekknath C.M.I.
Video 4  
16 Hosana  
Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal
Video 25c Influence of Latin chant
17 Huthamma Final Blessing of Requiem Mass
Fr. Augustus Thekknath C.M.I.
Video 4a  
    Marth Mariam Church Choir, Kuruvilangad Video 33  
18 Īśō māran Acrostic Hymn of St.Ephrem the Syrian
Fr. Emmanuel Thelly C.M.I.
Video 1b Acrostic Hymn of St.Ephrem the Syrian
19 K’saawaa ramba or K’ţāwā rambā ??   K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5k  
20 Kadqaayen   Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25h  
21 Kadkrew maaran for the procession on Palm Sunday K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5d  
22 Kollan daśnē Syriac Translation Of the Benediction hymn Tantum Ergo. Second chant for Benediction. Sebastian Menachery Video 52b Unique melody
      Lonappan Arackal & team Video 51b  
      Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25o  
23 "Kyaanaaya" melody  
Fr. Charles Pyngot C.M.I.
Video 2d  
24 Lāk ālāhā   K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5h Syriac translation of the Latin chant, Te Deum
25 Laaku Maaraa (Resurrection hymn) Chanting of slotha (prayer) followed by the Resurrection hymn in Syriac. Sebastian Menachery Video 52k Melody for solemn occasions in the Syro Malabar Church.
      Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt Video 15i  
      Marth Mariam Church Choir, Kuravilangad Video 37  
      Fr. Thomas Perumayan & the Sunday School children at St. Joseph's Church, Kadavanthara, Kochi Video 29 Instruction
26 Lemba haliya Īśō māran Hymn in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Sebastian Menachery Video 52o  
27 M’haymneenan From the Creed (Profession of Faith)in Syriac during solemn celebration of Qurbana Sebastian Menachery Video 52e
Probabaly composed in Kerala.
Melody 1 of 2.
      Sebastian Menachery
Video
52f
Probabaly composed in Kerala.
Melody 2 of 2.
      Marth Mariam Church Choir, Kuruvilangad Video 40  
28 M’Samsana Daweed For Elevation During Qurbana On Pesaha Thursday Lonappan Arackal & team Video 51d  
29 Maran Iso Thesbohtha after Communion Lonappan Arackal & team Video 51f ordinary tune
      Lonappan Arackal & team Video 51g
Solemn tune.
Melody was composed in Kerala.
      The Sisters of St. Thomas Video 18c  
30 Marayor paawe   K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5a Tamil song in honor of the BVM
31 Maria Alaah   K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5l  
32 Marth Mariam thuwaaneesaa   Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian Video 6p  
33 Mawhawsa blessing before Communion Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt Video 15h  
34
O dezdamman
Raaza of the Syro Malabar Liturgy K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5i  
35 Pagare damasiha Anthem of the Mysteries from the solemn Qurbana of the Syro Malabar Church. Marth Mariam Church Choir, Kuruvilangad Video 36 the first incipit is sung twice
      The Sisters of St. Thomas Video 18d  
     
Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian and team
Video 6e  
36 Puqdaanakon(Your mandate)  
Major Archbishop Cardinal Alencherry
Video 8  
     
Dr. Joseph J. Palackal
Video 8 Practice Session
      Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikal Video 25  
37 Puqdān handes Knocking ceremony on Palm Sunday Sebastian Menachery Video 52  
38 Qaddis Qaddis Qaddis / Qandis Qandis Qandis Reenactment of Holy Holy Holy On Pesaha Thursday before 1962. Lonappan Arackal & team Video 51c Holy Holy Holy in Syriac
      Sisters of St.Thomas Video 18f  
39 Qaddiśā alāhā / Qandisa Alaaha Trisagion in Syriac Marth Mariam Church Choir, Kuravilangad Video 34  
      Fr. Thomas Perumayan & the Sunday School children at St. Joseph's Church, Kadavanthara, Kochi Video 30  
      Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25j Allahu Akbar and Qandisa Hailsana, a comparison
      Joseph J. Palackal & the St. Jude Syro Malabar Church choir in Northern Virginia, Virginia, USA Video 22 Practice session, with incipits in Malayalam
      Joseph J. Palackal & the St. Jude Syro Malabar Church choir in Northern Virginia, Virginia, USA Video 22a Practice session, with incipits in English
      Rev. Dr. George Koyilparambil Video 19  
      Joseph J. Palackal Video 9  
      Joseph J. Palackal Video 9  
    Trisagion in Greek and Syriac, for Good Friday K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5c  
      Fr. Charles Pyngot, C.M.I. Video 2a  
40 Qambel māran   Marianne Thaila Video 24  
41 Quryēlaisōn Litany in Syriac, translated from Latin (Kyrie Eleison). Sebastian Menachery Video 52h Melody 1 of 2
      Sebastian Menachery Video 52p Melody 2 of 2
      Lonappan Arackal Video 51h Melody 1 of 4
      Lonappan Arackal Video 51i Melody 2 of 4
      Lonappan Arackal Video 51j Melody 3 of 4
      Lonappan Arackal Video 51k Melody 4 of 4
      Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian and team Video 6h  
42 “Rahem alai alaaha” vs “Edtha pus lek”   Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25a Melody comparison
43 Rahme Suqaanaa From the Rite of reconciliation in Syro Malabar Qurbana Sebastian Menachery Video 52n  
    Melody sung on Pesaha Thursday Lonappan Arackal & team Video 51e Lonappan Arackal sings the same text of the Reconciliation rite in the Syriac Qurbana in the requiem and solemn manner.
      Rev. Dr. George Koyilparambil Video 50a call-response style chant; Celebrant sings his part in Syriac, and the congregation sings its part in Malayalam
      Rev. Dr. George Koyilparambil Video 19  
      Marth Mariam Church choir, Kuruvilangad Video 41 Melody 1
      Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 20 Melody 2
      Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt Video 15g  
     
Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian
Video 6m  
44 Sagdeenan maar   Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25f  
      Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian Video 6j  
45 Śambah l’māryā   Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25h  
    Tune 1 of 3.
K. O. Chacko Koythadathil
Video 5m Tune 1 of 3.
    Tune 2 of 3.
K. O. Chacko Koythadathil
Video 5n Tune 2 of 3.
    Tune 3 of 3.
K. O. Chacko Koythadathil
Video 5o Tune 3 of 3.
46 Śambah leśān (Sing my tongue) Used to be sung as the opening chant for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the Syro Malabar Church, until 1962 Lonappan Arackal & team Video 51a Syriac translation of the latin chant Pange Lingua by St.Thomas Aquinas
      Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian and team Video 6f  
    sung during the Eucharistic procession on Holy Thursday K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5f  
47 Ślām lēk maryam Sung on Wednesdays at the monasteries of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate in Kerala. Sebastian Menachery Video 52i Syriac Translation of the Latin chant,'Salve Regina'
48 Ślāmā w’saina  
Fr. Charles Pyngot, C.M.I.
Video 2b  
49 Slīwā dahwā lan Sung when the festival procession reaches the Open air Cross Lonappan Arackal & team Video 51l Author: St. Ephrem the Syrian. The text and melody are used for the veneration of the Cross in two very different contexts. During Raza, the most solemn form of Qurbana, the chant is sung while the celebrants and the congregation kiss the Cross. During festival processions the chant used to be sung at the foot of the open-air Cross when the celebrant and singers halted to venerate the Cross. On this occasion, it was sung with the accompaniment of violin and triangle.
    sung during the kissing of the cross in Raaza Josetta Jarly Thalikasthanam & Shalini Kurian Video 42 Instruction
    Sung during Raaza Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian and team Video 6c  
50 Slose dasletha Hymn to the Martyrs
Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian
Video 6b  
51 Slotha (prayer)   Fr. Charles Pyngot, C. M. I. Video 2c Recitation
52 Slotha for Qandisa Alaaha   The Sisters of St. Thomas Video 18e melody of slotha
53 Suwha l’awaa Commemoration hymn Sebastian Menachery Video 52g  
      Rev. Dr. George Koyilparambil & choir Video 50 Bilingual rendition in Syriac and Malayalam
      Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt Video 15b in three tunes
      Marth Mariam Church Choir, Kuravilangad Video 35  
      Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25d Melodies for solemn Mass and requiem Mass
54 Tālāk Ruhā (Come O Spirit)   Rebecca Video 10c Syriac translation of the Latin chant, Veni Creator Spiritus
      K. O. Chacko Koythadathil Video 5g  
55 Thapā ro'rae Hymn in honor of St John Nepomucene Lonappan Arackal & team Video 51m
Uses the melody of ’Bar Mariam.
Locally composed in Kerala.
56 Thesbohtha lalaaha   Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25e Melody in three ascending pitch registers
57 Thlaaye ewuraaye skeeleen waawu For Palm Sunday, while distributing the palms Dr. Jacob Vellian and team Video 6i  
58 Thuwaa wu lainaa Tune 1 of 2.
K. O. Chacko Koythadathil
Video 5p  
    Tune 2 of 2.
K. O. Chacko Koythadathil
Video 5q  
59 U al appay Chanting of slotha (prayer) followed by the Resurrection hymn in Syriac. Sebastian Menachery Video 52k Melody for solemn occasions in the Syro Malabar Church.
60 U al ar'a (And on earth) From the solemn Qurbana in Syriac in the Syro Malabar Church before 1962. Sebastian Menachery Video 52a Syriac translation of 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo'
    Sebastian Menachery Video 52q  
61 Ula tayelan   Sebastian Menachery Video 52r Syriac translation of Te Deum
62 Yaaye Maar   Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25k Application of the melody of Exsultet
63 Yamaa Hamaho Introduction to the Gospel proclamation Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal Video 25b  
64 ??? Litany in Syriac Litany of BVM in Syriac Rev. Dr. Jacob Vellian and team Video 6d  
65 ??? Chants from the liturgy of the Syro Malabar Church.
Fr. Abel Periyapuram, C. M. I.
Youtube 14  
66 ???  
Fr. Abel Periyapuram, C. M. I.
Video 13 Malayalam version of model melodies from the liturgy of the Hours of the Syro Malabar Church
67 ???  
Fr. Abel Periyapuram, C. M. I.
Video 12 Syriac and Malayalam versions of melodies from the liturgy of the Syro Malabar Church
68 ???  
Fr. Abel Periyapuram, C. M. I.
Video 11 Syriac melodies and their Malayalam translations from the liturgy of the Syro Malabar Church