Aramaic Project

No. 160 to 151 - Interviews and Performances - Video List

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Aramaic Project Number Description Duration Date and place of Recording Video

Pre-screening lecture at Quebec University, Montreal, Canada<

Legacies and Prospects - The Past and Futures in music Pre-screening lecture By Dr. Joseph J. Palackal


Quebec University, Montreal, Canada

25 May , 2019


Three -year old Hansel Joseph sings Syriac chants

It is indeed a delight to watch the three-year-old Hansel Joseph singing his favorite Syriac chants. He does it with ease and an innocent smile. Hansel is the grandson of Ammini John Anamthuruthil (see Aramaic Project-48.). Hansel learned the melodies by listening to his grandmother who is nostalgic about the Syriac era of the Syro Malabar Church. She continues to hum the melodies of the Syriac chants at home. Hansel is not old enough to handle the Syriac syllables, but he seems to enjoy the act of singing. Home could be the first and the best place where children can start listening to Syriac chants. They shall never forget that experience in their lives, We hope this video will inspire many parents and children alike. We are grateful to Hansel's parents for capturing these precious moments.

Joseph J. Palackal CMI
New York
1 November 2019

Residence of Hansel Joseph , Kochi

1 November, 2015


Mar Walah ("My Lord and my God") for Sunday School children.

A simple melody in a call-response style of singing that Sunday School children can use to celebrate the words of their Father in faith, St. Thomas the Apostle. The teaching of Syriac to the younger generation can start with this simple but profound phrase which is a proclamation of the divinity and humanity of Jesus.

Keywords: Mar Walah, Thomas the Apostle, St. Thomas the Apostle, Profession of faith. St. Jude's Syro Malabar church, Northern Virginia Syro Malabar USA


St. Jude Syro Malabar Catholic Church,North Virginiana, USA

29 September, 2019


St. Thomas Chant: "Mar(y) Walah(y)": "My Lord and my God" for Puthu Njayar

A simple singable melodic design in a call-response style for Sunday School children: Dr. Joseph J. Palackal, CMI

Keywords: Mar Walah, Thomas the Apostle, St. Thomas the Apostle, Profession of faith. St. Jude's Syro Malabar church, Northern Virginia Syro Malabar USA


St. Jude Syro Malabar Catholic Church,North Virginiana, USA

29 September, 2019


Fr. George Nellikkatt: Solemn Qurbana in Syriac

Note: We are delighted to add yet another precious gem to the treasury of our musical archive. This recording of the solemn Syriac Qurbana in the golden voice of a celebrated singer, Fr. George Nellikkatt (1935-2006), is a gift to us from Babu Puthumana, who knew Fr. Nellikkatt closely and worked with him for many years. This is one of the two recordings that Babu gave to us, along with permission to post them on our channel. Fr. Nellikkatt had a full-throated voice that reminds us of European opera tenors. According to Babu Puthumana, Fr. Nellikkatt was full of energy that he could sing two Solemn Qurbana on the same day. This recording is a document of the revised (post-1962) Qurbana text. The Qurbana begins with the minor doxology followed by “Puqdankon.” We hear melodies that are from the Mangalappuzha era (St. Joseph’s Seminary). For example, the melody and performance practice of the Resurrection hymn and the Trisagion may probably be by Fr. Mathew Vadakel in the 1950s. We heard the same melody from Fr. Paul Kodamullil ( Aramaic Project 3B), who studied at the Mangalappuzha seminary. Overall, this recording is a marker of an era in the history of Syriac chants in India.

Joseph J. Palackal,
CMI New York
26 October 2019

Studio Recording at SOUND TRACK, Kottayam.

Year 2012


Fr. Cyril Thayyil: Solemn Qurbana in Syriac at Kuravilangad

Marth Maryam Forane Church, Kuravilangad. 7 June 2019.


Marth Maryam Forane Church, Kuravilangad.

7 June 2019.


Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt. Solemn Qurbana in Syriac. Elanji

St. Peter and St. Paul Church, Elanji. 28 June 2019.


St. Peter and St. Paul Church, Elanji, Pala Eparchy

28 June 2019.


Fr. Cyril Thayyil sings "O Desdamman," Turgama before Epistle

During Solemn Qurbana at Peter and Paul Church, Elanji. Celebrant: BIshop Joseph Kallarangatt 28 June 2019.

See complete Qurbana


Peter and Paul Church, Elanji, Pala Eparchy

28 June 2019.


Fr. Cyril Thayyil. "Oh damahaimaneen," Turgama for Evangelion

During Solemn Qurbana at Peter and Paul Church, Elanji. Celebrant: BIshop Joseph Kallarangatt

See complete Qurbana


Peter and Paul Church, Elanji, Pala Eparchy

28 June , 2019.


Fr Cyril Thayyil: A Promise to the future of Syriac chants in India

Note: It is indeed an honor to introduce Fr Cyril Thayyil:, a gifted young priest who is passionate about singing Syriac chants. Fr Thayyil: is blessed with a rich, resonant baritone voice, eagerness to learn Syriac melodies, and experiment with presenting them with the accompaniment of modern musical instruments. When he was a teenager, Fr Cyril Thayyil: was lucky to learn from a great master of the Syriac language and Syriac music, Fr. George Plathottam. Fr. Plathottam discerned the unique vocal inflection and a curious mind in the young Cyril and took upon himself the mission of grooming him into an excellent singer. Meanwhile, Thayyil: also learned to read and understand the Syriac Thaksa (missal). During his first mass, Fr. Thayyil: chanted the Institution narrative in Syriac in the presence of his master, Fr. Plathottam. After ordination, Fr Thayyil: received invitations from parishes across Kerala to be the celebrant of solemn Syriac Qurbana on such special occasions as the feast of the patron saint of the parish. Currently (2018), Fr Thayyil: celebrates about 30 such solemn Qurbana in a year. Even during the celebration of Qurbana in Malayalam, Fr. Cyril intones the Institution narrative in Syriac and tries to educate people to become at home with the sound of the Syriac language. He has mastered an exciting way to end the slotha (orations) with phrases in the original Syriac text during the celebration of Qurbana in Malayalam. Recently, Fr. Thayyil started experimenting with commercial recordings of Syriac chants with the accompaniment of modern musical instruments. These recordings with their appealing modern sonorities are getting much attention on social media. Such attempts add to the conversation on Syriac chants among the young people in the Syro Malabar Church, who did not have the opportunity to get acquainted with this unique music tradition during their growing years. Fr Thayyil: is rendering excellent service in resuscitating the Syriac music tradition. It was in the summer of 2006, about six years before embarking on the Aramaic Project, that I first met the young Cyril Thayyil:, at the Old Cathedral Church at Pala. The CMSIndia organized a video recording of the solemn Qurbana by Fr. George Plathottam (Aramaic Project-70,. Fr. Plathottam chose his favorite disciple, the young Cyril, who was a seminarian at that time, to be the singing server. Little did I know at that time that our paths would cross again as partners in the yet-to-be-born Aramaic Project. We plan to archive as many recordings of Fr. Thayyil as possible. We wish and pray that Fr. Thayyil maintains his youthful energy and enthusiasm to serve the Syriac cause Ad Multos Annos.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
2 October 2019


Sacred Heart Convent, Kuruvinad, Palai

31 July, 2018

153 Bilingual Qurbana at Sacred Heart Church, Glendale, New York 4:16

Sacred Heart Church, Glendale, New York

15, September, 2019


Dr. Joseph J. Palackal's lecture at Syro Malabar Convention 2019

Part I. he role of music in Liturgy.
Part II. Why should we bring back Syriac chants?
Part III. Q&A


Syro Malabar National Convention 2019, Houston

2 August, 2019


Francesca Pulicken in attendance at the practice session for bilingual Qurbana

9-month old Francesca Claire Pulicken listening to Qandisa Alaha. Nashville, Tennessee, 4 September 2019.

Note: When I saw this video, what attracted me was the peaceful face of the little baby Francesca Clair Pulicken, on the right side of the screen. She seemed quite comfortable and even enjoying the sound and the ambiance. Francesca reminded me of the foregone generation that grew up listening to the sound and melody of the Syriac chants from early childhood. Syriac became part of their religious DNA and it defined who they were. That is why they defended the Syriac tradition against the hegemonic attempts of the Portuguese missionaries to replace Syriac with Latin. Ironically, in the second half of the twentieth century, the Syro Malabar hierarchy, all of them native Syro Malabarians, decided in favor of a complete transition to the vernacular. In 2013, we started a return journey under the banner of the Aramaic Project, and this video is a testimony to how far we have travelled. Francesca’s parents, Diana and Abey Pulicken were part of the choirs that sang during the Qurbana at the Syro Malabar Convention in Chicago (August 1-4, 2019. Diana sang in the English choir and Abey in the Malayalam choir). On the first and the final days, the Qurbana was in Malayalam, and on the second and third days in English. On all the days, Syriac chants were part of the celebration (Aramaic Project 146 , Aramaic Project-145, Aramaic Project-144, Aramaic Project-143). After the Convention, Diana said to me that she was “super motivated” to do something to share her experience of the serenity and spirituality of the Syriac chants with others. Abey went along with it. When they returned to Nashville, Tennesse, they suggested the idea of singing Qandisa Alaha during the Qurbana on the feast of the patron of their parish, Mother Theresa of Culcutta. What we see in the video is the practice session at the home of Reshma, one of the choir members. We are grateful to Diana and Abey for being part of a great movement and for allowing us to post this video on our channel. We have a long wait to see what Francesca's generation would do with its Syriac heritage. May God bless the Syro Malabar Mission in Nashville, Tennesse.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
10 September 2019


Residence of Abey and Diana Pulickan,Nashville, Tennesse, USA

4 September, 2019

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