Interviews and Performances - Video List
AP 10 to 1


Fr. Paul Kodamullil
(Diocese of Kothamangalam, Kerala)
In conversation with Dr. Joseph J. Palackal, CMI.

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AP 3 - Fr. Paul Kodamullil (Diocese of Kothamangalam, Kerala) in conversation with Dr. Joseph J. Palackal.
Call Number

AP 3

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title Fr Paul Kodamullil (Diocese of Kothamangalam, Kerala) in conversation with Dr. Joseph J. Palackal.
Duration 19:19
Place of Recording Sathinilayam, Retired Priests Home, Muvattupuzha, Kerala
Date of Recording 5 August 2013
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s) AP 3a to 3e

Fr. Paul Kodamullil is a celebrated singer, who is gifted with a powerful and resonant voice. His vocal style is reminiscent of the pre-amplification era, when singers had to reach out to large audiences without the aid of a microphone or acoustic amphitheaters. During his active years, Fr. Kodamulli used to be sought after to be the celebrant at solemn sung mass during parish festivals.

This interview is a great gift to the Aramaic Project because Fr. Kodamulli is a living link to a unique period of time (the 1950s) and place (St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary at Mangalapuzha, Aluva) in the history of the Syriac chants in India. During this period, we see an unusual convergence of great and diverse musical talents and heightened musical activity at St. Joseph’s Seminary; Fr. Mathew Vadakel, an excellent singer and composer of Syriac chants, served as a professor. In this video, Fr. Kodamullil sings the solemn melody of the Resurrection Hymn in Syriac, “Lākumārā,” (To You O Lord) that Fr. Vadakel composed. Fr. Aurelius, OCD, a Carmelite from Spain and an expert in Western art music, was the music director and organist. The Seminary owned a huge pipe organ, probably the only one of its kind in India. Fr. Vadakel and Fr. Aurelius collaborated in publishing the musical notation (staff notation) of the solemn high mass in Syriac in 1954: kēralakaldāyasuriyānirīthilethirukkarmagīthangal (Liturgical songs of the Chaldeo-Syrian Rite of Kerala). The text layout is in the Malayalam script. The first part of the book contains a lesson plan in Malayalam to learn staff notation and western art music in general. The book was published by S. H. League, the publishing wing of the Seminary. Fr. Kodamullil was lucky to have had such great mentors. As choir master of the Seminary for seven years, he also had opportunities to interact closely with Fr. Vadakel and Fr. Aurelius in making decisions on the musical choices for the liturgical celebrations and the performances of the official Syriac Choir at the Seminary. A group photo taken in 1958 that is in the cherished possession of Fr. Kodamullil is the source for the images of Fr. Vadakel and Fr. Aurelius shown on this video.

One can only imagine the sonic heaven created by the solemn Syriac melodies in the voices of such gifted singers to the accompaniment of the majestic sound of the pipe organ. That could not have happened anywhere else in the world....... Joseph J. Palackal


01. Melody of the solemn form of the Lord’s Prayer (1:28)
02. The Resurrection hymn, LākuMārā, composed by Fr. Mathew Vadakel in the 1950s (3:28)
03. Melody of M’haimnīnān (creed) from solemn High mass (4:50)
04. Second melody of the Creed (5:33)
05. Melody of Puqdānkōn (5:58)
06. Melody of RahmeŚūqānā (rite of reconciliation) (6:36)
07. on the music scene at the St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary at Aluva in the 1950s (7:38).
08. About the huge pipe organ at the Seminary (8:54).
09. About Fr. Aurelius, OCD (9:55)
10. Life history. (11:03)
11. What do you think of the future of the Syriac language? (15:51)
12. Compliments Dr. Joseph J. Palackal for his efforts to preserve the Syriac language and music (17:41).
Interview with Fr. Paul Kodamulli, member of the Diocese of Kothamangalam, currently living at SanthiNilayam, Retired Priests' Home, Vazhappilly, Muvattupuzha, Kerala. 5 August 2013. (Video editing is in progress). Full Interview

Video Segments

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