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

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AP 154 - Fr. Cyril Thayyil: A Promise to the future of Syriac chants in India.
Call Number

AP 154

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title Fr. Cyril Thayyil: A Promise to the future of Syriac chants in India.
Duration 53:48
Place of Recording Sacred Heart Convent, Kuruvinad, Palai
Date of Recording 31 July, 2018
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s)



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

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

User Comments

  • Rev. Fr. Thaiyyil is a blessing to the Syro Malabar church especially for those who love Syriac liturgy. A great talent... soulful singing! Another dedicated, devoted and talented priest like Rev. Fr. Saji Mattathil. The topics discussed in the interview are very relevant, informative and inspiring. Many thanks to Rev. Fr. Joseph Palackal for his great initiative and tireless effort in preserving, propagating and popularizing the rich Syriac liturgy! I am sure that Rev. Fr. Palackal’s interviews would be a great asset for the generations to come! Congratulations and God bless!!! - Tensen kalarickal - Oct 3, 2019

  • Thayyil Cyril Kathanar is indeed a beacon of hope for all of us who cherish our Syriac tradition and earnestly wish for a revival . From the interview , its clear that the lamp lit by Rev Palackal Ousep Kathanar is going to enlighten many , through the likes of Thayyil Kathanar and Mattathil Kathanar . What differentiates Thayyil Kathanar is his ardent passion for the language and East Syriac Liturgy . At the same time he is willing to experiment , to make it more appealing for the youth . Solemn Qurbana should be sung in the traditional manner , but new tunes should be encouraged to extend the reach . I'm glad that efforts are on in Chicago and also in Pala to that effect .
    The next logical step would be to bring out an album of traditional Suriyani songs to the accompaniment of modern instruments . From our side the laity should petition our Holy Synod to start teaching Syriac in our Major Seminaries . If Greek , Hebrew and Latin can be taught , how can Syriac be left behind ? It's a matter of shame that most of the Syro Malabar Priests do not even have a working knowledge of Syriac . On the contrary Syro Malankara Church is steadfast in its allegiance to West Syriac language and traditions . Lets hope that Bilingual Qurbana would gain much acceptance among the faithful .
    May the Almighty bless Palackal Kathanar and Thayyil Kathanar to continue with their efforts. - Amel Antony - Oct 9, 2019

Related Videos

  • AP 85 - Etha Pus Lek. From Funeral services for priests. lead voice: Fr. Cyril Thayyil
  • AP 92 - Fr. Cyril Thayyil Chants the Institution narrative in Syriac
  • AP 111 - Turgama (interpretative song): Fr Cyril Thayyil and Fr Joseph Kizhakkekkutt
  • AP 122 - Fr Cyril Thayyil. Solemn Qurbana in Syriac. Koovappadam, Kochi
  • AP 155a - Fr. Cyril Thayyil sings "O Desdamman," Turgama before Epistle
  • AP 155b - Fr. Cyril Thayyil. "Oh damahaimaneen," Turgama for Evangelion
  • AP 156 - Fr Cyril Thayyil: Solemn Qurbana in Syriac at Kuravilangad
  • AP 248 - QAMBEL MARAN By Fr. CYRIL THAYYIL at the tomb of Mar Joseph Kariattil on 9.9.21
  • AP 251 - Fr. Cyril Thayyil in conversation with the Alangad Syriac Choir
  • AP 252 - An example of a "Coda" to 'Qandisa Alaha' by Mr. Paulose Pallikkara, Alangad.

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