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"Bar Maryam" as Christmas carol, in Melbourne, Australia.

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AP 173 - Bar Maryam as Christmas carol, in Melbourne, Australia.
Call Number

AP 173

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title Bar Maryam as Christmas carol, in Melbourne, Australia.
Duration 6:54
Place of Recording City of Whittelesea grounds, South Morang, Melbourne
Date of Recording 13 December, 2019
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s)



"Bar Maryam" as Christmas carol, in Melbourne, Australia. 2019

Note: This is a document of a unique performance that expands the geographical and semantic history of the famous Syriac chant, "Bar Maryam" (Son of Mary). The St. Alphonsa Cathedral Parish choir in Melbourne, Australia took a bold decision to sing this chant at a public Christmas carol celebration. The City of Whittlesea organized the event and invited the Cathedral choir to be a participant. By singing Bar Maryam as a Christmas carol, the choir added a new performance context to this chant. They also added a new focus on Mary as the mother of the Son of God. The song assumes both Christological and Marian significance at the same time. The choir and the Syro Malabar Diocese in Australia deserve praise for adding the sound of the ancient Aramaic language to the linguistic soundscape of Australia. The geographical extent of this East Syriac chant has now reached a faraway continent. On a corrective, the pronunciation of the last phrase in the refrain should be “YELDAS Maryam,” (instead of YELDES Maryam). We are grateful to Justin Mathew for documenting this historic moment, and to Abin Koovaplackal for sharing this video for publication on our channel.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
8 March 2020

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