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Melody of Rahem Alai Alaha, Penitential Psalm 51. Fr. Sankoorikkal.

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AP 176 - Melody of Rahem Alai Alaha, Penitential Psalm 51. Fr. Sankoorikkal.
Call Number

AP 176

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title Melody of "Rahem Alai Alaha," Penitential Psalm 51. Fr. Sankoorikkal
Duration 6:01
Place of Recording Locations of Resources Listed Aramaic Project Videos
Date of Recording  
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s)



Melody of "Rahem Alai Alaha," Penitential Psalm 51. Fr. Sankoorikkal

Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal sings the Syriac version of the penitential Psalm 51, "Rahem Alai Alaha." Lord, have mercy on me, to the more familiar tune of another Syriac chant, "Etha Pus Lek." Keywords: Sebastian Sankoorikkal. Penitential Psalm in Syriac. Psalm 51 in Syriac.

This recording is a precious gift from a veteran singer of Syriac chants, Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal. This is the only example of the melody of this particular Psalm text. We have several examples of the melody with the text of the famous chant from the funeral services for priests in the Syro Malabar Church, Etha Pus Lek (Farewell, O Church). Fr. Sankoorikall talked about how he learned this chant while he was a young boy (we have incorporated that conversation in the video. (See Aramaic Project-25 ). The Sacristan of his local parish used to sing this chant during the funeral procession from the church to the Cemetary. The text is also a part of the reconciliation rites in the Syro Malabar Qurbana in Syriac. It is not clear if the text was sung to a less solemn tune during Qurbana in Syriac, before 1962. Fr. Sankoorikkal added this chant when he made a studio recording of selected songs from the solemn Syriac Qurbana (see Aramaic Project-175). We are immensely grateful to Fr. Sankoorikkal for this unique gift.


  • Fr. Sankoorikkal sings :Aramaic Project-177
  • Fr. Abel, CMI sings "Witawangunnen." Aramaic Project -11.9.
  • Fr. George Plathottam sings "Witwangunnen." Aramaic Project-140N.
  • Fr. George Plathottam sings "Etha Pus Lek."Aramaic Project-81.
  • Fr. Cyril Thayil sings "Etha Pus Lek Baslma." Aramaic Project-85
  • A comparative study of the text and melody of Etha Pus Lek and Witawangunnen." Joseph J. Palackal. "The Survival Story of Syriac Chants among the St. Thomas Christians in South India." In Music and World Christianities. Oxford University Press (2016). Link

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
23 March 2020

Related Videos

  • AP 25a - Rev. Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal: Comparison of the melodies of “Rahem alai alaaha” and “Edtha pus lek”.
  • Videos related to Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal

  • AP 25 - Rev. Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal in conversation with Dr. Joseph J. Palackal.
  • Also avialable segment videos of AP 25
  • AP 84 - Witawangunnen. Funeral services for priests. Sung by Fr. S. Sankoorikkal.
  • AP 175 - Fr. Sebastian Sankoorikkal. Solemn Qurbana in Syriac (pre-1962 version).
  • AP 177 - "Witawangunnen" Funeral services for priests. Fr. Sankoorikkal
  • AP 238a - Fr. SEBASTIAN SANKOORICKAL - സുറിയാനി (പാരമ്പര്യം) എൻ്റെ അമ്മ!
  • AP 238b - Bro. Joseph T Puthenkudy ; Homage to My Malpan- Fr. Sebastian Sankoorickal .
  • AP 238c - ആരാധനാ ഗീതങ്ങളുടെ സ്വർഗ്ഗീയ നാദം - Fr. SEBASTIAN SANKOORICKAL (1935-2021)

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