Interviews and Performances - Video List
AP 60 to 51

Mr. Sebastian Menachery in conversation with Dr. Joseph J. Palackal.

This image for Image Layouts addon
AP 52 - Mr. Sebastian Menachery in conversation with Dr. Joseph J. Palackal.
Call Number

AP 52

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title Mr. Sebastian Menachery in conversation with Dr. Joseph J. Palackal.
Duration 45:09
Place of Recording Recorded at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK), Bangalore.
Date of Recording 19 July 2014.
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s)

AP 52 a to 52s


Mr. Sebastian Menachery in conversation with Dr. Joseph J. Palackal.

This interview is valuable, especially to musicologists and Church historians. Although not a professional musician, Sebastian Menachery reminisces, with great enthusiasm, melodies and memories from the Syro Malabar liturgy in the 1950s. Gifted with an unusual musical memory, Menachery sings even texts that only the celebrant (priest/bishop) used to sing, and chants that were heard only once a year. Menachery attributes this to the captivating power of the melodies of those chants. Whether these melodies were composed in Kerala or in the Chaldean churches in West Asia is a topic that remains to be studied. Menachery references the existence of a rich repertoire of Syriac chants that were composed locally in Kerala. He speaks also about the practice of composing and singing more than one melody for a liturgical text (see “Ual ar’a” and “M’haymnīnan”). The texts of some of these chants are Syriac translations of popular Latin chants that the Portuguese missionaries introduced or imposed on the Syro Malabar Catholics. In any event, historians of Kerala’s music can no longer ignore the contributions of Christian composers and church choirs in Kerala in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Christian Musicological Society of India is grateful to Mr. Menachery for showcasing the relevance as well as the immense potential of the Aramaic Project..... Joseph J. Palackal

01. We have failed to hand over the Syriac heritage to the next generation (2:10)
02. In the Quran, Jesus is referred to as “Ruh Allah” (Breath of God) (5:41)
03. “I have learned Syriac and I am proud of it” (6:44)
04. The Syriac music scene at St. Joseph’s Monastery (CMI) at Koonammavu under the leadership of Fr. Justin Menachery and Lonappan Bhagavathar (6:59)
05.Melody of “U al ar’a” (And on earth) from the Syriac translation of the Latin chant, 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo' (7:50)
06: A unique melody of “Kollan Dasne” (from the Syriac translation of the Latin chant, Tantum Ergo by St. Thomas Aquinas), taught by Lonappan Bhagavathar (9:12)
07. Melody of “Barek Maar” (10:32)
08. Melody of “Puqdan Handes” from the knocking ceremony on Palm Sunday (13:08)
09. On the use of the word “Ruh” in the Hindi film lyrics. Ruh should not be translated. (14:34)
10. T. S. Eliot borrowed “Shanti Shanti Shanti” from the Upanishads to conclude “The Wasteland.” (18:08)
11. Melody of “M’haimneenan” (opening words of the Creed) (19:34)
12. Another melody of “M’haimneenan” (Creed) (20:51)
13. Melody of the Commemoration hymn. The fifth strophe/ “Swore am rawrbe” of “Suwha lawa.” (21:25)
14. Melody of the Litany Quryēlaisōn (Kyrie Eleison) in Syriac (22:14)
15. Melody of “Ślām lēk maryam” (Hail Mary). We should preserve the word “Slaamma” (22:53)
16. About the Pesaha meal (Passover meal) on Holy Thursday (24:48)
17. Melody of “Ammaanaa” (My people) from the Good Friday service in Syriac (25:47)
18. Melodies of “U al appai” and “Laaku Maaraa” from solemn Qurbana (26:27)
19. Melody of “Emare d'alaaha” (Lamb of God) from the conclusion of the Litany (28:38)
20. Melody of “Ahai qambel” (Invitation to receive communion). The melody is similar to that of “Puqdan handes” (28:56)
21. Melody of “Rahme Suqaanaa” (from the rite of reconciliation) (29:48)
22. Hymn in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (30:14)
23. Another melody of Quryēlaisōn and Litany (30:33)
24. “Bhooloka paapangale” Malayalam song in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (31:38)
25. Malayalam hymn, “Ethranalleso naadhaa” (32:32)
26. About Fr. Justine Menachery’s role in the publication of the Syriac Malayalam Hymnal (33:07)
27. Melody of a segment from “U al ar’a” (And on earth/from 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo') (36:31)
28. About Fr. Abel Periyappuram and his lyrics (38:22)
29. Melody of “U la tayelan,” the concluding part of the Latin chant, Te Deum (in Syriac translation). (42:34)

Video Segments

User Comments

  • Dear Father,

    I have watched the latest upload of Mr Sebastian Menacherry. It was wonderful. Thank you for identifying and introducing such a wonderful person to the community. I feel so envious about him. His knowledge and interest in our heritage is so commendable. He even remembers such chants used only once in an year in our Church.The talents and knowlegde of such resource persons should be used well to recapture our lost heritage. Let the Lord shower him all the Graces. Thank you once again Father, you are doing a historical task.

    Dr. Martin Thomas Antony,
    (MBBS, FRCS, Dip in Lap. Surgery, Dip. in Health Management.)

Print   Email