Aramaic Project

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AP 202

ലാക്‌ ആലാഹ'/ദൈവമെ ഞങ്ങളങ്ങേ വാഴ്ത്തുന്നു Translation of "Te Deum" Latin Hymn

Lak Alaha/Te Deum in Malayalam

#ChristianMusicology #SyriacChants #ലാക്ആലാഹ

http://www.thecmsindia.org/lak-alaha

The history of the famous Latin chant, Te Deum ("To You O Lord), spans several centuries, many continents and cultures. The chant reached the St. Thomas Catholics in Kerala through the Portuguese missionaries in the sixteenth century. It is possible that the missionaries, who accompanied Vasco de Gama on his second trip to India in 1502, sang this hymn when they landed on the shores of Kerala, in gratitude for a safe journey. Ninety-seven years later, this hymn was part of the concluding procession at the end of the Synod of Udayamperur. Antonio Gouvea's "Jornada" (printed in 1606) provides us with a detailed description of the chant in Latin, Syriac, and Malayalam (see more details on this unique event in Palackal 2005 : 98-100). It is probable that Bishop Ros, S. J. did the Malayalam translation with the local priests' help. Eventually, the Syriac version of the chant became an essential part of priestly ordinations, jubilee celebrations, etc. In the middle of the twentieth century, the Malayalam version replaced the Syriac among the Syriac Catholics and Latin among the Roman Catholics in Kerala. We believe that Job and George duo composed the melody in a typical Kerala style in a six-beat rhythm that frequently appears in South Indian classical compositions. The video contains five related segments. The opening segment shows the performance of the Malayalam version of the chant by the CMI priests in the USA and Canada in February 2020. The occasion was the Jubilee celebration of the priestly ordination of Fr. George Manjappilly, CMI. This happened during a CMI convocation at the Immaculate Seminary at Huntington, New York. The second segment is a comment by Fr. Paulson Kannanaykkal, CMI, on the poetic meter of this text. Interestingly, he recalls a secular poem in the meter and a very similar melody. The following three segments are from our earlier recordings of the Syriac versions. We post all these segments for scholars who are interested in studying the history of this chant that covers several centuries, many continents, and cultures. Reference: Palackal, Joseph J. 2005. "Syriac Chant Traditions in South India." Ph. D. dissertation. Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Lak Alaha

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
15 September 2020
10:19 14 Feb 2020 Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, New York
AP 201

A return to a transitional period in the history of the Syro Malabar Church.

In the 1960s, when the Syro Malabar Church translated the liturgy into Malayalam, Many priests continued to incorporate specific prayers in Syriac. For many years, most of the priests recited the Institution narrative in Syriac. By doing so, they felt a connection to the Passover meal on Holy Thursday. Priests became sentimental in repeating the exact words that Jesus uttered at the Last Supper. As time went on, those sentiments diminished. The new generation of priests, who did not receive Syriac literacy training, did not share the sentiments of the older priests. Slowly and steadily, the idea of bilingual Qurbana faded, and priests and people did not miss the olden days. Fast forward to the beginning of the twenty-first century, The Syriac language and music began to get attention. The release of the audio CD, Qambel Maran: Syriac chants from South India (PAN Rcords, Netherlands 2002), and the many reviews that followed caught the attention of scholars in several countries. PAN Recorded published a second edition of the album. More importantly, the CD initiated a conversation among the Syro Malabar Catholics that led to the Indian edition. Priests, who did not have Syriac literacy, began to show interest in the Syriac melodies. Many priests experimented with incorporating the Resurrection Hymn (Laku Mara) and the Trisagion (Qandis Alaha) in the Syriac version. People seemed comfortable listening to those chants during Qurbana in Malayalam. Slowly the interest grew, and the idea of bilingual Qurbana gained acceptance, especially among the Syro Malabar Catholics in the USA. In this video, we see Mar Thomas Tharayil, Auxiliary bishop of Changanacherry, celebrating bilingual Qurbana in Malayalam and Syriac. The video shows only the Syriac portion of Qurbana. That a young bishop felt comfortable in going back to the history of the Syro Malabar liturgy is futuristic. The Bishop is creating a historic moment that will inspire other priests to attempt such experiments. That will lead to further conversations of resuscitating a language, which is an essential component of the "SYRO" Malabar Church's identity. Bishop Tharayil celebrated this Qurbana at the chapel of the Bishop's House during the COVID 19 period for homebound people. We are grateful to Bishop Tharayil for allowing us to archive this unique moment and publish it on our channel. We hope future researchers who study the Syria language's revival story will use our archive.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
29 August 2020

Keywords: Bishop Thomas Tharayil. Bilingual Qurban of the Syro Malabar Church. Syriac chants, India.

23:25 19 April 2020 ArchBishop's House Chapel, Changanserry
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