Interviews and Performances - Video List
AP 210 to 201

Syriac Hymns and Kyananas
During Bilingual Qurbana by Bishop Mar Thomas Tharayil

This image for Image Layouts addon
AP 201 - Syriac Hymns and Kyananas.During Bilingual Qurbana by Bishop Mar Thomas Tharayil
Call Number

AP 201

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title Syriac Hymns and Kyananas During Bilingual Qurbana by Bishop Mar Thomas Tharayil
Duration 23:25
Place of Recording ArchBishop's House Chapel, Changanserry
Date of Recording 19 April 2020
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s)



Bishop Mar Thomas Tharayil: Syriac Hymns and Kyananas during Bilingual Qurbana.

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.

Related Videos

  • AP 50 - "Suwhalaawa." Bilingual singing in Syriac and Malayalam. Commemoration Hymn
  • AP 57 - Bilingual singing of Qambel Maran.
  • AP 90 - Young Syro Malabar Catholics getting comfortable with bilingual Qurbana.
  • AP 132 - Syriac chants from bilingual Qurbana at Jubilee mass.
  • AP 132a - Puqdankon during bilingual Qurbana at St. Stans, New York.
  • AP 132b - Qandiśā Alāhā during bilingual Qurbana at St. Stans, New York.
  • AP 135 - Bilingual Qurbana in New Jersey, USA.
  • AP 136 - Bilingual Qurbana at Ukranian Cathedral, London.
  • AP 137a - Bilingual Holy, Holy, Holy (Malayalam/Syriac), Dallas, USA.
  • AP 142 - Qandisa alaha during bilingual Qurbana at Syro Malabar Convention in Houston.
  • AP 144 - Institution Narrative in Syriac during bilingual Qurbana at Syro Malabar Conven.
  • AP 149 - Bilingual Nuptial Qurbana: wedding of Anija and George Njarakunnel.
  • AP 151 - Francesca Pulicken in attendance at the practice session for bilingual Qurbana.
  • AP 153 - Bilingual Qurbana at Sacred Heart Church, Glendale, New York.
  • AP 191 - Five-hundred children preparing for bilingual (English/Syriac )Qurbana.
  • AP 215 - Bishop Thomas Tharayi: Bilingual Qurbana.
  • AP 217 - Sunil and Seena : Bilingual Nuptial Qurbana. A historic event.

Print   Email