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Sunil and Seena : Bilingual Nuptial Qurbana. A historic event.

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AP 217 - Sunil and Seena : Bilingual Nuptial Qurbana. A historic event.
Call Number

AP 217

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title Sunil and Seena : Bilingual Nuptial Qurbana. A historic event.
Duration 16:03
Place of Recording St. Thomas The Apostle, Syro Malabar Forane Church, Dallas, USA
Date of Recording 26 September 2020.
Youtube URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPPrHkUy2wM
Video Segment (s)

 

Notes

Sunil & Seena : Bilingual Nuptial Qurbana. A historic event - 26 September 2020

Note: The conversation on the Syriac heritage of the Syro Malabar Church is taking a new momentum in North America. The inclusion of Syriac chants in a Nuptial Qurbana is an extraordinary event. It is the result of much ongoing internal dialogue in the minds of the couple and external dialogue with the extended family, the choir members, and the celebrating priests. Of course, the dialogue starts with the bride and groom. They are the ones who make the initial plans for the liturgy, months in advance. The bride and groom were confident that their family members would accept their plans. It is an indication that the awareness about the Syriac tradition that the previous generations relinquished and let go into oblivion is coming back even to the older generation. Initially, the older generation did not feel the guilt of disowning the linguistic tradition that connected their forefathers to the conversations at the Last Supper. The younger generation of Syro Malabar Catholics, it would seem, is willing to walk back in time and reclaim their identity and show to the world that they are not just children of immigrants but inheritors of a long lost legacy. The presence of a choir that learned to sing Syriac chants is an integral part of the equation. The lead singers, Jones Kalarickal, Jewel Sunny, and Jewelin Sunny are comfortable with the text and melody of Syriac chants (see Aramaic Project-100 https://youtu.be/DAvRNAOePPk). Remarkably, they sang the Creed in Syriac. This is the first time we hear the Syriac Creed during a nuptial Qurbana, or any bilingual Qurbana for that matter. It is heartwarming to hear this magnificent melody that originated in Kerala, probably by Lonappan Bhagavathar, who lived in the early part of the twentieth century at Koonammav, in the Ernakulam district of Kerala. The captivating and uplifting melody may have kept the boredom away from listening to a comparatively long chant in a foreign language. According to Tensen Kalarickal, who participated in the ceremony, the people were only appreciative of the bride and groom's decision. The history of introducing Syriac chants in the vernacular Syro Malabar liturgy in the USA goes to Saturday, 7 September 2013, at the National Shrine and Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D. C. (see note on Aramaic Project-66 https://youtu.be/aJnk78G_bX4) About 130 young singers from across America sang in the choir. Those singers carried the message to their home parishes, and ever since, Syriac chants have been part of liturgical celebrations in English and Malayalam. Nevertheless, including Syriac chants in a nuptial Qurbana is a bold attempt. We have to wait and see how this conversation evolves into an entirely different Syro Malabar liturgy in the future.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
19 October 2020

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