THE SYRO-MALANKARA CATHOLIC CHURCH
MAJOR ARCHIEPISCOPAL CURIA
CATHOLICATE CENTRE, TRIVANDRUM- 695 004, KERALA INDIA
SYNODAL COMMISSION FOR LITURGY
Chairman: His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Koorilos
Secretary: Rev. Dr. Issac Parappallil
1. Rt. Rev. Mannil Samuel Remban (Trivandrum), St. Aloysius Minor Seminary, Nalanchira, Trivandrum-695015
2. Rev. Dr. Thomas P. G. Paniker (Mavelikara),
Malankara Catholic Church, Charummoodu, Vedarplavu P.O., Alleppey -690 505, Ph: 0479 2382856, 9447698886
3. Rev. Fr. Varghese Kaithon (Pathanamthitta), Catholic Bishop’s House, St. Peter’s Junction, Pathanamthitta -689645
4. Rev. Dr. Kuriakose Thadathil (Tiruvalla), Santhinilayam, Tiruvalla - 689 101
5. Rev. Fr. Thomas Kalloor (Bathary), Little Flower Malankara Catholic Church, Kelakom P.O., 670 674,
Kannur Dt., Kerala; Ph: 9446161172
6. Rev. Fr. Thomas Parakkott (Muvattupuzha), St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research, Institute (SEERI),
Baker Hill, Kottayam - 686 001
7. Rev. Fr. Yesudas (Marthandam),
8. Rev. Fr. Mathew Kurian Vazhackapara (Puttoor), Shanthi Bhavan, Catholic Bishop´s House,
Parladka, Puttur, South Kanara Karnataka 574201
9. Rev. Fr. Philip Vaisyaneth OIC, Bethany Ashram, Tholassery, Tiruvalla – 689 101
10. Rev. Sr. Sereena SIC, Bethany Convent, Chengaroor P. O. - 689 594
11. Rev. Sr. Clare John DM, Santhinikethan, Medical College P.O., Trivandrum – 695 011
12. Rev. Sr. Aleyamma Chamathayil OSS, Holy Spirit Sisters, Tholassery, Tiruvalla – 689 101
13. Prof. Cherian Panikar (TVM), Panickerveettil, Soubhagya Lane, Kurisadi Junction,
Nalanchira, Trivandrum-15, Tel: 944732580
14. Mr P.V. Philip Padinjarothil (MVA)
The Report of the First Meeting of the Synodal Commission for Liturgy
The first meeting of the Synodal Commission for Liturgy of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was held on Friday, 26 May 2006 at Thirusannadhi, the Major Archbishop’s House, Pattom, Trivandrum under the presidentship of His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios Catholicos, the Chairman of the Commission. Eleven members were present and four of them could not participate because of grave inconveniences. The meeting began with prayer led by Rev. Fr. P. T. Thomas. Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Thadathil, the Secretary of the Commission welcomed the gathering. His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios - Catholicos in his presidential address explained to the members their obligations as members of the commission.
Thereafter, the meeting focused on the revision of the hand book of the Holy Qurbono (Kurbānakramam). All the members brought with them the text which was sent to them for their and proposals corrections. The following were some of the important suggestions:
1. Give a brief description of the rubrics of the Holy Qurbono in the hand book, that would be helpful for the altar boys.
2. Give the Malayalam translation of all the Syriac words which we use in the Divine Liturgy
3. Hymns and prayers of the Holy Week and other Great Feasts of Our Lord are to be included in the hand book of the Holy Qurbono.
4. A general instruction concerning the liturgical celebration should be given as appendix in the hand book.
5. An expert in Malayalam language should be included in the Commission for the language correction. On this score the members suggested the names of Rev. Dr. Philip Chempakaserry and Mr. J. Villoth from Bathery.
After the Lunch-break, Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC, the Chancellor of the Malankara Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Curia spoke to the members of the Commission explaining the aims and objectives of the Commission in the context of our Church being raised to the hierarchical status of a Major Archiepiscopal Church. He explained the mode and functioning of the Synodal Commissions in general and the particular aims and objectives of the Synodal Commission for Liturgy in particular. The following are some of his suggestions:
- The Synodal Commission for Liturgy is competent to promote and regulate the sacred liturgy, chiefly of the sacraments.
- It promotes liturgico-pastoral activity, especially the celebration and the active participation of the People of God in the Holy Qurbono by effective and suitable means.
- It sees to the drawing up and revision of liturgical texts. It furnishes calendars and proper scriptural texts for the Holy Qurbono and Divine Office.
- It grants approval to translations of liturgical books and their adaptations that have been lawfully prepared
- It fosters commissions or institutes for promoting the liturgical apostolate or sacred music, hymns or art.
- It supports the erection of associations that promote liturgical life.
- It safeguards the proper liturgical norms against abuses.
- It assists the bishops in fostering para-liturgical prayers and other pious practices of the faithful in consonance with the spirit of the liturgy.
The third session of the meeting focused on the renewal of the liturgy. The members highlighted the popular sentiments of the faithful and their need for new liturgical hymns. The task of composing and tuning new liturgical hymns in accordance with the spirit and melody of the Malankara Liturgy, is entrusted with Rev Fr. Philip Vaisyaneth.
Popular and pious devotions of the Malankara Church are to be fostered. The members suggested to bring out a book of devotions with hymns and prayers according to our Syrian-Malankara liturgical tradition. To this book shall be added popular pious devotions such as Rosary, Way of the Cross, etc. which have become prevalent among all Catholic faithful. Rev Mother Philomena SIC came forward to undertake this task.
According to the Malankara liturgical year, there are seven liturgical seasons. For each of these seasons, we have special canonical prayers in the Syriac text. Unfortunately we have translated and used only that of the Easter season. The prayers which we use during the season of the Sleebo (Exaltation of the Cross) are not proper to the season. It is the prayer of the ordinary Wednesday which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Therefore, the committee members asked Rev. Fr. Thomas Panicker and Rev. Fr. Thomas Parakott, the two Syriac language experts from among the members, to translate the prayers and hymns from the Syriac text and they whole heartedly accepted this challenging work.
Some members suggested that we should give a review of the revision of the liturgical texts in our official publications like Aikyadeepam and Chraistava Kahalam in order that the faithful may get prior information of the same and could inform their suggestions and corrections to the concerned committee.
The Order of the Holy Qurbono (Taksa) and the Order of the Sacraments (Kudasakramam) are to be reprinted. This will be included in the agenda of the next meeting of the Commission, which will be on the second week of August 2006.
The meeting ended at 4 o’clock with the concluding prayer by Rev. Fr. P. T. Thomas.
Fr. Kuriakose Thadathil,