Malankara Rite

Last updated
Malankara Rite liturgy of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Syro-Malankara Holy Mass 1.jpg
Malankara Rite liturgy of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

The Malankara Rite is the form of the West Syriac liturgical rite practiced by several churches of the Saint Thomas Christian community in Kerala, India. West Syriac liturgy was brought to India by the Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem, Gregorios Abdal Jaleel, in 1665; in the following decades the Malankara Rite emerged as the liturgy of the Malankara Church, one of the two churches that evolved from the split in the Saint Thomas Christian community in the 17th century. Today it is practiced by the various churches that descend from the Malankara Church, namely the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian Orthodox Church), the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, the Malabar Independent Syrian Church, and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church.

West Syriac Rite

The West Syriac Rite or West Aramean Rite, also called Syro-Antiochian Rite, is an Eastern Christian liturgical rite that uses the Divine Liturgy of Saint James in the West Syriac dialect. It is one of two main liturgical rites of Syriac Christianity. It is chiefly practiced in the Syriac Orthodox Church and churches related to or descended from it. It is part of the liturgical family known as the Antiochian Rite, which originated in the ancient Patriarchate of Antioch. It has more anaphoras than any other rite.

Kerala State in southern India

Kerala is a state on the southwestern Malabar Coast of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, following passage of the States Reorganisation Act, by combining Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi), Kerala is the twenty-second largest Indian state by area. It is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Lakshadweep Sea to the west. With 33,387,677 inhabitants as per the 2011 Census, Kerala is the thirteenth-largest Indian state by population. It is divided into 14 districts with the capital being Trivandrum. Malayalam is the most widely spoken language and is also the official language of the state.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Contents

History

Malankara Rite liturgy in the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church Holy mass of the Syriac Orthodox Church.jpg
Malankara Rite liturgy in the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church

The West Syriac Rite developed out of the ancient Antiochene Rite, emerging in the 5th and 6th century with the adoption of Syriac, rather than Greek, as the liturgical language of the non-Chalcedonian Patriarchate of Antioch. [1] The liturgy was further revised and expanded over the centuries as the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch emerged as a fully distinct church, reaching its "classical" form in the 12th century under Patriarch Michael the Syrian. [1]

Antiochene Rite family of liturgies originally used in the Patriarchate of Antioch

Antiochene Rite or Antiochian Rite designates the family of liturgies originally used in the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Syriac language dialect of Middle Aramaic

Syriac, also known as Syrian/Syriac Aramaic, Syro-Aramaic or Classical Syriac, is a dialect of Middle Aramaic of the Northwest Semitic languages of the Afroasiatic family that is written in the Syriac alphabet, a derivation of the Aramaic alphabet. Having first appeared in the early first century CE in Edessa, classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from the 4th to the 8th centuries, preserved in a large body of Syriac literature. Indeed, Syriac literature comprises roughly 90% of the extant Aramaic literature. Syriac was once spoken across much of the Near East as well as Anatolia and Eastern Arabia. Syriac originated in Mesopotamia and eventually spread west of Iraq in which it was became the lingua franca of the region during the Mesopotamian Neo-Assyrian period. During the establishment of the Church of the East in central-southern Iraq, speakers of Syriac split into two; those who followed the Eastern Syriac Rite and those who followed Western Syriac Rite. Syriac was the lingua franca of the entire region of Mesopotamia and the native language of the peoples of Iraq and surrounding regions until it was spread further west of the country to the entire Fertile Crescent region, as well as in parts of Eastern Arabia, becoming the dominant language for centuries, before the spread and replacement with Arabic language as the lingua franca. For this reason, Mesopotamian Iraqi Arabic being an Aramaic Syriac substratum, is said to be the most Aramaic Syriac influenced dialect of Arabic, sharing significant similarities in language structure, as well as having evident and stark influences from other ancient Mesopotamian languages of Iraq, such as Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian. Mesopotamian Arabic dialects developed by Iraqi Muslims, Iraqi Jews, as well as dialects by Iraqi Christians, most of whom are native ethnic Syriac speakers. Today, Syriac is the native spoken language of millions of Iraqi-Chaldo-Assyrians living in Iraq and the diaspora, and other Syriac-speaking people from Mesopotamia, such as the Mandaean people of Iraq. The dialects of Syriac spoken today include Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, and Mandaic.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

As per the deceiving history makers, West Syriac liturgy was first introduced to India by the mission of Gregorios Abdal Jaleel, the Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem, who arrived in 1665. [2] [3] Historically, who doesn't want to accept the historical reality of Syrian migration, which happened in A.D 345 (under the leadership of Bishop Joseph and trader Thomas of Canna), a group of people among Indian christians was part of the Church of the East, who accepted the Nestorian faith and are specifically called Nestorians], centred in Persia, and practiced a variant of the East Syriac Rite known as the Malabar Rite. [4] [5] However, a decline in communications between the Patriarchate of Antioch (which is the oldest and which claims Patrenal succession) and India led the Saint Thomas Christians to attempt to establish relations with other churches. As early as 1491 the Archdeacon of Malabar sent envoys to the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch as part of an effort to receive a bishop for his bishopless province. [6] In the end nothing came of the request, and the Patriarch of Antioch eventually sent a new bishop. [6]

Gregorios Abdal Jaleel Syriac Orthodox Church Bishop of Jerusalem

Mar Gregorios Abdal Jaleel Bawa was a Syriac Orthodox bishop of Jerusalem from 1664 until his death in 1681. He is chiefly remembered for his 1665 mission to India, in which he re established ties between the Malankara Church and the Syriac Orthodox church. He is venerated as a saint by his church.

Syriac Orthodox Church The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, or Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, is an Oriental Orthodox Church tracing its origin‎ to Antioch by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the 1st century.

The Syriac Orthodox Church, or Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, is an Oriental Orthodox church with autocephalous patriarchate established by Severus of Antioch in Antioch in 518 A.D., influenced by Jacob Baradaeus, while tracing its history to Antioch by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the 1st century, according to its tradition. The Church uses the Divine Liturgy of Saint James, associated with St. James, the "brother" of Jesus and patriarch among the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem. Syriac is the official and liturgical language of the Church based on Syriac Christianity. The primate of the church is the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch currently Ignatius Aphrem II since 2014, seated in Cathedral of Saint George, Bab Tuma, Damascus, Syria.

Church of the East an Eastern Christian Church that in 410 organised itself within the Sasanid Empire and in 424 declared its leader independent of other Christian leaders; from the Persian Empire it spread to other parts of Asia in late antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Church of the East, also known as the Nestorian Church and the Persian Church, was an Eastern Christian denomination that in 410 organised itself within the Sasanian Empire, and in 424 declared its leader independent of "western" Church leaders, which for Church in the East included all those in the Roman Empire, including the patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople. From the Persian Empire it spread to other parts of Asia in late antiquity and the Middle Ages.

In 1653, a group of Saint Thomas Christians disaffected by Portuguese colonial rule and the drowning of delegate from the Patriarchate of Antioch (Ahatallah) joined Archdeacon Thomas and Anjilimoottil Ittythomman Kathanar (a priest from the Knanaya Christians), who gave courage to the Archdeacon, in vowing not to submit to Portuguese authority. This avowal, known as the Coonan Cross Oath, led to the formation of an independent Malankara Church with Thomas as its head. To affirm his consecration as bishop, Thomas sent requests to several churches including the Syriac Orthodox Church, the only church responded was the mother church. Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Simon I responded by sending Gregorios Abdal Jaleel to India in 1665, and the relationship between the Syriac Orthodox and Malankara Church got re-established ( in accordance to one faction of Indian Christians, who claims the establishment and succession of the throne of Saint. Thomas in India,from A.D 52 itself, this is seen as the birth of a new relation, they claim to be nourished by the Nestorian faith, but unfortunately now they follow the theology and Christology and Liturgy of Syrian Orthodox Church). [3]

Portuguese India former colony of Portugal

The State of India, also referred as the Portuguese State of India or simply Portuguese India, was a state of the Portuguese Overseas Empire, founded six years after the discovery of a sea route between Portugal and the Indian Subcontinent to serve as the governing body of a string of Portuguese fortresses and colonies overseas.

Coonan Cross Oath

The Coonan Cross Oath, taken on 3 January 1653, was a public avowal by members of the Saint Thomas Christian community of Kerala, India that they would not submit to Latin Catholic dominance in ecclesiastical and secular life. The swearing of the oath at Mattancherry was a major event in the history of the Saint Thomas Christian community and marked a major turning point in its relations with the Latin Catholics. The oath resulted in the breaking up of 54 years of Latin Catholic Padroado (Patronage) Jurisdiction over the St Thomas Christians, started with the synod of Diamper in the year 1599 A.D. convoked by the Latin Catholic Archbishop Dom Alexio De Menezes.

Malankara Church church

The Malankara Church was a church of the Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, India, with particular emphasis on the part of the community that joined Archdeacon Mar Thoma in swearing to resist the authority of the Portuguese Padroado in 1653. This faction soon entered into a relationship with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.

Description

Adoption of West Syriac practice by the Malankara Church was gradual; in the early days of its independence the church was more interested in reversing the changes the Portuguese had imposed upon the Malabar Rite than in adopting a new liturgy. [7] [8] Indeed, among its first steps were to restore the usage of leavened bread and the Julian calendar. [7] Under the influence of Gregorios, the church adopted West Syriac vestments, while twenty years later, West Syriac prelates introduced the West Syriac Liturgy of Saint James and the Antiochene rules concerning fasting, feast days, and prohibitions regarding the liturgy. [9] Still, there was no systematized adoption of West Syriac practice for nearly one hundred years; in the meantime the church practiced a combination of West Syriac and Malabar Rite. [10]

The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 708 AUC (46 BC/BCE), was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January 709 AUC (45 BC/BCE), by edict. It was the predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was gradually replaced by the Gregorian calendar, promulgated in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

Liturgy of Saint James

The Liturgy of Saint James or Jacobite Liturgy is the oldest complete form of the Eastern varieties of the Christian liturgy still in use among certain Christian Churches.

Fasting is the willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast or dry fasting is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period. Other fasts may be partially restrictive, limiting only particular foods or substances, or be intermittent.

Formal steps towards adoption of the West Syriac Rite came in 1772, when bishops visiting from Antioch consecrated Mar Thoma VI as Mar Dionysius I and established a systematic church hierarchy. [7] Amid visits by a church prelate in 1846 and the Patriarch himself in 1875, the church fully adopted West Syriac practice. [7] Following the splits within the Malankara Church in the 19th century and its final breakup in the 20th century, the churches that developed from it have retained the Malankara Rite. Today the rite is essentially West Syriac in character with some local variations, which sometimes retain elements now archaic in the wider West Syriac tradition. [8] For example, the Malankara Rite includes the observance of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts on weekdays during Great Lent and on the Friday of Passion Week. [8] Since the 20th century Syriac has largely been replaced as the liturgical language by Malayalam. [8]

Great Lent observance in Eastern Christianity

Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Byzantine Rite Lutheran Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha (Easter).

Passion Week is a name for the week beginning on Passion Sunday, as the Fifth Sunday of Lent was once called in the Roman Rite.

Malayalam language spoken in Kerala and Lakshadweep of India

Malayalam is a Dravidian language spoken in the Indian state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry (Mahé) by the Malayali people, and it is one of 22 scheduled languages of India. Malayalam has official language status in the state of Kerala and in the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry (Mahé) and is spoken by 38 million people worldwide. Malayalam is also spoken by linguistic minorities in the neighbouring states; with significant number of speakers in the Nilgiris, Kanyakumari, and Coimbatore districts of Tamil Nadu, and Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka. Due to Malayali expatriates in the Persian Gulf, the language is also widely spoken in Gulf countries.

Notes

  1. 1 2 Chupungco, p. 15.
  2. "Christians of Saint Thomas". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  3. 1 2 Wainwright, p. 159.
  4. Baum, p. 53.
  5. Chupungco, p. 17; 22–23
  6. 1 2 Baum, p. 105.
  7. 1 2 3 4 King, p. 323.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Chupungco, p. 17.
  9. King, pp. 321–323.
  10. King, p. 322.

Related Research Articles

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Orthodox Church in Kerala, India

The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, also known as the Indian Orthodox Church, is an autocephalous church centered in the Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the churches of India's Saint Thomas Christian community, which has its origin in the evangelical activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. The church is headed by the autocephalous Catholicos of the East and the Malankara Metropolitan, presently Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II.

Syriac Catholic Church

The Syriac Catholic Church, also known as Syriac Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch, is an Eastern Catholic Christian Church in the Levant that uses the West Syriac Rite liturgy and has many practices and rites in common with the Syriac Orthodox Church. Being one of the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, the Syriac Catholic Church has full autonomy and is a self-governed sui iuris Church while it is in full communion with the Holy See of Rome. The Syriac Catholic Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity. After the Calcedonian Schism the Church of Antioch became part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and was known as the Syriac Orthodox Church, while a new Antiochian Patriarchate was established to fill its place by the churches which accepted the Council of Calcedon. The Syriac Orthodox Church came into full communion with the Holy See and the modern Syriac Orthodox Church is a result of those that did not want to join the Catholic Church. Therefore the Syriac Catholic Church is the continuation of the original Church of Antioch.

Catholicos, plural Catholicoi, is a title used for the head of certain churches in some Eastern Christian traditions. The title implies autocephaly and in some cases it is the title of the head of an autonomous church. The word comes from ancient Greek καθολικός, pl. καθολικοί, derived from καθ' ὅλου from κατά and ὅλος, meaning "concerning the whole, universal, general"; it originally designated a financial or civil office in the Roman Empire. The name of the Catholic Church comes from the same word - however, the title " Catholicos" does not exist in its hierarchy.

Syriac Christianity

Syriac Christianity is the form of Eastern Christianity whose formative theological writings and traditional liturgy are expressed in the Syriac language.

Malankara Metropolitan Historical title in Indian Christianity

Malankara Metropolitan was a legal title given to the head of the Malankara Syrian Church, by the Government of Travancore and Cochin in South India. This title was awarded by a proclamation from the King of Travancore & the King of Cochin.

Holy Qurbana

The Holy Qurbana or Holy Qurbono, the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated in Syriac Christianity. This includes various Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, including the Syriac Orthodox Church based in Syria, the Coptic Orthodox Church based in Egypt, the Maronite Catholic Church based in Lebanon, the Syriac Catholic Church based in Lebanon, the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church based in India, the Chaldean Catholic Church based in Iraq, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church based in Ethiopia, the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church based in India, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church based in India. The East Syriac Rite is used in the Assyrian Church of the East based in Iraq as well, however they are not in official communion with Oriental Orthodoxy, and they are not a part of the Eastern Catholic churches.

Synod of Diamper synod

The Synod of Diamper, held at Udayamperoor, was a diocesan synod or council that laid down rules and regulations for the ancient Saint Thomas Christians of the Malabar Coast, formally uniting them with the Catholic Church. This led to the creation of the Eastern Catholic Syro-Malabar Church, which follows a Latinized East Syriac Rite liturgy.

Index of Eastern Christianity-related articles Wikimedia portal

Alphabetical list of Eastern Christianity-related articles on English Wikipedia

Chaldean Syrian Church

The Chaldean Syrian Church of India is an Eastern Christian Church based in Thrissur, India. It is an archbishopric of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East and is in full communion with its patriarch, Gewargis III.

Jacobite Syrian Christian Church Oriental Orthodox Church based in Kerala

The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church also known as the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, or the Syriac Orthodox Church of India, is an autonomous Oriental Orthodox Church based in the Indian state of Kerala, and is an integral branch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. It recognizes the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Of Antioch and all the East, currently Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II seated in the Cathedral of Saint George, Bab Tuma, Damascus, Syria, as its Supreme Head. It functions as a largely autonomous unit within the church, under the authority of the Catholicos of India, currently Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I. Currently, this is the only church in Malankara which has a direct relationship with the Syriac Christians of Antioch, which has continued from after the schism and they continue to use West Syriac Rite.

Catholicos is the title used by head bishops of regions within the Patriarchate of Antioch having self ecclesiastical and autonomous status from the ancient period. The word "Catholicos" means "Universal" - the same word from which the name of the Catholic Church also derives.

Oriental Orthodoxy Branch of Eastern Christianity

Oriental Orthodoxy is the fourth largest communion of Christian churches, with about 76 million members worldwide. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Armenia, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and parts of the Middle East and India. An Eastern Christian communion of autocephalous churches, its bishops are equal by virtue of episcopal ordination, and its doctrines can be summarised in that the communion recognizes the validity of only the first three ecumenical councils.

West Syriac liturgical rites, also known as West Syrian, Jacobite, or Antiochene liturgical rites, are the liturgical rites practiced by churches following the West Syriac tradition of Syriac Christianity. These rites developed out of the ancient Antiochene Rite of the Patriarchate of Antioch, adapting the old Greek liturgy into Syriac, the language of the Syrian countryside.

Saint Thomas Christian denominations

The Saint Thomas Christian denominations are traditional Christian denominations from Kerala, India, who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. They are also known as "Nasranis" as well. The Syriac term "Nasrani" is still used by St. Thomas Christians in Kerala.

Malankara–Persia relations

Several historic evidences are available which show Malankara-Persia relations. Foreign connection with the Church of the East endured until the 16th century. The Christians who came under the two ancient yet distinct lineages of Malankara (India) and Persia had one factor in common: their Saint Thomas heritage.

References