Encyclopedia of Syriac chants in the Syro Malabar Church

Aramaic Project – Part 1A: Fr. Thelly recites the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic

Encyclopedia of Syriac chants

This encyclopedia contains chants from the East Syriac tradition of the Syro Malabar Church. According to Rev. Dr. Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar, a scholar of the Syriac tradition in India, the East Syriac of the Syro Malabar Catholics is the closest in pronunciation to the Galilean Aramaic that Jesus and his disciples spoke. For that reason, preserving the sound of this language before it is completely erased out of memory has become imperative.

The Syriac music repertory of the Syro Malabar Church consists of four categories of chants: (1) chants from the Chaldean liturgy that the Syro Malabar Church inherited, starting from the fourth century; (2) chants composed by indigenous scholars in Kerala (for example, Fr. Chandy Kadavil, a.k.a. “Alexander the Indian 1588-1677) composed in Kerala; (3) Syriac translation of Latin chants that were composed anew in Kerala, starting from the sixteenth century, after the arrival of the Portuguese missionaries; (4) and new melodies that were composed to existing texts of Mass for solemn celebration, starting from circa the seventeenth century.




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