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The Holy Qurbono

The Syro-Malankara Rite

The original liturgical tradition of the Church in India followed the East Syrian or Chaldean rite. Tradition holds that St. Thomas the Apostle first brought the Gospel to India. Indeed, historical records show that the Church was established in Kerala at a very early stage, likely dating back to the 6th century. During this time, it operated as a Syrian Church under the authority of the Patriarch of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in Mesopotamia, who appointed its bishops. Consequently, the Chaldean rite was practised by all Christians in Kerala until the 17th century.

In the 17th century, due to the efforts of the Portuguese to Latinize the rite during the Council of Diamper (Udayamperur), a segment of the Church in Kerala split from Rome and aligned themselves with the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch. This group adopted the West Syrian rite of Antioch, a tradition they continue to uphold to this day. In 1930, Mar Ivanios, a Jacobite Metropolitan, along with another bishop, Mar Theophilus, and a contingent of clergy and laity, reconciled with Rome. They retained the rite of Antioch, leading to the formation of the Syro-Malankara Church, comprising Catholics who follow the Antiochene rite while remaining in communion with Rome.

Today, both the East Syrian and West Syrian rites coexist within the Catholic Church in India. The East Syrian or Chaldean rite is known as the Syro-Malabar rite. Following recent reforms that removed Latin influences, the Syro-Malabar rite, together with the Antiochene rite, serves as a living testament to the Syrian tradition of Catholic life and worship. These rites bear the responsibility of safeguarding the complete legacy of the Syrian Church within the Catholic Church.

holy_qurbono/the_syrian_syro_malankara_rite.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/18 18:04 by smcc