Fr. Joseph Kalathil




            The history of the restoration of the Syro Malabar Qurbana is a long process and often controversial. When Portuguese arrived in Kerala they could find an alien liturgy here. Later in the Synod of Diamper in 1599 and in the reformative attempts by Bishop Francis Roz in 1603 we see the mutilation of the East Syrian liturgy. It is very interesting to note that the restoration attempts were always initiated by the Holy See and not by the indigenous Bishops. In 1938 we can see in the history of the Church that when Card. Tisserant asked for the restoration of the Qurbana the Bishops opposed this and rather preferred the continuation of the Romanized liturgy. It shows that the restoration process of the Syro Malabar Qurbana was a tedious process in the history of the Church.


            When the Portuguese arrived in 1498 on the Malabar Coast they founded that the East Syrian liturgy was well rooted there. Even though the Thomas Christians did not very well know its language and Semitic origin they had a deep attachment to this liturgy. When the Portuguese Missionaries intended to purify the Thomas Christians’ Rite they did not change its Syriac language because of the sacredness attributed to it.[1] It is also a fact that among the sacraments, the Eucharistic liturgy was the least affected by the Portuguese. Even if Archbishop Menezes is blamed for all the changes which were introduced in the liturgical tradition of the Thomas Christians, a few studies show that neither the Archbishop nor the Synod of Diamper was ultimately responsible for the changes made in the Malabar liturgy.

            R. H. Connolly, an English Benedictine in his two articles ‘The work of Menezes on the Malabar Liturgy’ made a comparative study of the East Syrian liturgy of Mar Addai and Mar Mari with the liturgy which was revised in the Diamper. In his studies he observed that the changes made by Menezes in the Synod of Diamper were doctrinal in purpose and not in any way liturgical.[2] The synod mentioned nothing special about the insertion of the words of institution in the text. The synod only introduced certain expressions peculiar to the Roman Mass. Fr. Placid. J. Podipara in his study observes that the Menezian and the 1774 texts had different origins. Accrding to him the Synod which was convened by Bishop Francis Roz at Angamaly in 1603 introduced a number of changes and Latin customs in the Church life of the Thomas Christians. Regarding the words of institutions Fr. Placid says that they were present in the Malabar liturgy before the Synod of Diamper. The author of this was presumably Mar Joseph who was the Chaldean Metropolitan of the St. Thomas community during 1556-1569. [3]


          images8O7R1GY5  For a long time, the Roman Pontifical was in use for ordination in the Syro Malabar Church (hereafter SMC). The Syro Malabar Bishops found it difficult to use the Latin text for the Pontifical ceremony and afterwards Syriac to continue the Mass. So they demanded from Rome in 1908 a Syrian translation of the Roman Pontifical for their use. It is a fact that for nearly 300 years the St. Thomas Christians were familiar with only the Roman Pontifical and the rite of Pontifical in East Syriac or West Syriac traditions existed only in the manuscripts and was no longer known in Malabar. This led the bishops to ask for the translation of the Roman Pontifical from the Latin language into Syriac.[4] At that time Malabar Bishops conducted the ceremony of ordination within the Syriac Mass using the prayers in Latin from the Roman Pontifical. It means two languages and two liturgical rites were fused into one ceremony. The Malabar Bishops requested Rome to reduce the confusion by making all the prayers in Syriac. Though the Oriental Congregation desired that the Malabar Church accept the Chaldean Pontifical in Syriac, a baseless fear of the domination of the Chaldeans prompted them to ask for such a Syriac translation of the Roman ordination Rites. Thus they prepared and sent a Syriac translation to Rome.[5] It is to be noted that in 1896, Msgr. Zaleski asked Propaganda Fidei that the Roman Pontifical be translated into Syriac for the Malabar Church. It was for the first time there was explicit unanimity among the Malabar hierarchs, Msgr. Zaleski and Propaganda Fide that a Syriac version of the Roman Pontifical should be produced.[6]

 Rome was favorable in the beginning but when the authorities consulted experts like Msgr. Rene Graffin it took a different turn. He was asked by the Holy See if he would be willing to print the Syriac translation of the Roman Pontifical for the Malabar Catholics. But he firmly replied that he would never do it since this translation is a bad thing and to agree to print it would be to co-operate in a mischief. Rene Graffin’s courageous and farsighted response marks the formal beginning of the restoration of the Syro Malabar rite.[7] Cyril Korolevsky too explained that the SMC belonged to the Chaldean or East Syrian tradition, and not to the Latin. He stated that the demand of the Roman Pontifical in Syriac seemed to be impossible for liturgical and canonical reasons and he wanted for the revision of the Chaldean Pontifical. As a result of these incidents, Rome asked to concentrate at once on the revision of the Chaldean Pontifical. In 1934, Pope Pius XI stated that Latinization should not be encouraged among the Orientals.[8] Then he ordered the appointment of the commission for the restoration of the Pontifical. Thus, the commission headed by Fr. James Voste O. P. restored the Pontifical. The full session of the Cardinals which met on 3 July 1939 firmly approved the Pontifical and its decision was confirmed by Pope Pius XII on 9 July 1939.[9] Meanwhile on December 6, 1938 the Syro Malabar hierarchy under the leadership of Mar Augustine Kandathil sent a letter to Card. Tisserant and expressed their unanimous decision not to have recourse to pure Chaldean rite for the SMC. In the same year George Alappatt, Bishop of Trichur wrote to Card. Tisseant to have a modified Chaldean rite for the SMC. According to him, the Syro Malabar hierarchy feared the ecclesial domination of the Chaldean Patriarch over their rite.[10]  Finally on 8 July 1958 the Holy See promulgated the restored East Syriac Pontifical for the use of the SMC. The Pontifical included the rite of ordination of Metropolitan, Bishop, Chorbishop, Archdeacon, Presbyter, Deacon, Subdeacon and Lector.


            The initiative for the restoration of the liturgy came mainly from Pope Pius XI and carried out by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. The first step we see on 17 January 1938, when Cardinal Tisserant who was the secretary of the Congregation of the Oriental Churches informed the hierarchy of the intention of the Holy See to restore the Qurbana and the Divine Praises. In the reply the Bishops objected to such a restoration and requested that the Romanized liturgy be continued without any change. The next step was initiated by the Bishops’ conference by forming the first liturgical committee in Ernakulam on 4 August 1953, comprising of five persons and Mar Tharayil was the chairman.[11] Their demands were to shorten the Qurbana, to reduce the prayers of the deacons, to minimize the use of incense and follow the Roman Missal in its structure. In this context Card. Tisserant visited Kerala in December 1953. On 10 March 1954 Pope Pius XII nominated a commission to edit the texts of the Qurbana, the Sacramentary and the Divine Praises. Card. Tisserant sought the opinion of the Bishops on the restoration of the liturgical texts, through a letter sent to them on 6 May 1954. The Bishops objected to the imposition of the pure East Syriac liturgical texts on the SMC. Mar Kandathil strongly criticized the restoration of the Chaldean liturgy. The Bishops welcomed the introduction of the Malayalam language but disagreed with the introduction of the East Syrian liturgical vestments, sanctuary veil, and the leavened bread in the Qurbana and for making the sign of the cross from right to the left.[12]

            The commission’s work bore fruit only after the death of Pius XII. In 1959-60, the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church published the Ordo Celebrationis Qudasa and the Supplementum Mysteriorum. The official liturgical text comprised all the three anaphoras namely the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, the Anaphora of Theodore of Mopsuestia and the Anaphora of Nestorius which were previously approved by Pius XII on June 26, 1957. This official edition of the restored Syro Malabar Missal, the Taksa d Quddasa in Syriac was published at Alwaye on May 12, 1960.[13] It contained only the Anaphora of Addai and Mari.


            On July 3, 1962 the Taksa printed at Alwaye with both Syriac and Malayalam languages and it officially came into force by the common decision of all the seven Bishops with their imprimatur. The restoration was partial because only the simple form of Qurbana was published. The other two anaphoras were approved by Rome but not published. The rubrics contained in Ordo Celebrationis Quddasa were not fully implemented. Some directives were given in the text which is contrary to the spirit of the Qurbana such as the use of incense is not necessary for the Qurbana on the ordinary days and the Communion may be given under one species only.[14] The Taksa did not contain the propria or the variable parts of the Qurbana as envisaged in the Supplementum Mysteriorum. There were no differences in the prayers and no indications for the liturgical seasons. So the differences in the liturgical periods have not come into the life of the people. The edition of 1962 text had omitted a few items like Puqdanakon, diptychs and a few huttamas which were in the 1960 text.[15]

            However when western tendencies exercised a growing attraction and influence favoring brevity and modernity, some of the Syro Malabar hierarchs and clergy saw the restored Qurbana text as unnecessarily elaborate, archaic and lengthy. Some of the Bishops therefore petitioned for the introduction of a certain number of abbreviations in the Qurbana text.[16] But Pope Paul VI disagreed with the petition. Cardinal Parecattil opined that the priests and the people reacted very gravely to the renewal of the Mass in 1962.[17] Again in October 1963, the Syro Malabar Bishops’ Conference submitted a new request to the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches for further renewal, abbreviations and improvement of the 1962 Qurbana text. On December 3, 1963 the same Congregation decreed some amendments and abbreviations as a result of the request from the part of hierarchs for the greater adaptation of the Syro Malabar liturgy to the Indian mentality and the objections which rose against an absolute return to the pure Chaldean Rite. As a consequence of this decree the implementation of the restored Qurbana became obligatory only for those priests ordained after the date of its promulgation.[18] Thus for many priests the restoration of the Holy Qurbana seemed to be a going back, in the sense of returning to the past. They compared it with the “renewal” that they witnessed in the Roman Rite.

Observations on the 1962 text

When we observe the text of 1962, we can find certain elements.

The text was longer than the text which was used since 1774.
It was in the vernacular with some prayers in Syriac.
Nothing new was adopted from the socio-cultural situation of Kerala.
The words of Institution were placed within the Anaphora. It is to be noted that before they were outside the Anaphora, after the epiclesis.
In the pre-Anaphora, the Creed and the solemn entrance to sanctuary and the altar were placed after the rite of transferring of the gifts.
The Text eliminated many Latin elements such as Agnus Dei that had been introduced during and after the Synod of Diamper.
The peoples’ participation became more active.
The vestments were restored to the Chaldean type.[19]


            There were various responses to the Taksa of 1962. It is said that both the clergy and the laity criticized the 1962 text as a reconstruction of the pre-sixteenth century Chaldean Mass. They wanted a liturgy more reformed and adapted to the modern situation. The implications of the Second Vatican Council decree on the Latin Church were a spur to the SMC for rethinking and a better adaptation. Card. Parecattil who attended in the Council took the initiative for a reformed text. All these factors quickened the formation of a more adapted and reformed text of 1968.[20] There was much opposition from the part of some of the faithful and clergy against the elimination of western elements in the formation of the 1962 text. Such objections slightly influenced the formation of 1968 text.[21]

 It is reported that in this background the Central Liturgical Committee started working on preparing a new Taksa. It held 70 or 80 sessions and prepared a Taksa after an elaborate and detailed study of the opinions and suggestions made by the people and priests. The Syro Malabar Bishop’s Conference entrusted CLC with the task of preparing a full and better Malayalam translation of the Taksa. The CLC studied and modified the draft Taksa and again presented it to the Bishop’s Conference. The Bishops’ Conference which met on 20 May 1968 approved the Taksa with certain modifications. Mar Alapatt, Bisop of Thrissur submitted the Taksa to Congregation for the Oriental Churches on 6 August 1968 and was approved as “ad experimentum”. This Taksa came into use on 15 August 1968.[22]

Comparison of 1962 and 1968 Taksas

            There are various changes between the Taksas of 1962 and 1968 in the course of translation and the change in the structure of the Qurbana. Some specialties we can see.

The prayers were reversed and shortened and certain prayer formulae were avoided.
The use of Sanctuary veil (in rubrics) was stopped. The first part of the liturgy was permitted to be celebrated facing the people.
Many rubrics such as the dismissal of the catechumens and kissing the host after the elevation were removed.
The Apostle’s Creed was introduced as an option. The Creed and the formal entrance to the Sanctuary were placed before the transferring of the gifts.
The offertory prayer which is said aloud and shared by the faithful is addressed to the Father.
In the commemoration the name of St. Joseph is inserted newly after the name of Bl. Virgin Mary.
All the g’hanta prayers are prescribed to be said aloud.
At the words of institution, the bread is taken in the hands of the priest. In both bread and cup the triple signing of the cross is avoided and rising over the head is introduced.[23]
Some others opine that the 1968 text presented a moderate liturgy. Its style in Malayalam was very much improved and all the prayers were translated into vernacular. The prayers were revised and shortened and certain prayer formulae which had no parallels in Malayalam idiom were avoided.[24] This text introduced partially the variable prayers or propria for the liturgical seasons. It is pointed out that through this Taksa the practice and spirit of the liturgical year has been introduced into the SMC. On 9May 1969 and on 23July 1971, the Congregation agreed to grant an extension of the experimentation of the 1968 text. But on 19 August 1974 the Congregation declared that the experimentation of the 1968 Taksa is to be concluded and re-proposed the use of 1962 Taksa. This had no impact in the Church and the 1968 Taksa continued to use. At the same time there were no serious steps taken from the part of the SMBC or from the individual bishops to bring to an end the uncontrolled experimentations.[25] It is to be noted that on June 19, 1974 the Oriental Congregation declared that 1968 text was judged unacceptable and that any discussion regarding adaptation etc. would have to be on the basis of 1962 text. The 1962 Taksa is to remain the normative and basic text.[26]


            The liturgical developments in the SMC after 1968 were very much influenced by the liturgical renewals in the Latin Church in India. The steps for a systematic, planned and comprehensive implementation of the Vatican II liturgical renewal was undertaken by the General Meeting of the CBCI in New Delhi on 13-20 October 1966. Another important event was the All-India seminar on the “Church in India” held at Bangalore in May 1969with 600 participants who came from all over India. These attempts culminated in the formation of a “Text for an Order of the Mass for India” which is also known as Indian Mass.[27] Some professors of Dharmaram college incorporated Indian elements in the Eucharistic celebration according to the SMC and the liturgy thus formed is known as Indianised Mass.

            ‘An Order of the Mass for the Indian Church’ was prepared by the Dharmaram College in Bangalore. It was prepared in view of the Bangalore seminar and it was celebrated during the seminar days. The Latin Church also formed a text with the name ‘Texts of an Order of the Mass for India’ which came out from the NBCLC in Bangalore. The Liturgical centre of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam on 31 March 1974 published a text with the name ‘Bharathiya Pooja’(Indian Mass). All these texts had their own Eucharistic prayers and rites adapted to the Indian situations. Another experiment in the Archdiocese was the formation of a ‘Short Mass’.[28] It was on 3 July 1974.

            It is to be noted that there happened certain developments in the SMC which was not congenial to the liturgical identity of the Church. An example is the introduction of the “Ash Wednesday” in 1968 by imitating the Roman rite practice. This is against the structure of the East Syriac liturgical year where the Great Fast starts on the preceding Monday. In the 1970s many unauthorized liturgical texts of Qurbana, sacraments and sacramentals were published which were in constant use in the Church for a long time. After 1970 there appeared an anonymous booklet for the High Mass without any ecclesiastical approbation. This was only the lyrical version of the simple Qurbana modeled after the 1968 Taksa. This text did not contain the variant prayers for Sundays, feast days and ferial days; but only one prayer each, that of the ferial days.[29] There was a provision that even a part of the anaphora (Second ghanta) could be left out and substituted with a song.

            The meeting of CLC on 1 November 1973 discussed the procedure for the finalization of the Taksa of Qurbana. There was a unanimous decision that no question of going back to the pre-Vatican Taksa of 1962. Fr. Silas who was the convener of CLC proposed some practical suggestions for a more relevant and simplified liturgy of the Mass. According to J. Madey most of the changes were mere adaptations of the changes introduced recently in the Roman rite Mass and which can be regarded as borrowings from certain rites used by ecclesiastical bodies issued in and after the 16th century reform.[30] There was also an allegation that the reports of the CLC of that period shows that most of the members took things very lightly and did not care to follow the established norms and principles on the liturgy.

The Meeting of SMBC in 1974

            A special meeting of the SMBC was convened exclusively to liturgical matters on 12-14 August 1974 at the Archbishop’s house of Ernakulam at the insistence of Mar Vayalil, Bishop of Pala. Some of the suggestions by the Bishops were the shortening of the text and the splitting of longer prayers into shorter ones with responses from the Congregation. One response for it was that the shortening of the liturgical prayers just for saving time will do more harm than good and it is against the spirit of the liturgy and the desire, devotion and aspiration of the faithful.[31] Regarding the reform of liturgy the Conference decided that restoration, revision and adaptation of the liturgy should go together, keeping the identity of rite and its organic growth in the light of Vatican Decrees. It also decided that hereafter the Bishop’s Conference alone should give approval for liturgical texts, subject to the final approval of the Holy See.[32]


            On 22 May 1979 the Congregation for the Oriental Churches wrote to Card. Parecattil that the experimental phase to the Qurbana which was at one time granted and later prorogated must be brought to an end. The Congregation warned that any further prorogation “ad experimentum” will certainly be detrimental. Later a report was sent to the Bishops with the title Report on the state of Liturgical Reform in the Syro-Malabar Church given by the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Rome, 12-8-1980. The Prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Rubin requested the SMBC to prepare and submit a draft Taksa of the Qurbana to the Congregation by Easter 1981. The SMBC held at Ernakulam on 4-6 December 1980 gave the following guidelines for the preparation of the new Qurbana Taksa.

The anaphoral part should be preserved without substantial changes.
Some pre and post anaphoral prayers can be indicated as optional.
Alternative prayers and rubrics can be introduced.
At places indicated, room could be provided for spontaneous prayers to suit the occasions.
To introduce any change not envisaged in the above four headings should have the prior approval of the Bishop’s Conference and the final approval of the Holy See.[33]
Even if there were different opinions a draft was submitted to the SMBC and it was sent to Rome on 3 October 1981. After a long and serious study by the experts, the Congregation issued on 1 March 1983 Observations on the Order of the Holy Mass from the Sacred Congregation of the Oriental Churches in 1983. These observations made clear that some of the innovations in the new text were not motivated by a liturgical movement worthy of the name and were foreign to any eastern liturgical tradition.[34]There were various responses to it. It is to be noted that on August 16, 1983 six Bishops sent a reply to Rome supporting all the recommendations of the Roman document. But the majority of the Bishops (12 out of 18) did not welcome the recommendations from Rome and they requested an explanation of the Roman document.[35] It is pointed out that after the ‘ad limina’ conference in Rome in 1980, the focus of attention of the Bishops’ meetings were to prepare a draft text of a simple Mass for Sundays and ordinary days. But the document by the Congregation preferred a draft of the Raza text for solemn occasions which was not in the mind of Bishops’ commission or conference. Further some bishops clarified that the rubrics such as the celebrant facing the congregation during the Mass, introduction of the theme at the beginning, silent poses during the Mass or improvised prayers at certain occasions were introduced not as a part of western imitation, but because they were clearly recommended in the Vatican Council document which had called for the liturgical renewal.[36]     

 According to the directives of the Congregation the Bishops’ Conference decided on 4-5 December 1983 to ask the CLC to prepare the Raza Taksa. CLC appointed a special sub-committee for the preparation of the Raza Taksa in Malayalam. The sub-committee prepared a draft Thaksa in the light of the 1962 and 1968 Taksas as well as the directives from Rome.[37] CLC also proposed for the serious study of the materials i.e. the original Syriac Thaksa, the Ordo Celebrationis Quddasa and the various Roman documents. But due to the divergence of opinions among the CLC members about the prepared Raza text, they could not reach a solution.[38] Then we see that SMBC appointed a special Episcopal committee on 12-13 March 1985 to prepare a draft Taksa of the Raza. In the light of consultations with the CLC and the sub-committee the Episcopal committee proposed to the SMBC on 4June 1985 seventeen points as additional guidelines for the preparation of a Taksa which are acceptable for all. Here it is to be noted that the Taksa was not prepared from a single text. The Taksas of the Chaldeans and Nestorians were used along with the old Taksa of the SMC and the directions given by Rome.[39] The Taksa prepared by the committee was approved after the study and revision by the Episcopal committee on 2 November 1985 and approved by the SMBC on 8 November 1985 and was forwarded to Rome on 8 December for final approval. The Holy See approved the Raza Taksa on 19 December 1985. In this situation the Congregation stated categorically that the Order for the Solemn Raza of the Syro Malabar Church, with the texts, norms and rubrics contained therein, should remain the basic normative text of the Syro Malabar Qurbana.[40] During his visit to India, Pope John Paul II inaugurated and celebrated the Solemn Raza at Kottayam on 8 February 1986. The English text with the title Order of the Solemn Form of Raza of the Syro Malabar Church which is the reproduction of the official text was also appended to the end of the Malayalam Taksa.[41]

General observations of the Raza text of 1986

            Some authors observe certain elements in the restored Raza text of 1986.

The Raza text is long and its language is clumsy and its literary style is not the highest level.
Literal translations of certain prayer formulae from Syriac into Malayalam obstruct the flow as well as the expression of the language.
The text is difficult to understand at some points because of the too literal translations of the Syriac original.
No efforts have been made to make the text more relevant and indigenous.
The Raza text lays down the use of the Bema in Cathedrals and Churches even if there no liturgical tradition to use Bema in the Indian Church.
The Creed and the formal entrance to the sanctuary were placed after the ‘Transfer of Gifts’ just as the 1962 text.
This text does not reflect the spirit of the Vatican Council. Its thrust seems to be a regression to traditionalism.[42]


            In the meeting held on 4 June 1986 SMBC proposed two suggestions concerning the Simple form of the Qurbana. The first proposal was that the CLC be entrusted with the task of preparing the simple form of the Qurbana based on the Raza text, in the light of the directives from Rome, and with due consideration for the pastoral needs of the time and people. Secondly the simple form of Qurbana is prepared by eliminating from the Raza text, prayers, hymns etc. proper to the Raza. Though the SMBC resolved to use the restored Taksa in all three forms there were a lot of complaints regarding the Taksa from the part of a section of Bishops, priests and laity. [43] The Cogregation issued a document on 5 May 1988 namely Directives on the Order of the Syro Malabar Qurbana in the Solemn and Simple forms, considering the developments related to the Qurbana. At the beginning of this document, it is stated that the good of the faithful is the pastoral norm governing all liturgical legislation. The directives view the different aspects of the one and the same celebration i.e. the spirit and principles of liturgical reform and the pastoral needs. The intention of the document is to put together the spirit of liturgical reform and the pastoral needs in the actual situation of the Church. The directives do this when it insists on a good and steady catechesis with a view to arrive at the ideal. The document asserted that only through the knowledge of a total ecclesial and theological context of the tradition can the liturgy itself be fully understood. A similar penetration into the meaning of liturgy should be provided for the faithful, according to their needs and circumstances, by means of a precise and regular catechesis.[44]

In the preparation of these new directives the Congregation has taken into account the 1962, 1968 and 1986 Raza texts as well as other important documents of the past decades. Wherever possible, provision was made for options. Regarding “General Norms” the use of the sanctuary veil was left to the discretion of the local ordinary. In the pre-anaphoral part this document has given a number of options in order to avoid the inconveniences when one priest alone celebrates the Eucharist.[45] There is the observation that in its content the document gave great importance to pastoral as well as sociological aspects and provided great openness towards local and cultural differences. Robert Taft S. J., who is the Professor of liturgy at the Pontifical Oriental Institute Rome and consultor for liturgy of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, is known to have been the author of these directives. His words are noteworthy here: “Compromise solutions are never the ideal, for by definition a compromise tries to reconcile opposing, even irreconcilable views, each of which considers itself the ideal.”[46] It is said that Fr. Taft insisted the Congregation that the concession were necessary if there was ever to be liturgical peace in the SMC. About this directives A. Nariculam writes: “By giving the dioceses freedom to choose, the directives temporarily solved some of the major controversial issues: whether or not to celebrate Mass facing the people, using the sanctuary veil, begin the Qurbana with a sign of the cross, retain the custom of offertory procession etc. The directives also permitted a number of options to the celebrants especially to reduce the repetition of prayers”.[47] A Taksa for the Qurbana in the solemn and simple forms which was prepared by the CLC and approved by SMBC was sent to Rome and finally approved by Rome on 3 April 1989.

            The Taksa with the title The Solemn and Simple Qurbana of the Syro Malabar Church and the English Taksa with the title The Syro Malabar Qurbana The Order of Raza which began to use in 1989 have some alterations and additions from the Raza.[48] For the implementation of the text there is clear guidance in the directives  No. 5 says that the moment the new text for the solemn and simple forms comes into effect, the use of all other texts previously authorized, including the Missal introduced ‘ad experimentum’ in 1968 and still in use in many dioceses is ipso facto forbidden.[49] The General Instructions in the Taksa are different from the 1986 Raza in number and in content. The General Instructions regarding the order for the Qurbana, directives for the Qurbana in the solemn and simple forms and the particular directives for the concelebration are also given in the Taksa. However it is clearly specified in the Final Judgment of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches concerning the Order of the Syro Malabar Qurbana that the Raza is the ideal form of celebration and hence the starting point for any further special consideration. The Low Mass is only a lawful reduction of this. It can never be the starting point.


            The history of the Church shows that the restoration attempts of the Syro Malabar Church was a complicated effort. Many faithful believed that the ideal way is the incorporation with the Roman liturgy. After the II Vatican Council, in the name of Council much experimentation was introduced in the Church. But many of them were against the spirit of the East Syrian liturgy. Here we can see that lack of the knowledge about the individual Churches and their liturgy led many to the ignorance about the restoration of liturgy. As the directives in 1988 by the Congregation wishes a proper training and catechesis for the faithful is inevitable in this situation.

[1] F. KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore or to Reform? , (Bangalore, 1992)11.
[2] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 11.
[3] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 12.
[4] G. THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity of the Mar Toma Nazrani Church, (Kottayam, 2004)114.
[5] J. VELLIAN, Syro Malabar Liturgy, Raza: The Most Solemn Qurbana, Vol. 1 (Kottayam)58.
[6] P. VAZHEEPARAMPIL, The Making and Unmaking of Tradition, (Rome, 1998)144.
[7] VAZHEEPARAMPIL, The Making, 118.
[8] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 67.
[9] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 115.
[10]VAZHEEPARAMPIL, The Making, 149-150.
[11]THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 116.
[12] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 118.
[13] VAZHEEPARAMPIL, The Making, 154.
[14] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 119.
[15] VELLIAN, Syro Malabar Liturgy, 61.
[16] VAZHEEPARAMPIL, The Making, 154.
[17] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 120.
[18] VAZHEEPARAMPIL, The Making, 155.
[19] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 70.
[20] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 71.
[21] VELLIAN, Syro Malabar Liturgy, 61
[22] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 121.
[23] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 122.
[24]KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 72.
[25] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 123.
[26] T. MANNOORAMPARAMPIL, The Anaphora and the post Anaphora of the Syro Malabar Qurbana, (kottayam, 1984)38-39.
[27] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 125.
[28]KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 74.
[29]THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 126.
[30] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 127.
[31] Bishop Powathil to Mar Kunnacherry, 16 July 1974, n. 15, as quoted by G. THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity of the Mar Toma Nazrani Church, (Kottayam, 2004)129.
[32] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 130.
[33] MANNOORAMPARAMPIL, “The Restoration of the Syro Malabar Qurbana”, 14, as quoted by G. THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity of the Mar Toma Nazrani Church, (Kottayam, 2004)135.
[34] VAZHEEPARAMPIL, The Making, 159.
[35] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 82.
[36] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 82.
[37] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 136.
[38] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 82.
[39] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 137.
[40] VAZHEEPARAMPIL, The Making, 163.
[41] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 139.

[42] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 84-85.
[43] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 140.
[44] VELLIAN, Syro Malabar Liturgy, 68-69.
[45] KANICHIKATTIL, To Restore, 86.
[46] R. TAFT, “The Syro Malabar Liturgical Controversy: Intervention by Rev. Dr. Robert Taft S. J.”, ASBSMC, 135-136, as quoted by P. VAZHEEPARAMPIL, The Making and Unmaking of Tradition, (Rome, 1998)166.
[47] NARICULAM, “The Syro Malabar Liturgical Reform. A Historical Perspective”, 12, as quoted by G. THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity of the Mar Toma Nazrani Church, (Kottayam, 2004)140.
[48] THADIKKATT, Liturgical Identity, 141.
[49] VELLIAN, Syro Malabar Liturgy, 70.


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