Saturday, March 27, 2010

Palm Sunday Syro-Malabar Style

It being the last Saturday of the month, the Syro Malabar community have their monthly Holy Qurbana (Mass) in the Syro Malabar Rite. The Mass included the traditional Palm Sunday procession with children singing 'Hosanna'.

The children prepare for the procession.

Clearly enjoying themselves...

As in the pre-1962 Latin rite Mass, the priest knocks three times on the church door.

The door is opened.

The congregation waiting to follow the priest into the Church.

Mass continues with the Offertory.


  1. I didn't realise the Syro-Malabar Rite of 'Mass' was celebrated facing the people.

  2. I was wondering if someone would pick that up. The Syro Malabar Mass is celebrated facing the people - even though the Synod of Syro Malabar bishops decreed it should be celebrated facing East. Sadly, there is a lack of unity in the Syro Malabar Church conerning this matter. Even some bishops celebrate facing the people.

  3. Oh, and I don't think girl servers are in keeping with their tradition either.

    The Syro Malabars are over influenced by Latin innovations and this leads to confusion and conflict. It is ironic that Pope John Paul II exhorted the Eastern Churches to be faithful to their traditions while the Latin Church was allowed to depart from its own millenial traditions.

  4. The congregration seems as badly catechised as a Latin Rite congregation judging by the disinterest exhibited in the Offertory.

  5. Sharon

    I'm not sure that is fair to make such a sweeping judgement. They have just come in from a procession, there are lots and lots of children, they actively participate in the Mass. Mums are busy looking after their children. And, most of all, THEY ARE AT MASS!!!

    And your judgement, in my opinion, is unfair not just to the Syro Malabar people but to the Latin Rite people too.

  6. I often attend the Melkite Byzantine Divine Liturgy in Victoria/Sloane Square which is always a treat. They have a growing community as a lot of them are Christians from the Holy Land.

  7. I am not sure if my first post went through. If it did, please feel free to delete this one.

    Father, with respect, how many Latin Rite Ordinary Form Masseshave you witnessed, other than your own or those of your friends, in the last 10 years?

    I am not familiar with the Rite pictured but does the Offertory begin directly after the procession into the church?

  8. Sharon

    You are probably right - I don't often attend Masses that I am not celebrating, but still *they are at Mass*. I am not intimate with the Syro Malabar rite but this is what happened - and I presume that the priest followed his ritual faithfully so, yes, the offertory follows immediately after the procession before which they have had the liturgy of the Word including the reading of the Passion (as far as I was aware.)

  9. Hi Father,
    I was googling "Syro-Malabar Rite" and came across your blog post. I am a UK Catholic going to Kerala, India this summer, where I understand the Syro-Malabar community is large. Is a Latin-rite Catholic allowed to attend a Syro-Malabar rite Mass to fulfil their Sunday obligation, and can they receive Holy Communion there?
    Please forgive my ignorance on this!


  10. Yes, Fiona. As a Catholic you may attend any Catholic rite. You may absolutely receive Communion. If you are not sure how they give Holy Communion, perhaps introduce yourself to the priest first so he can guide you. There are also some Latin rite Churches in Kerala, but not many! Enjoy your trip1


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