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, 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, they are not a part of the Eastern Catholic churches. The main Anaphora of the East Syriac tradition is the Holy Qurbana of Saints Addai and Mari, while that of the West Syriac tradition is the Divine Liturgy of Saint James.
The East Syriac word Qurbana and the West Syriac word Qurbono are derived from the Aramaic term Qurbana. When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, sacrifices were offered, "Qorban" was a technical Hebrew term for some of the offerings that were brought there, it comes from a Hebrew root, "Qarab", meaning "to draw close or'near'". A required Korban was offered morning and evening daily and on holidays, in addition to which individuals could bring an optional personal Korban; the Holy Qurbana is referred to as "complete" worship, since it is performed for the benefit of all members of the Church. The other sacraments are celebrated for individual members, thus the Holy Qurbana is believed to be the sacrament. Hence it is called the "sacrament of perfection" or the "queen of sacraments"; the East Syriac or Chaldean rite was associated with the historical Church of the East, centered in the Persian capital of Seleucia-Ctesiphon. Today the Liturgy of Addai and Mari is used in the Ancient Church of the East, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, as well as the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the Chaldean Syrian Church based in Kerala, India.
The Liturgy belongs to the East Syriac Rite, the anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer, part of this liturgy dating back to 3rd-century Edessa if the outline of the current form can be traced as far back only as the time of the Patriarch Mar Isho-Yab III in the 7th century. This liturgy is traditionally attributed to Saint Mari. In the form given in the oldest manuscripts, all of the High Middle Ages, this anaphora does not include the Words of Institution, a matter that raised ecumenical concerns. West Syriac liturgical rite is 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. West Syriac liturgies represent one of the major strains in Syriac Christianity, the other being the East Syriac Rite, the liturgy of the Church of the East and its descendants. Distinct West Syriac liturgies developed following the Council of Chalcedon, which divided the Christian community in Antioch into Melkites, who supported the Emperor and the Council and adopted the Byzantine Rite, the non-Chalcedonians, who rejected the council and developed an independent liturgy – the West Syriac Rite.
An independent West Syriac community that grew around the monastery of Saint Maron developed into the Maronite Church. A variant of the West Syriac Rite, the Malankara Rite, developed in the ancient Malankara Church of India and is still used in its descendant churches, they are the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, the Malabar Independent Syrian Church. The Liturgy is based on the traditions of the ancient rite of the Early Christian Church of Jerusalem, as the Mystagogic Catecheses of St Cyril of Jerusalem imply; the Liturgy is associated with the name of James the Just, the "brother" of Jesus and patriarch among the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem. Saint James was martyred at the hands of a mob incensed at his preaching about Jesus and his "transgression of the Law" - an accusation made by the Jewish High Priest of the time, Hanan ben Hanan. Among the Eastern liturgies, the Liturgy of Saint James is one of the Antiochene group of liturgies, those ascribed to Saint James, to Saint Basil, to Saint John Chrysostom.
The Liturgy of Saint James is considered to be the oldest surviving liturgy developed for general use in the Church. Its date of composition is still disputed with some authorities proposing an early date ca. AD 60, close to the time of composition of Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans, while most authorities propose a fourth-century date for the known form, because the anaphora seems to have been developed from an ancient Egyptian form of the Basilean anaphoric family united with the anaphora described in The Catechisms of St. Cyril of Jerusalem. Divine Liturgy Holy Leaven Explanation about the Holy Qurbana - St. Mary's Malankara Orthodox Cathedral of Philadelphia
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, 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, tracing its founding 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 liturgical language of the Church based on Syriac Christianity; the primate of the church is the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Aphrem II since 2014, seated in Cathedral of Saint George, Bab Tuma, Syria. The church claims apostolic succession through the pre-Chalcedonian Patriarchate of Antioch to the Early Christian communities established by Saint Peter in Antioch, Roman Empire, in Apostolic era, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. Saint Evodius was bishop of Antioch until 66 AD, was succeeded by Saint Ignatius of Antioch.
In A. D 169 Theophilus of Antioch wrote sole surviving work consists of three apologetic tracts to Autolycus. Patriarch Babylas of Antioch was considered the first saint recorded as having had his remains moved or "translated" for religious purposes. Eustathius of Antioch supported Athanasius of Alexandria who opposed the followers of the condemned doctrine of Arius at the First Council of Nicaea. During the time of Meletius of Antioch the church split due to his deposition for Homoiousian leanings which resulted in the Meletian Schism, which saw several groups and several claimants to the see of Antioch; the patriarchate was forced to move from Antioch in A. D. 518 due to emperor Justin I, who enforced a uniform Chalcedonian Christian orthodoxy throughout the empire. In circa 518, the Syriac Orthodox Church continued to recognize Patriarch Severus of Antioch as the legitimate patriarch despite his deposition by the Byzantine Empire while those who sought communion with Rome accepted the Council of Chalcedon and the formula of Pope Hormisdas, recognized the new Chalcedonian patriarch of Antioch Paul the Jew.
Patriarch Severus of Antioch was a significant bishop in the organisation of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Byzantine Empire, after he was expelled from Antioch in 518. Bishop Jacob Baradaeus is credited for ordaining the majority of the miaphysite hierarchy while facing heavy persecution in the 6th century. Around 1665, many Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, affirmed allegiance to the Syriac Orthodox Church, establishing the Malankara Syrian Church reuniting with the See of Antioch for the first time since the schism of the Church of the East from the jurisdiction of Antioch in 484 after the execution of Babowai. In the Fertile Crescent, controversy occurred in 1783 when a few members of its hierarchy entered in full communion with the Catholic Church, establishing the Syriac Catholic Church as part of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Despite this, the Syriac Orthodox Church remains larger in members and clergy than the Syriac Catholic Church. Although established in Antioch, due to persecution, first by the Chalcedonian Romans followed by the Muslim Arabs, the church's patriarchate was subsequently seated in Mor Hananyo Monastery, Ottoman Empire, whereafter Homs, Damascus, since 1959.
A diaspora has spread from the Levant and Turkey throughout the world, notably in Sweden, United Kingdom, Austria, United States, Guatemala, Brazil and New Zealand. The church's members are divided in 26 archdioceses, 11 patriarchal vicariates, its original area is present-day Syria and Iraq. The Syriac Orthodox Church participates in ecumenical discussions, being a member of the World Council of Churches since 1960, of the Middle East Council of Churches since 1974; the precise differences in theology that caused the Chalcedonian controversy is said to have arisen "only because of differences in terminology and culture and in the various formulae adopted by different theological schools to express the same matter", according to a common declaration statement between Patriarch Ignatius Jacob III of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and Pope Paul VI of the Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday 27 October 1971 and again in the common declaration statement between Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and Pope John Paul II of the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday 23 June 1984.
The church is referred to as the Jacobite Church, but it rejects this name due to its Apostolic origin. The Syriac Orthodox Church is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, a distinct communion of churches claiming to continue the patristic and Apostolic Christology before the schism following the Council of Chalcedon in 451; the Syriac Orthodox Church claims the status as the most ancient Christian church in the world by apostolic succession from the Patriarchate of Antioch. According to Saint Luke, "The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch". Saint Peter and Saint Paul are regarded as the co-founders of the Patriarchate of Antioch in AD 37, with Saint Peter serving as its first bishop and considered the first patriarch of and by the Syriac Orthodox Church having been selected by the founder of the church Jesus Christ; when Saint Peter left Antioch and Ignatius presided over the Patriarchate of Antioch. Because of the significance attributed t
Shenoute the Great, Saint Shenoute the Archimandrite (Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ϣⲉⲛⲟⲩϯ ⲡⲓⲁⲣⲭⲓⲙⲁⲛ'ⲇⲣⲓⲧⲏⲥ. He is considered a saint by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, is one of the most renowned saints of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Shenoute was born in the middle of the fourth century AD. Around 385 AD, Shenoute became the father of the White Monastery in Upper Egypt, it has been assumed that Shenoute was the immediate successor of the White Monastery's founder, Pcol. However, the reconstruction of Shenoute's literary corpus made it possible to realize that Pcol died in the 370s and was succeeded not by Shenoute but by another father and that a spiritual crisis during Ebonh's tenure as head of the White Monastery, a crisis which seems to have involved carnal sin, enabled Shenoute to come to prominence and to become Ebonh's immediate successor; because of his popularity in Upper Egypt and his zeal for Orthodoxy, Shenoute was chosen by Saint Cyril the Great to accompany him in representing the Church of Alexandria at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.
There he provided the moral support that Saint Cyril needed to defeat the heresy of Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople. The eventual exile of the latter to Akhmim, Shenoute's backyard, was a testimony to the impression that Shenoute had made upon the attendees of this council. On 7 Epip 466 AD, following a short illness brought upon by advanced age, Shenoute died in the presence of his monks. From his uncle, Saint Pigol, Shenoute inherited a monastery based on the Pachomian system, though more austere and stringent; this made its followers few in number and promoted decline rather than growth. Shenoute implemented a more comprehensive system, less stringent and more suitable to the surroundings and the background of the people; this new system had an unusual component, a covenant to be recited and adhered to by the new novices. It read as follows: I vow before God in His Holy Place, the word which I have spoken with my mouth being my witness. If I transgressed what I have vowed, I will not enter it.
God before whom I made the covenant will destroy my soul and my body in the fiery Hell because I transgressed the covenant I made. Transgressors of that covenant were expelled from the monastery altogether; this was considered a near death sentence for those peasant monks. Another interesting feature of Shenoute's monastic system was the requirement for the new novices to live outside the monastery for a period of time before they were deemed worthy to be consecrated as monks; this seemed to be at odds with the Nitrian monastic system, which allowed the monks to live away from the monastic settlements only after they became proficient in the monastic life. Shenoute utilized the time of the monks, outside prayer and worship, in more varied tasks within the monastery than the Nitrian monks were exposed to. Aside from the traditional trades of rope and basket weaving, the monks engaged in weaving and tailoring linen, cultivation of flax, leather work and shoe-making and book-binding and metal and pottering-making.
All in all, Shenouda tried as much as possible to employ the monks in their old professions. Such activities made the monastery a vast self-supporting complex, which occupied some 20 square miles of land; as a monastic leader, Shenoute recognized the need for literacy among the monk. So he required all his monks and nuns to learn to read and encouraged more of them to pursue the art of writing manuscripts; this made the monastery more and more appealing to belong to and made the threat of expulsion more painful. In his laudatory Life of Saint Shenoute, his disciple Saint Wissa recounts several incidents of Shenoute coming to the aid of poor Coptic peasants. One time he went to Akhmim to chastise a pagan because of the oppression he was inflecting on the poor. Another time he acted to eliminate the cause of grief of the peasants, that the pagan landlords of Paneleou forced to buy their spoiled wine. On a third occasion he risked his life to ask for the freedom of the captives at Psoi from the hands of the Blemmyes warriors.
He at times appealed on behalf of the peasants to those in power, including the Roman emperor Theodosius I. In summary, Shenoute recognized the misery of his people and emerged as their sincere advocate and popular leader. To talk about Shenoute's writing is to discuss Coptic literature at its best, he wrote in a style, his own, with writings based on a careful study of the scholastic rhetoric of his time, which displayed the wide and deep range of knowledge he possessed. They were adorned with endless quotations from the Holy Scriptures, a typical feature of patristic writings; the scriptures were quoted. In doing so Shenoute displayed an astonishing memory as he rendered these passages with amazing accuracy. Shenoute's knowledge was not confined to the Holy Bible, as it was the case for the majority of the monks in Egypt, he was fluent in both Coptic and Greek, was well acquainted with Greek thought and theology. The sprinkling of Greek loan-words in his writings was both extensive and sophisticated, it was not a product of his living environment.
He expressed knowledge of the works of Aristotle, Arist
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Christian churches. One of the few pre-colonial Christian churches in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has a membership of between 45 and 50 million people, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia, it is a founding member of the World Council of Churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is in communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, having gained autocephaly in 1959; the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria from the first half of the 4th century until 1959, when it was granted its own patriarch by Cyril VI, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. As one of the oldest Christian churches and a non-Chalcedonian church, it is not in communion with the Ethiopian Catholic Church. Ethiopia is the second country following only Armenia, to have proclaimed Christianity as state religion. Tewahedo is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one".
This word refers to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one unified nature of Christ. The Oriental Orthodox churches adhere to a Miaphysitic Christological view followed by Cyril of Alexandria, the leading protagonist in the Christological debates of the 4th and 5th centuries, who advocated "mia physis tou theou logou sesarkōmenē", or "one nature of the Word of God incarnate" and a "union according to hypostasis", or hypostatic union; the distinction of this stance was that the incarnate Christ has one nature, but that one nature is of the two natures and human, retains all the characteristics of both after the union. Miaphysitism holds that in the one person of Jesus Christ and humanity are united in one nature without separation, without confusion, without alteration and without mixing where Christ is consubstantial with God the Father. Around 500 bishops within the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem refused to accept the dyophysitism doctrine decreed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, an incident that resulted in the first major split in the main body of the Christian Church.
The Oriental Orthodox churches, which today include the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Church of India, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, are referred to as "Non-Chalcedonian", sometimes incorrectly by outsiders as "monophysite". Monophysitism is a theology adopted by a 5th-century presbyter and archimandrite in Constantinople known as Eutyches and claims that Christ has "one single nature" where his divinity absorbed his humanity resulting in a "simple" mathematical "one" nature to which the Oriental Orthodox churches object. According to these, both natures in Christ are preserved after the union in "mia physis"—one nature. Tewahedo is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one" or "unified"; this word refers to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one single unified nature of Christ. This is in contrast to the "two Natures of Christ" belief, held by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Oriental Orthodoxy is known as "non-Chalcedonian", sometimes by outsiders as "monophysite". However, these Churches themselves describe their Christology as miaphysite. Many traditions claim that Christian teachings were introduced to the region after Pentecost. John Chrysostom speaks of the "Ethiopians present in Jerusalem" as being able to understand the preaching of Saint Peter in Acts, 2:38. Possible missions of some of the Apostles in the lands now called Ethiopia is reported as early as the 4th century. Socrates of Constantinople includes Ethiopia in his list as one of the regions preached by Matthew the Apostle, where a specific mention of "Ethiopia south of the Caspian Sea" can be confirmed in some traditions such as the Roman Catholic Church among others. Ethiopian Church tradition tells that Bartholomew accompanied Matthew in a mission which lasted for at least three months. Paintings depicting these missions are available in the Church of St. Matthew found in the Province of Pisa, in northern Italy portrayed by Francesco Trevisan and Marco Benefial.
The earliest account of an Ethiopian converted to the faith in the New Testament books is a royal official baptized by Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven deacons: Then the angel of the Lord said to Philip, Start out and go south to the road that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he was on his way when he caught sight of an Ethiopian; this man was a eunuch, a high official of the Kandake Queen of Ethiopia in charge of all her treasure. The passage continues by describing ho
Holy See of Cilicia
The Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia is a hierarchal see of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Since 1930, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia has been headquartered in Antelias, Lebanon. Aram I is the Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church since 1995. First Sis era, 267-301: According to the order of Catholicoi, *St. Gregory I the Enlightener was seated in Sis 267-301 before moving to Etchmiadzin in 301 where he continued in office until 325. In 485 AD, the Catholicosate was transferred to the new capital of Armenia Dvin. In the 10th century it moved from Dvin to Dzoravank and to Aghtamar, to Arghina and to Ani Sivas era, 1058–1062 Tavbloor era, 1062–1066 Dzamendav era, 1066–1116 Dzovk, era, 1116–1149 Hromgla era, 1149–1293 Second Sis era, 1293-1930 Antelias, Lebanon era, since 1930 - having transferred there from Sis in Cilicia in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide; the origin of the Armenian Church dates back to the Apostolic age and according to the ancient tradition was established by St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew.
In 301 AD, Christianity was accepted by the Armenians as the state religion. St. Gregory the Illuminator, the patron Saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church, King Tiridates III of Armenia, the ruler of the time, played a pivotal role in the official Christianization of Armenia. St. Gregory the Illuminator became the organizer of the Armenian Church hierarchy. From that time, the heads of the Armenian Church have been called Catholicos and still hold the same title. St. Gregory chose as the site of the Catholicosate the capital city of Vagharshapat, in Armenia, he built the pontifical residence next to the church called "Holy Mother of God". In 485 AD, the Catholicosate was transferred to the new capital Dvin. In the 10th century it moved from Dvin to Dzoravank and to Aghtamar, to Arghina and to Ani. After the fall of Ani and the Armenian Kingdom of Bagradits in 1045, masses of Armenians migrated to Cilicia; the Catholicosate, together with the people, settled there. The seat of the church was first established in Sivas moving to Tavbloor to Dzamendav, Hromgla, in Sis, the capital of the Cilician Kingdom.
After the fall of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, in 1375, the Church assumed the role of national leadership, the Catholicos was recognized as Ethnarch. This national responsibility broadened the scope of the Church's mission. In 1441, a new Catholicos of All Armenians was elected in Holy Etchmiadzin in the person of Kirakos I Virapetsi of Armenia. At the same time the retiring Catholicos in Sis Gregory IX Mousabegian remained as the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Therefore, since 1441, there have been two Catholicosates in the Armenian Apostolic Church with the primacy of the Catholicosate of All Armenians in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin recognized by the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia; the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians resides in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The city of Sis was the center of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia for more than six centuries, starting in 1293 when the Catholicosate moved from Hromgla to Sis.
The monastery of St. Sophia of Sis, home of the Catholicosate, dominates the town in early 20th-century photographs. During the Armenian Genocide, in 1915, the Armenian population in Cilicia was destroyed; the last Catholicos to reside in Sis was Sahak II. In 1921, after renewed massacres of Armenians in Cilicia by Kemalist Turkey, Sahak II, with the surviving Armenian population, fled to find refuge in Syria. Sahak II after leaving the premises of the Catholicosate in Sis stayed at various locations in Northern Syria and in Lebanon, running the affairs of the Catholicosate. In 1922 the American Committee for Relief in the Near East established an orphanage in Antilias for survivors of the genocide, it continued operating until 1928. After the foundation's Executive Committee was petitioned in 1929 by Sahak II, in 1930 the now-vacant buildings of the orphanage were leased to the Cilicia Catholicosate for a period of five years to be used as a seat for the Catholicosate and a seminary for training priests and teachers.
The foundation agreed to contribute $6000-$7000 yearly towards running costs. The first mass in the Catholicosate's seminary at Antelias took place on Sunday, October 12, 1930. Using donations from Simon and Mathilde Kayekjian, the Catholicosate purchased the property and land that housed the Catholicosate in Antelias. Ailing Catholicos Sahak II, who died in 1939, was aided in his years by Papken I, who served as Catholicos Coadjutor from 1931 until his death in 1936; the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral was built through the donation of a benefactor whose name, Sarkis Kenadjian, was only revealed after his death, according to his wish. A chapel in memory of the one and a half million Armenian martyrs was built, followed by a residence for the Catholicos, called Veharan, a new Seminary building; the chapel was built after the donation of Armenian-Cypriot benefactor and art collector Vahram Utidjian, son of Apisoghom Utidjian, official translator for the British government in Cyprus. However, the "Cilicia"
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church 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. It is believed that Saint Thomas Christians of Malabar were in communion with the Church of the East from 496 to 1599, they received episcopal support from Persian bishops, who traveled to Kerala in merchant ships through the spice route, while the local leader of the Saint Thomas Christians held the rank of Archdeacon and was a hereditary office held by the Pakalomattam family. In the 16th century, the overtures of the Portuguese padroado to bring the Saint Thomas Christians into Latin Rite Catholicism led to the first of several rifts in the community by Portuguese colonialists and the establishment of the Catholic and the Malankara Church factions.
Since further splits have occurred, the Saint Thomas Christians are now divided into several fragments, due to western interferences. Saint Thomas Christians were administratively under the single native dynastic leadership of an Archdeacon and were in communion with the Church of the East, centered in Persia, from at least 496; the indigenous Church of Malabar/Malankara followed the faith and traditions handed over by the Apostle St. Thomas. During the 16th century, the Portuguese Jesuits began deliberate attempts to annex the native Christians to the Catholic Church, in 1599 they succeeded through the Synod of Diamper. Resentment against these forceful measures led the majority of the community under the Archdeacon Thomas to swear an oath never to submit to the Portuguese, known as the Coonan Cross Oath, in 1653; the Malankara Church consolidated under Mar Thoma I welcomed Gregorios Abdal Jaleel, who regularized the canonical ordination of Mar Thoma as a bishop. Meanwhile, the Dutch East India Company defeated the Portuguese in supremacy of the spice trade in Malabar in 1663.
The Malankara church used this opportunity to escape from Catholic persecution with the Dutch East India Company's help. At the request of the Malankara Church, the Dutch brought Gregorios Abdal Jaleel of Jerusalem, a bishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church, in their trading vessel in 1665. Mar Thoma I forged a relationship with the Syriac Orthodox Church which laid the foundation for adopting West Syrian liturgy and practices over the next two centuries; the East Syriac Prelate, Mar Yuhanon signed on behalf of the Churches of Persia and India at the first organized gathering of Christianity, the Synod of Nicea held in 325 AD. The East Syriac Canonist Ibn Tayyib says ‘In the time of Catholicose Mar Ishaq the Metropolitanates of Fars and Meru and in the time of Mar Ishu Yab-I/ II/ III Halwan, Samarkhand and China were created’. Mar Ishu Yab warned in his two letters to Mar Shimyun, Metropolitan of Fars located in southern Persia that his independent stand will not hamper the ecclesiastical needs of the people of India.
Ancient East Syriac crosses found out in many places with writings in Pahlavi language engraved on it, as seen at Kadamattom Orthodox church, Kottayam Canaanite church, Mylapore church are pronounce our close relationship with Eastern Church. Malankara Nazranies had evolved a script to write Malayalam after making certain changes in East Syriac script though ‘Vattezhuthe’ an early form of Malayalam was in vogue; the present-day Malayalam script was formulated and used by Indo-Aryan settlers on the lines of Devnagari for the translation of their Epics to Malayalam after 12th century. Aarthat Padiyola in copper plate, declaring the sovereignty of Malankara Church in 1806 was written in old Malayalam script. An early script, ‘Kharoshti’ prevailed in northwestern India was developed from eastern Syriac, which helped to decipher identical edicts written in India's original but defunct Prakrit languages. Many documents related to 17th and 18th century reveals the attachment of Nazranis to Eastern Syria.
A memorandum by Malankara Nazranis to Roman Pope against compulsive westernization during the 17th century states that, "All our prayers are written in the Chaldean Syriac of our Apostle father St. Thomas". A Jesuit priest Nunes Barutha of that period states that: "Marthoma Christians are not believe in any other teaching other than written in Eastern Syriac". In 1682, Bartholomew, a West Syrian Malpan from Aleppo was appointed in Verapoly seminary by Carmelites, but Malankara Nazranis opposed the appointment to teach their students by a West Syrian teacher. Canon of Udayamperoor synod asked to discontinue the use of Eastern Syriac in liturgy and prayers for native Malayalam. Eastern Aramaic was used in Malankara up to the 17th century, all borrowed words and names from Syriac to Malayalam are phonetically in Eastern Syriac. Malankara Nazranis were adapted to Western Syriac and liturgy due to ecclesiastical support and long stay of many Antiochean prelates in the second half of 17th and 18th centuries.
At the outset of Latinisation, Nazranis were reluctant to accept Latin bishops. When Vasco-da-Gama arrived in Cochin in 1502, Metropolitan Mar Yahb Alla assisted by Mar Denha, Mar Yacob and Mar Yuhanon sent by Babylonian Patriarch ministered from Ankamaly a
Mar Thoma Syrian Church
The Mar Thoma Church shortened from Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, is a Western Syriac Christian. The Mar Thoma Church believes that they are the successors of the Saint Thomas Christian community of Malabar, which originated from the missionary activity of Thomas the Apostle in Malankara; the Church in Malankara flourished under various ecclesiastical faith streams from time to time. The Mar Thoma Church is an autonomous Oriental church with Syriac traditions and eclectic characteristics from the Reformation era. Apart from other oriental orthodox churches, Mar thoma church reformed its west syriac liturgy in the light of its reformed faith and practices; the church defines itself as "Apostolic in origin, Universal in nature, Biblical in faith, Evangelical in principle, Ecumenical in outlook, Oriental in worship, Democratic in function, Episcopal in character". The Malankara Church witnessed a Reformation movement during the nineteenth century, inspired by contact with Anglican missionaries from Britain.
Many in the church were fascinated by the reformation principles. The reformation was an attempt to eliminate certain practices prevalent in the Malankara Church which the reformers believed were brought about after the Synod of Diamper. Beginning in 1840, reform-minded Malankara Church clergyman Abraham Malpan instituted changes independently in his parish at Maramon, including holding services in the local language, rather than the traditional Syriac language, making other revisions to the Holy Qurbana like removing intercessional prayers to Mary and the Apostles; this led to a rift in the church hierarchy between Abraham's supporters and the metropolitan bishop, Mar Dionysius IV. Abraham Malpan sent his nephew, Deacon Mathews, to the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch to be consecrated as Bishop Mathews Mar Athanasius; the leadership dispute was settled in 1852 with Mathews Mar Athanasius being recognized as Metropolitan, serving until his death in 1877. However, the rift never healed, the Malankara Church split into the reformist faction headed by the reigning Metropolitan and the Jacobite faction headed by the Patriarch of Antioch in 1889.
The reformist faction was renamed to form the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in 1898. In 1940 a schism formed in the Mar Thoma Syrian Church over the extent of Reformation theology; until the beginning of the 20th century, Mar Thoma Christians lived in a few districts of Central Travancore and Kunnamkulam in Kerala. Since that time they have spread with the 20th-century Indian diaspora to North America, the Middle East, Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand; the church has around 15,00,000 members in Kerala, another 1,000,000 throughout the diaspora. Their mother tongue is Malayalam, the language of Kerala, the variety known as Suriyani Malayalam was associated with them. Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church is called the Mar Thoma Church. In official and legal record the church is referred to as Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar or as Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church. Malabar is a term used to denote the Kerala coast in earlier days; the original Church was referred to as the Church of Malabar by the Jesuits and as the Syrian Church of Malabar in Missionary Registers from 1801 onward.
Malankara is an ancient name derived from the name'Maliankara', Maliankara Island is on the Southwestern side of the Indian Peninsula. It is between Kanyakumari the southern-most point of India. Kerala, the present southwestern state of India is only a part of Malankara, it is thought to be a cognate of this name Maliankara, a place near Muziris, where Thomas the Apostle first landed in Kerala. Mar Thoma is Aramaic, means Saint Thomas. Members of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church are called as Mar Thomiyar, Mar Thomites or Mar Thoma Syrians; the original liturgical language used by Saint Thomas Christians was the East Syriac language, a variant of Aramaic. The Reformation movement in the Malankara Syrian Church resulted in the evolution of an independent indigenous Malankara church under the Mathoma Metropolitan, breaking all the ecclesistical and temporal control from outside Malankara. In 1898, during the reign of Titus I Mar Thoma the church accepted as its name Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church or Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar to comprise its order and heritage.
The members of this church are known as Mar Thoma Syrian Nasrani. The Mar Thoma Syrian Church has a well-defined constitution and has a democratic pattern of administration; the central administrative setup consists of the Metropolitan, the Episcopal Synod, the Prathinithi Mandalam and the Sabha Council, the Vaideeka Selection Committee. The Central Administration of the Church is backed by the Dioceses; each diocese has an assembly. The assembly members are elected by the individual parishes, the diocesan council members are elected by the assembly. All members of a parish are members of the Edavaka Sangham and they have the right to elect their representatives to the Diocesan Assembly and Prathinidhi Mandalam; the title of the head of the Church is "Mar Thoma Metropolitan". He is ordained from among the duly-consecrated bishops of the Church, the choice being ordinarily that of the senior most among them; the present "Mar Thoma Metropolitan" is Joseph Mar Thoma who resides at Poolatheen at Church Headquarters