St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church, Kottayam
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is proud of its worshipping heritage. It is through the worship that the faith, tradition, and practice of our fathers are transmitted down the generations. The West Syrian form of worship, language, and music was introduced to the Church in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and we continue to use these in our Church today. Unscientific method of singing has altered Syriac music from its original form. Liturgical music that was passed down through the generations was not through musical notations but through oral tradition. In addition, many Malpans (Teachers) added their own style of singing to their teachings, further increasing the number of variations.
In the Syriac tradition, singers were ordained specifically for singing liturgical songs. Unfortunately, this was lost in the Malankara Church, and we have not been able to find an adequate solution to this day. However, some musically talented people in the parishes themselves provided the leadership that led to the foundation and establishment of the parish choirs in the form that we see today. Although the message that the quality of liturgical singing in our Church needs to be improved was conveyed as a result of their activities, their efforts were not fully successful. Also, such choirs were not given the necessary encouragement by the clergy and by the laity, However, there are no systematic rules for choir singing that are in force, Consequently, disharmony exists in the singing of liturgical songs, even at the individual parish level.