English Syro-Malabar Qurbana - brief format and outline

The Syro-Malabar Qurbana on Sundays is basically the Divine Liturgy of Ss. Addai and Mari but just edited out a bit (solemn form) with Malabarese (Indian) traditions. The full form ( most solemn form) is the Raza Qurbana and this outline is not about the Raza Qurbana. The simple form is used on weekdays. So basically there’s 3 forms to the Qurbana: Raza, solemn, and simple form. The word Raza means mystery.

The word Qurbana means sacrifice or offering, so the Holy Qurbana means the Holy Sacrifice referring to the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Good link for the English text of the Qurbana: https://syromalabarct.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Holy-Qurbana-Lent-Season.pdf

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• The altar boy(s), deacon(s), and priest(s) would come as a procession towards the bema/altar- this represents that Heaven has come down to Earth. The Qurbana is where Heaven and Earth meet. In the Syro-Malabar tradition, the altar boy at the front would carry the St Thomas Cross (Mar Thoma Sliva) and the priest(s) would be at the back of the procession.

  1. Puqdankon (“As Our Lord Commanded…”) - The priest starts at the bema (altar three steps below the Madbhaha/sanctuary) facing the congregation (versus populum). Puqdankon means “your commandment”. Only the Malabar Church has the puqdankon (pre-16th century apparently). This is not present in the Chaldean Catholic Church.
    Priest asks for permission from congregation, but congregation responds back saying he already has permission from the Messiah (Christ). (references 1 Peter 2: 5, 9)

  2. The Nativity Hymn (“Glory to God in the highest. Amen.” - 3x times)
    Angels’ hymn at the birth of Jesus- references Luke 2:14

  3. The Lord’s prayer (“Our Father in Heaven…”)
    Includes references from Rev. 4:8 (Holy, Holy Holy…)

  4. Psalms (“I will extol You, My God, and my King…”)
    varies with season. concludes with Trinitarian doxology.

  5. Resurrection Hymn (“Lord of all we bow and praise you…”)
    It addresses why we praise and glorify Jesus. “For you give man glorious resurrection/ and you are the One who saves his soul.”
    This is when the veil before the madbhaha (sanctuary) is opened and everyone bows in reverence.

  6. Trisagion (Thrice Holy)
    “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One…” or in Syriac “Qadisha Alaha, Qadisha Haylsana, Qadisha La Mayusa…”

  7. Readings (Old Testament and Epistles)

  8. Hymn of Alleluia (right before Gospel reading)

  9. Gospel reading – priest goes up the madbhaha (sanctuary) and takes the Holy Bible, and
    proceeds to the bema facing congregation, but his face is covered with the Holy Bible.
    Reads the Gospel at bema facing the congregation.
    “S: Let us stand and listen attentively to the Holy Gospel.
    Celebrant blesses the congregation with the Gospel.
    C: Peace be with you.
    A: With you and with your spirit. Congregation receives the blessing by making the sign of
    the cross
    C: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, proclaimed by St…”
    At the end of the Reading: “Glory to You Christ, Our Lord”

  10. Homily

  1. Karozuza (intercessory prayers) … “Let us all stand and pray with joy…” (changes based on season)

  2. Hymn of the Mysteries
    “Here is Our Lord’s precious body and blood…”
    Offertory- The priest takes the Sacred Mysteries (which are currently in the beth gaza- which is placed on the right and left side of the Madbhaha) and processes up to the Madbhaha. The procession represents Jesus’s way to the cross and when the Celebrant arrives at the Madbhaha, he crosses his hands and offers the Sacred Mysteries to God. This represents the Crucifixion. He covers the Sacred Mysteries with the soseppa (chalice veil), this represents the entombment of Our Lord.

  3. Hymn of Remembrance (“Let us remember Virgin Mary, Mother of God…”)
    The priest returns to the bema.
    Invitation to remember those who have been strongly associated with the Eucharistic mystery in the past: BVM, St Thomas, holy fathers, martyrs, confessors, and those who died in the hope of the resurrection.

  4. Creed (profession of faith)
    “We believe in One God, the Father Almighty…”

  5. Entrance to the Holy of Holies
    priest enters the madbhaha/sanctuary bowing three times. Ad orientem (priest faces the altar) from here. says “Pray for me, brothers and sisters, that this Qurbana may be fulfilled through my hands.”

  6. Anaphora – First G’hantha prayer (Eucharistic prayer)
    This G’hantha reminds us that we are unworthy to receive the Sacred Mysteries.

  7. Exchange of Peace
    It starts with the Exchange of Peace and ends with the priest wrapping the soseppa (chalice veil) around the Sacred Mysteries. This represents the burial of Christ has been completed.

    When we give peace, we are proclaiming that we are worthy to offer the sacrifice in
    reconciliation with all people across the world.

  8. Hymn of Greeting
    A Hymn that reminds us that our minds should be up high. Before this, the priest incenses the Madbhaha. “May your thoughts rise up to the heavens….”

        “A: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, To your presence Most adorable king 
         C: Let us offer this Qurbana To God the Lord of all 
         A: It is right and just indeed It is right and just indeed. 
         S: Peace be with us.”
  9. Second G’hantha
    In this G’hantha we thank God for creating the world and all the creatures dwelling in it.

  10. Hymn of Hosana
    “Hosanna in the highest…”

  1. Third G’hantha
    is about Christ’s Passion and Death.

  2. Words of Institution
    “This is My Body…” “This is My Blood…”

  3. Prayers of Intercession
    The priest extends his arms and prays for the Church.

  4. Fourth G’hantha
    This G’hantha is a remembrance of the Virgin Mary and the Saints.

  5. Epiclesis
    The Anaphora ends with the Epiclesis or invocation of the Holy Spirit.

  6. Elevation and Breaking of the Host
    The Host is broken, and the celebrant elevates the Holy Mysteries. This represents the Resurrection.
    Hymn of Adoration: “I am the living bread which comes down from heaven…”

  7. Hymn of Reconciliation
    The congregation kneels and prays for the forgiveness of sins.

  8. Our Father
    The congregation stands up and exclaims the “Our Father” (with a doxology)

  9. Service of Communion
    The Congregation engages in a dialogue with the Priest and reaffirms its belief in the Holy Trinity.
    “Celebrant prays facing the congregation.
    C: May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who gives us life, be made perfect in us through His mercy.
    Congregation receives the blessing by making the sign of the cross
    A: Always and forever, Amen.”
    Congregation receives the Body and Blood of Christ. (Communion Hymn takes place)

    29b. many parishes make announcements right here, before the final blessings.

  10. Final Blessing: Prayer of Praise- (priest returns to the bema and faces the congregation) After another set of prayer, the Celebrant blesses the congregation. This prayer changes per season.


Wow thanks! I’ve been curious to know these, so I’m glad you posted all that, and in an understandable way, too.


The Syro-Malabar Synod approved (in 1999) celebration is the 50- 50 way. Where from #1 to #14- the priest is at the bema/altar and faces the congregation (versus populum) - the liturgy of the word happens here. And #15 to #28 is ad orientem (at Madbhaha/sanctuary facing same direction as people)- liturgy of eucharist happens here. of course #12 (Hymn of the Mysteries & offertory) is done ad orientem at the Madbaha/sanctuary.

and by #30 he comes back and faces congregation at bema and does the final blessing.


There’s some Jewish influence in this liturgy - the bema/altar - I think that’s even used in some older synagogues.

the Maronite liturgy - Anaphora of Sharar - has some influences borrowed from the East Syriac Addai & Mari Anaphora- even tho the Maronites are grouped in the West Syriac category.


#6- Trisagion (Thrice Holy)
in Syriac “Qadisha Alaha, Qadisha Haylsana, Qadisha La Mayusa…” - sung by singers from India.


A problem with the YouTube video- from the Chicago Eparchy’s Cathedral is that- the Madhbaha/sanctuary/altar is supposed to be covered by the red veil and it is not. The Madhabha/sanctuary is considered to be the Holy of Holies. I guess due to the architecture of the Cathedral or what not they were able to do that. the red veil isn’t meant to cover the icons or the cross. I have attached an image of a traditional SyroMalabar bema and Madbhaha/sanctuary (covered by the red veil). During the Qurbana… the red veil is opened up during #5- Resurrection Hymn.

the bema is 1 step above the nave of the church, and the Madbhaha is 3 steps above from the bema.

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many pro-Latin eparchies employ the Qurbana just like the Latin Ordinary form Mass. There would not be a Madbhaha/sanctuary and veil … and the whole Qurbana would be done versus populum (towards the people) on a free standing altar. Which goes against the decision of the SyroMalabar Synod from 1999. I’m not sure why this continues to this day.

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As per the decision of the Holy Synod in 2020, all churches will slowly adopt the compromise made by Mar Joseph Powathil which is good for the pro syriac faction…bad thing is tho, how to enforce the decision is pretty hard and it was around the time corona came to be

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Well that’s some good news.

I heard from someone Thrissur Archeparchy is slowly accepting Syriac traditions and rituals.

Ernakulam Archeparchy seems to be the most latinized. As they only confer the sacrament of baptism like the Latins. While the other eparchies confer baptism, confirmation and holy communion together.

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Same with the Eparchy of Irnjalakuda! I know it’s a slow change but it’s good we’ve at least started…ekm-angamaly is not even starting to do so which is so sad

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I never quite understood that. Isn’t the Major Archbishop from Ernakulam? so does he lack the power to bring change? I noticed on the Major Archbishop’s Youtube channel… the Qurbana is done the Synod approved way. But the YouTube videos of other Ernakulam archeparchy parishes are heavily latinized. This always confuses me.

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Maybe because the archeparchy of ekm-angamaly is not directly ruled by the Major Archbishop…

That’s the feeling I get. I ran across this video clip I got via WhatsApp. The former Major Archbishop Varkey Vithayathil saying he can’t openly say some stuff regarding this in an interview. Saying he has been hurt.

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An archbishop or bishop can only give out an order. Ultimately the parish vicar and laity have to get things done at the grass roots level.

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yes which is also sad…so we can never fully eradicate ad populum

I saw this and immediately thought of you and @Elvis_George:


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