SPLIT: Communion Rites in India

I am going to need to look into this more because now I am curious. The Mass was almost unrecognizable. Some people even walked out. I didn’t feel right doing that (plus I knew I couldn’t make it to Mass on Sunday–this was Vigil Mass), so I stayed but I was very confused and lost. I wonder if it’s possible it wasn’t a Roman Mass at all. If it makes any difference, it was an Indian (as in the subcontinent) Mass.

It may have been a Syro-Malabar Holy Qurbana.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

That may have been it. I Googled it and found pictures (it looks similar). It’s been a few years now since that Mass. The one thing I clearly remember other than it was Indian was we said the Lords Prayer First (before the priests–there were more than one–got to the alter). I also remember something about St. Thomas and that fits in with your suggestion.

It was a pretty Mass. But very confusing for me (since I was unfamiliar with it and taken off guard/wasn’t expecting anything other than a “regular” Mass for my Church). Like I said, some people walked out in the first 5-10 minutes and to be honest I considered doing the same, but I stayed instead. I am glad I did, but I was also lost the whole time and never was really sure what I was supposed to do. In retrospect, it would have been nice to have some kind of guide that I could read that explained the rite and what to expect/do (like a mini Missalette).

Anyway, thank you again for the answer and I apologize for the threadjack.

Most Indian priests, especially from the South of India are born and raised Syro-Malabar (some are Syro-Malankara) with dual Ritual faculties to celebrate the Latin Rite. In the US, if you meet an Indian priest, ask him if he is of the Syro-Malabar Church (or the Syro-Malankara Church), he may be dual ritual! =)

This is factually incorrect.

India has 25 MILLION Christians of whom 78% are Catholics, out of which only four million are Syro Malabar Catholics. Remember the Portuguese came to the Indian subcontinent half a millennium ago - 1500?

The ancient Christians of Apostle Thomas were found only on Malabar Coast when the Portuguese arrived. The independent kingdoms on Malabar Coast were unified in stages since 1741 (Dutch period 1658-1795 following Portuguese period 1500-1663), and the three resulting political entities during British Raj were British ruled Malabar District of Madras Presidency, semi-independent princely states Cochin in central Kerala and Travancore in the south. They were unified after Indian independence along linguistic lines and is **known as Kerala state since 1956.

There are three Catholic Churches in the state of Kerala. Syro Malabar Catholic Church, with a worldwide membership of four million, three million who live in Kerala, is the oldest, which contains the Apostle Thomas Christians who came in communion with RCC in 1599. The Latin Rite (known elsewhere in India as Roman Catholics) Catholics since the arrival of Portuguese in 1500 number 1.7 million. The Syro Malankara Catholic Church formed in 1932 from by three priests from the non-Catholic group trained by CMS missionaries 1816-1836, and later formed the Jacobite church, number about half a million.

While it is true that Syro Malabar Catholic priests usually train as bi-ritual priests when they serve outside Kerala and India in Latin Rite parishes, it is not true that all Catholic priests are Syro Malabar Catholics even among those Indian priests serving outside India. It may well be that non-Syro Malabar Catholic Latin Rite priests, who serve outside India, likewise train to be bi-ritual priests.

It is possible that outside India, all Keralites, even Latin Rite Catholics, attend Syro Malabar Catholic Qurbana whenever there is a priest to conduct it in order to identify with the Apostle Thomas and cultural heritage.

Although it is commonly known that Goa was a Portuguese colony, it must not be forgotten that Portuguese came to the Indian subcontinent in 1500 and had trade bases in several places along the coast before they were ousted by the Dutch in 1663 in all places except Goa (Goa remained a Portuguese colony for over four and a half centuries from 1510-1961). On Malabar Coast, (Kerala since 1956), the Portuguese had trade bases in Kochi(Cochin), the controlling centre, Kannur (Cannanore), Crangangore, Kollam (Quilon), Kayamkulam (Kalliquilon), Pallipuram, Purakkad (Porka).

The earliest Catholic missionaries were the Franciscans.

The Jesuits, who came with the co-founder St Francis Xavier, worked also outside the areas under Portuguese control.

The Catholic Orders which worked in Malabar Coast (Kerala since 1956) in addition to Franciscans and Jesuits (Jesuits were not part of Portuguese Padroado) were Augustinians (under whose watch Synod of Diamper took place in 1599 and Jesuits were left in charge of Apostle Thomas Christians in See of Cranganore), Dominicans and Carmelites (who came only in 1657as part of Papal Congregation of Propaganda Fide).

So there is a history of 500 years of Latin Rite Catholic missionary work in Kerala.


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