Syrio Malabar Divine Liturgy at Roman Catholic Parish?

I ask out of pure ignorance in a desire for knowledge…

A priest at my Roman Catholic parish is Indian, originally from the Syrio Malabar Church. I was not aware of this until I heard that he was to celebrate a Divine Liturgy at our parish as part of the silver jubillee of his ordaination this past Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately I could not stay.

I’d be interested in any information on what might have been required for him to do this? Would he be considered bi-ritual? Would this have required permission from the Roman Catholic Bishop or the relevant Syrio Malabar authority? Can a Roman Catholic deacon assist?

I’m not trying to investigate liturgical or any other abuses. The subject simply fascinates me, and I feel that I may have missed out on something special.


I would imagine that the priest would have to be bi-ritual, otherwise he would not be permitted to celebrate Divine Liturgy of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in general.

It is likely that permission was granted on the occasion of this servant of God’s priestly anniversary to celebrate this Divine Liturgy in a Latin Catholic parish.

Personally, I think this is wonderful for several reasons. It is unfortunate that you could not stay for the entire Divine Liturgy.

May God grant this blessed priestly servant many happy, healthy and blessed years!

I’m pretty sure you’re in my diocese. The CMI priests from India have done a great job in our area.

The priests from that order are bi-ritual. I don’t really know the requirements one would need to assist in the Syrio Malabar Liturgy.

For whatever reason, many Syro-Malabar priests seem to have bi-ritual faculties, even in India as I understand things, so the scenario doesn’t surprise me.

A priest who has bi-ritual faculties may celebrate in either Rite at will, since the granting of bi-ritual faculties entails the knowledge of any Local Ordinaries and represents, in itself, the required permission. So, IOW, a bi-ritual priest does not need “special permission” to officiate according to the rites of either Church. Now, if a priest is actually uni-ritual, meaning that the priest has faculties only in one Church (including the remote possibility that he officially and formally transferred from one Church to another and renounced Church of his birthright), he always needs explicit faculties to preside (and ad-hoc faculties to even concelebrate) according to the rites of another Church.

Assuming that it was all done licitly (and I have no reason to doubt it), that would be a yes. :slight_smile:

In my old parish, the Syro Malabar priest said Mass with the regular priest. I did not know they had a different ritual. It all looked the same to me. The only difference I noticed between Syro Malabar Christians was their reverence and devotion, which was much deeper than ours. :slight_smile:

This is all very fascinating. I apologize if I misspelled any words. Thanks for your replies.


Given the description of his origin, it sounds like he needs bi-ritual faculties to celebrate the Roman Rite, which he apparently has . . .

Our Pastor is Indian, from the Syro-Malabar Church, and is a member of the Heralds of Good News (HGN). We’re lucky to have these men.

I have been in a interecclesial Divine Liturgy with priests concelebrating, wearing their own distinctive vestments, including Latin. They did not need to be bi-ritual. I think the norm is that the liturgy be of the ritual church of the main celebrant, when biritual faculties or adaptation of rite is not utilized.

Yes, and that is the norm when priests of different rites (and without bi-ritual faculties, in respect of the ritual church in which the Mass or Divine Liturgy is held) are concelebrating. It was inferred in the OP that this priest was the sole celebrant of a Liturgy of a rite other than that of the ritual church in which it was celebrated, in which case he would have had to have been bi-ritual, with permission. However, it was not entirely clear, which is why I intentionally used conditional language.

I can see where it is confusing, because TimothyH used “Divine Liturgy” not “Mass”.

I apologize for my ignorance and if I have used the incorrect terminology.

I asked, “Are you celebrating a Byzantine Divine Liturgy?” and the preist replied, “Syro Malabar” and scurried away to take care of some pressing need.


So likely you had The Holy Qurbana Liturgy with the Eucharistic Prayer of Addai and Mari.

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