Jacobite Syrian Christian Church
Puthencruz Patriarchal Centre in Kochi, India
Vishudhagrandham (Malayalam Translation)
|Apostolic See||Holy Apostolic See of Antioch and All East|
|Supreme Patron||Ignatius Aphrem II Patriarch of Antioch|
|Catholicos||Baselios Thomas I Catholicos|
|Affiliation||Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch|
|Region||India and Nasarani Malayali Diaspora|
|Language||Malayalam, English, Hindi, Syriac, Tamil, Kannada|
|Liturgy||West Syriac Rite- Divine Liturgy of Saint James|
|Headquarters||Patriarchal Center, Puthencruz, Kochi, India|
In India AD 345, AD 1665
|Separated from||Saint Thomas Christians|
|Branched from||Syrian Orthodox Church|
|Other name(s)||Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, Syriac Orthodox Church|
|Official News Portal||J.S.C NEWS|
The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church (JSCC), also known as the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the Jacobite Syrian Church, or the Syriac Orthodox Church of India, is an autonomous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Indian state of Kerala, and is an integral branch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. It recognizes the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Ignatius Aphrem II is Supreme Head of the church. It functions as a largely autonomous unit within the church, under the authority of the Catholicos of India, Thomas I. Currently, this is the only church in Malankara which has a direct relationship with the Syriac Christians of Antioch, which has continued from after the schism and it continues to employ the West Syriac Rite Liturgy of Saint James.
The Emperor Justin I supported the Chalcedonians, The non-Chalcedonian Severus Patriarch of Antioch exiled in Egypt and died on 538. At the situation of church remaining only three bishops, At that time Jacob Baradeus restoring the church by the help of Queen Theodra. The non-Chalcedonian church, that would later become the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch also known as Jacobite Syrian Christians. The Syrian Orthodox church of India adopted the Title as the respect of Jacob Baradeus.
Puthencruz is the headquarters of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church in India Registered as a Society under Societies act of Govt. of India. Its headquarters is named after the illustrious Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. The property was bought and built under the leadership of the Catholicos of India Baselios Thomas I, after the church faced difficulties in continuing its functioning from its base at Muvattupuzha with the demise of Catholicos Baselios Paulose II.
It is believed that Saint Thomas Christians of Malabar were in communion with the Church of the East from 295 to 1599. They received episcopal support from Syriac bishops, who traveled to Kerala in merchant ships along the spice route, while the local leader of the Saint Thomas Christians held the rank of Archdeacon; it 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 due to Portuguese colonialists, and the establishment of the Syro-Malabar Church and the Malankara Church factions. Since then, further splits have occurred, and the Saint Thomas Christians are now divided into several factions.
Saint Thomas Christians were administratively under the single native dynastic leadership of an Archdeacon (a native ecclesiastical head with spiritual and temporal powers, deriving from Greek term arkhidi?konos) 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, and 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 Thoma I welcomed Gregorios Abdal Jaleel, who regularized the canonical ordination of Thoma as a bishop.
Meanwhile, the Dutch East India Company defeated the Portuguese and gained supremacy over 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. Thoma I forged a relationship with the Syriac Orthodox Church and gradually adopted West Syriac liturgy and practices.
As part of the Syriac Orthodox communion, the church uses the West Syriac liturgy and is part of the Oriental Orthodox group of churches. It has dioceses in most parts of India as well as in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Western Europe, the Persian Gulf, Australia and New Zealand nations. In 2003 it was estimated that the church has 1,000,000 (including Knanaya) members globally.
Knanaya Syrian Community are descendants of a migrant group of Jewish Christians from Antioch. In AD 345, Malayalam calendar (kollavarsham),under the leadership of Knai Thoma and 72 families from Edessa (or modern Urfa) immigrated to Malabar (presently Kerala). This migration considered as a good turning point of Saint thomas Christians.The community belongs to priests, deacons and their bishop named Uraha Mar Ouseph (Bishop Joseph of Uraha/Urfa). These colonist were welcomed by Cheraman Perumal of The Emperor of Kerala given special permission as 72 Royal Privileges Known as Thomas of Cana copper plates
Today, the majority of Knanaya are members of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (Kottayam Archeparchy) and the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church (Knanaya Archdiocese) under guidance and directorate of Sevarios Kuriakose.
The highest rank in the ecclesiastical hierarchy is the Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II. The second-highest rank is the Maphrian Baselios Thomas I, also known as Catholicos of India of is the head of the Jacobite Syrian Church in India. Then there are Metropolitan bishops or Archbishops, and under them, there are auxiliary bishops.
There are three ranks of priesthood in the Syriac Orthodox Church:
The liturgical service is called Holy Qurobo in the Syriac language meaning "Eucharist". Liturgy of Saint James is celebrated on Sundays and special occasions. The Holy Eucharist consists of Gospel reading, Bible readings, prayers, and songs. The recitation of the Liturgy is performed according to with specific parts chanted by the presider, the lectors, the choir, and the congregated faithful, at certain times in unison. Apart from certain readings, prayers are sung in the form of chants and melodies. Hundreds of melodies remain preserved in the book known as Beth Gazo, the key reference to Syriac Orthodox church music.
Jacobite Syrian Christians pray the canonical hours of the Shehimo at fixed prayer times, in accordance with Psalm 119. In 1910 V. Rev. Konattu Mathen Malpan translate the prayer book of syrian orthodox church into malayalam is known as Pampakuda Namaskaram with permission of the Patriarch Ignatius Abded Aloho II.This is the common prayer book of Syrian Orthodox Christians in India.
The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Delegates of India is the representative of the patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, who is sent to India to guide and administer the church, or on special occasions, as the representative of the Holy See of Antioch. Every year, Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Delegates participate in Manjanikkara Church Feast.
The Catholicos of India is an ecclesiastical office of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the head of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church. He is the Catholicos/Maphrian of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church an autonomous body within the Syriac Orthodox Church and functions at an ecclesiastical rank second to the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. The jurisdiction of Catholicos was in India of the East, Hence Syriac Orthodox Church Catholicos of the East was renamed the Catholicos of India in 2002. The position had remained vacant between 1996 to 2002.
The current Catholicos of India is Baselios Thomas I. He was enthroned as the Catholicos by Ignatius Zakka I Iwas Patriarch of Antioch at St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in Mor Ephrem Monastery near Damascus on 26 July 2002. He is the third Indian Maphrian and Catholicos of the Syriac Orthodox Church in India and former Metropolitan Trustee of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church.
The Malankara Metropolitan was a legal title given to the head of the Malankara Church Nasrani Christians, by the Government of Travancore and Cochin in South India. This title was awarded by a proclamation from the King of Travancore and the King of Cochin. The Prime jurisdiction regarding the temporal, ecclesiastical, and spiritual administration of the Malankara Church.
In 2002, after the enactment of the new bylaws for the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, and in the light of verdicts from the Supreme court of India, the Malankara Metropolitan officially assumed the title "Metropolitan trustee". Present Metropolitan Trustee is Joseph Mor Gregorios.
S.P.M ( St Paul's Mission of India) is the missionary society in Jacobite Syrian orthodox Church. It have many mission fields in the various states of India. Mor Clemis Kuriakose metropolitan is the president of S.P.M
Honavar Mission of Jacobite Syrian Christian Church is an Organization functioning in the Karnataka state of Kerala founded by Fr George Pinto. The Mission is running more than 32 schools, orphanages and oldage homes in Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts under a registered organization named St Antony's Educational Society. The headquarters of this institution is located in a small town namely Honnavar in North Canara District, Karnataka. The Diocese is under leadership of Anthonios Yaqu'b.
E.A.E Arch Diocese is the missionary association of Syriac Orthodox Church founded in 1924 by Geevarghese Athunkal Cor-Episcopa at Perumbavoor. This archdiocese is under the direct control of the patriarch under the guidance of Chrysostomos Markose, It is an organization with churches, educational institutions, orphanages, old age homes, convents, publications, mission centers, gospel teams, care missions, and a missionary training institute. It is registered in 1949 under the Indian Societies Registration Act. XXI of 1860 (Reg. No. S.8/1949ESTD 1924).
Mor Gregorios Syriac Orthodox Mission of India is small missionary community of Jacobite Syrian Church under guidance of Timotheos Thomas
The Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church has the following dioceses
There are Archdioceses under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch:
There are dioceses under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch.