Synodal Commission for Liturgy



The Syro-Malabar Liturgical Commission is a body of the Bishops appointed by the Major Archbishop to regulate pastoral liturgical action in the Church, and to promote studies and necessary experiments for restoration, renewal and adaptation"(SC 44). This Commission is assisted by a Central Liturgical Committee.

The Structure of the Syro-Malabar Commission for Liturgy

The commission shall consist of the Chairman and two other Episcopal members, all nominated by the Major Archbishop for a period of five years. The Commission shall have a secretary appointed by the Chairman in consultation with the Major Archbishop and other Bishops of the Commission.


Bishop Thomas Elavanal MCBS

Bishop Pauly Kannookadan

Bishop George Madathikandathil

Fr. Pauly Maniyattu

Rev. Dr. Francis Pittappillil


Secretariat, Syro-Malabar Commission for liturgy,
MOUNT ST.THOMAS, P.B.No.3110, Kakkanad P.O. Kochi, 682030,
Tel. 0484-2424768; 2424780; 2425727; 2426235,



  • The Commission shall, unless otherwise provided for by the Syro-Malabar Synod, attend to the following tasks:
  • Restoration, renewal and adaptation of Liturgical texts including that of translations.
  • Formulation of theoretical and practical principles for the guidance of all who are called upon to cooperate in the preparation of the liturgical texts.
  • Proposing practical initiatives for the entire Church, including preparation of the new texts, by which the Liturgy and the application of the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy and other decrees related to it.
  • Preparation of specific and concrete directions to enhance an intelligent, devout and active participation, both internal and external, of the faithful through a deeper understanding of the spirit and meaning of the liturgy in its various celebrations (SC 14, 19).
  • Promotion of necessary studies for the preparation of the liturgical texts.
  • Study of specific topics suggested by the Syro-Malabar Synod.
  • Helping the Syro-Malabar Bishops Synod in regulating the pastoral Liturgical action in the entire Church.
  • Collaboration with similar bodies especially with LRC in matters concerned with pastoral liturgical studies and action.
  • Offering necessary help to the various Eparchies at the request of the local hierarch (SC 45).
  • Organizing seminars and consultations for the entire Church and following up its recommendations.
  • Any other tasks entrusted by the Syro-Malabar Synod regarding Liturgy.

General guidelines

The Commission's work shall be guided in a special way by norms and directives contained in the following:

  • Constitution on Sacred Liturgy (SC), excepting those norms which refer, only to Latin Church.
  • Decree on Eastern Churches (OE) and Ecumenism (UR).
  • Decrees and other communications of the Apostolic See for Oriental Churches in General and for the Syro-Malabar Liturgy in particular.
  • Other Papal documents and directives given by the Apostolic See.
  • Directives laid down by the Syro-Malabar Bishops' Synod.
  • Special care shall be taken regarding the preservation of lawful liturgical rite (OE 6) and the opening of ways for legitimate progress (SC 23).
  • The matters of research and scientific seminars.

General meetings of the Commission shall be held normally once in four months with three weeks notice and agenda. The duration of each session shall depend on the agenda.



1. Preparation of the Liturgical Texts

The general mode of procedure in drafting the Liturgical texts shall be:

The Commission appoints a drafting committee when found necessary to prepare the initial document as per the guidelines given for that purpose. These guidelines shall include:

  • The sources to be translated revised or at least s and SMCLC will be submitted to the Synod.
  • The Synod may give the final approval and take
  • consulted.
  • Special norms and methods if any to be followed.
  • Time limit to submit the draft
  • The draft prepared by the committee will be sent to the members of the SMCLC.
  • The SMCLC members shall discuss it in their respective forums and bring their suggestions to the SMCLC.
  • The draft will be discussed in SMCLC and the committee will make the second draft.
  • The second draft will be presented in the Synod with the specifications of the alterations. The Commission will incorporate the suggestions of the Synod.
  • As per decision of the Synod the draft may be sent to the Eparchies for their comments.
  • The draft with the suggestions from the Eparchie
  • necessary steps for its promulgation and implementation.

2. Printing and Publishing of Texts

  • Draft text can be printed "Pro manuscripto" by the commission for private circulation in order to collect observations.
  • The manuscript copy of the text, which goes to the Press, should be carefully checked to make sure that the contents conform exactly to what has been definitely approved by the Synod.
  • Before its promulgation due experimentation, for a definite period can be allowed as per the direction of the Synod. Experimentation shall be followed by an evaluation.
  • The Major Archbishop promulgates the approved texts with the Recognitio of the Apostolic See as per the norms. The texts will be printed and published by the Commission. When the individual Bishops print the text of the Holy Qurbana for the use of the people with catechetical instructions as decided by the Synod, the individual Bishops shall make sure that the text is intact and a copy shall be sent to the Commission.
  • The copyright of all the Liturgical Books published by the Commission for Liturgy rests with the Synod. Individual Bishops can allow the printing of the certain liturgical texts, like the ordination rite of priests and bishops. This is only for private circulation at the time of particular ordination and not for sale or use on other occasions. On such occasions the Bishop shall make sure the integrity of the text and a copy shall be sent to the Commission.
  • Through circulars, study sessions, conferences, articles and other publications instructions may be given to the faithful before new texts and rites are introduced

3. Finance and Accounts

  • Liturgical books may be sold at rates fixed by the Commission.
  • The Commission will meet all the expenses connected with the work. Such as:
  • Payment to experts for work done by them
  • Expenses of the committee meetings, including T.A. to the participants.
  • Office expenses
  • Other expenses such as for reference books, researches, expenses connected with liturgical apostolate.
  • The annual report and the statements of accounts shall be presented before the Synod in its annual meeting after getting them approved by the commission.
  • The accounts shall be audited annually along with the internal audit of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia.



1. The Chairman

  • The Chairman is the responsible person for the overall functioning of the Commission in collaboration of other members. The duties of the Chairman are the following:
  • The chairman shall normally preside over all the meetings. In his absence one of the Episcopal members of the Commission will act in his place.
  • The Chairman shall present the liturgical text and other findings of the Commission to the Synod.
  • He shall publish the approved texts.

2. The Secretary shall:

  • Be responsible for preparing agenda for all meetings, for keeping of minutes of the meetings (Commission, Syro-Malabar Central Liturgical Committee and Sub Committees), getting ready with materials necessary or helpful to guide the discussions and sending its reports in due time.
  • Be the archivist and treasurer of the commission. He will keep the accounts in collaboration with the finance officer of the Curia. He shall prepare also the annual Budget.
  • attend to all necessary correspondence on behalf of the commission.
  • Attend to all affairs related to good planning and efficient running of commission meetings and satisfactory implementation of all its resolutions.
  • Give timely information to all concerned.
  • Supply them with guidelines and helpful literature as desired by the commission.
  • Collect reports or observations, and have them tabulated and synthesized in time with the help of the experts or sub committees concerned.
  • Help to convene the meetings and help the Chairman to steer the proceedings.
  • Attend to all planning and executive works, which are not specially entrusted to another.



The Commission shall be assisted by a committee, which shall be known as Syro-Malabar Central Liturgical Committee. This committee shall consist of:

  • All the Conveners/Secretaries of the Eparchial Liturgical Commissions of the Eparchies of the Syro-Malabar Church.
  • Another member from every Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Kerala nominated by the Eparch.
  • One Liturgical Expert each from Major Seminaries of the Syro-Malabar Synod designated by the Rector.
  • Six representatives (preferably experts in Liturgy) from the Syro-Malabar Religious Conference SMRC (3priests,
    2 women religious, 1 brother religious).
  • One lay representative each from Ecclesiastical provinces of the Syro-Malabar Church nominated by the Metropolitan in consultation with the Suffragan Bishops.
  • Nominated Members: The Major Archbishop may nominate members not more than ten. Out of these, three shall be from the Major Seminaries of the Syro-Malabar Church of which at least one shall be from the mission territories.
  • The period of the Committee shall be three years.
  • The Commission may set up particular sub-committees to study particular parts of Liturgy or particular works.
  • The Chairman also may invite experts as and when necessary.

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