The FABC General Conference in Bangkok celebrated the Holy Eucharist in the Syro-Malabar Rite on October 25.
The Holy Mass was officiated by Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church with other Syro-Malabar Archbishops and Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church as concelebrants, and all bishops and delegates participated.
The small Syro-Malabar community in Bangkok, under the leadership of Francis Palakeel, a UNHCR official in Bangkok, led the choir and served as a community for singing songs and responding as the community.
The English version of the Mass was celebrated with English, Malayalam and Syriac hymns. All the participants were provided with a printed text of the Mass so that they can follow, even when the rite is not familiar to most delegates.
Earlier in November 2016 during the plenary assembly in Colombo Major Archbishop Cardinal Alencherry had celebrated the Holy Qurbana of the SM Church together with the Syro Malabar Community in Colombo and the participants of the Assembly .
FABC includes the Synods of Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Catholic Churches of Eastern rite from Kerala, India, along with the majority Latin rite Bishops Conferences.
This celebration highlighted another dimension of diversity and the catholicity of the Church in Asia.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is a sui juris (autonomous) Synodal Church. This self-governing Church, headed by a Major Archbishop and a Synod of Bishops, is one of the 22 Oriental Churches in the Catholic communion and traces its origin to St. Thomas the Apostle who brought the Gospel to India in the first century.
The name ‘Syro-‘ comes from its liturgical rite affiliated with the East Syrian liturgical tradition and ‘Malabar’ in reference to the ancient name of Kerala the south Indian state of India.
The Syro-Malabar Church has a population of about 5 million Catholics, half of whom live in Kerala and the other half are distributed worldwide. It is the second-largest Eastern Catholic church. This Church has 5 Metropolitan archdioceses and 26 dioceses in India, and 4 dioceses and 1 Apostolic visitation outside India.
Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major archbishop, leads a delegation of three archbishops and five bishops and other delegates in the FABC General Assembly.
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