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Lak Alaha.
ദൈവമെ ഞങ്ങളങ്ങേ വാഴ്ത്തുന്നു
Translation of the Latin hymn "Te Deum"

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AP 212 - Lak alaha. ദൈവമെ ഞങ്ങളങ്ങേ വാഴ്ത്തുന്നു .Translation of the Latin hymn "Te Deum"
Call Number

AP 212

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title Lak alaha. ദൈവമെ ഞങ്ങളങ്ങേ വാഴ്ത്തുന്നു Translation of the Latin hymn "Te Deum".
Duration 10:19
Place of Recording Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, New York
Date of Recording 14 Feb 2020
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s)



ലാക്‌ ആലാഹ'/ദൈവമെ ഞങ്ങളങ്ങേ വാഴ്ത്തുന്നു Translation of "Te Deum" Latin Hymn

Lak Alaha/Te Deum in Malayalam

#ChristianMusicology #SyriacChants #ലാക്ആലാഹ

The history of the famous Latin chant, Te Deum ("To You O Lord), spans several centuries, many continents and cultures. The chant reached the St. Thomas Catholics in Kerala through the Portuguese missionaries in the sixteenth century. It is possible that the missionaries, who accompanied Vasco de Gama on his second trip to India in 1502, sang this hymn when they landed on the shores of Kerala, in gratitude for a safe journey. Ninety-seven years later, this hymn was part of the concluding procession at the end of the Synod of Udayamperur. Antonio Gouvea's "Jornada" (printed in 1606) provides us with a detailed description of the chant in Latin, Syriac, and Malayalam (see more details on this unique event in Palackal 2005 : 98-100). It is probable that Bishop Ros, S. J. did the Malayalam translation with the local priests' help. Eventually, the Syriac version of the chant became an essential part of priestly ordinations, jubilee celebrations, etc. In the middle of the twentieth century, the Malayalam version replaced the Syriac among the Syriac Catholics and Latin among the Roman Catholics in Kerala. We believe that Job and George duo composed the melody in a typical Kerala style in a six-beat rhythm that frequently appears in South Indian classical compositions. The video contains five related segments. The opening segment shows the performance of the Malayalam version of the chant by the CMI priests in the USA and Canada in February 2020. The occasion was the Jubilee celebration of the priestly ordination of Fr. George Manjappilly, CMI. This happened during a CMI convocation at the Immaculate Seminary at Huntington, New York. The second segment is a comment by Fr. Paulson Kannanaykkal, CMI, on the poetic meter of this text. Interestingly, he recalls a secular poem in the meter and a very similar melody. The following three segments are from our earlier recordings of the Syriac versions. We post all these segments for scholars who are interested in studying the history of this chant that covers several centuries, many continents, and cultures.

Reference: Palackal, Joseph J. 2005. "Syriac Chant Traditions in South India." Ph. D. dissertation. Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Lak Alaha

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
15 September 2020

Related Videos

  • AP 5h - K. O. Chacko Koythadathil, sings "Laakalaaha" the Syriac translation of the Latin chant, Te Deum.
  • AP 52r - Melody of “Ula tayelan,” from the Syriac translation of Te Deum.

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