The Supreme Head of the Syriac Orthodox Church is the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. He also presides over the Holy Synod, the assembly of all Bishops of the Church (Jacobite Syriac orthodox Church)
The local head of the Church in Malankara (India) is the Catholicose of India. The Catholicose is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch and is accountable to the Patriarch, the Holy Synod and the local Malankara Synod. He is consecrated by the Patriarch and presides over the local Holy Synod in India.
The local head of every archdiocese is an Archbishop. He is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch and is accountable to the Holy Synod. The Archbishop is ordained by the Patriarch and at least two Bishops. Some Archdioceses are ‘Patriarchal Vicarates’; the Patriarchal Vicar, regardless of ecclesiastical office, is accountable directly to the Patriarch. The Malankara Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church in North America is a Patriarcal Vicarate directly under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch and All The East. The Archdiocese is under the spiritual care of Archbishop His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho who is the Patriarchal Vicar.
Each parish is assigned a vicar. He is under the direct jurisdiction of his Archbishop and is directly accountable to him. The parish is run by a board of trustees (or a committee) which is elected by the parishioners and approved by the Archbishop.
Deacons assist the Archbishop or Priest in the administration of the liturgy.
There are three ranks of priesthood in the Syriac Orthodox Church:
Episcopate: Within it there are the ranks of Patriarch, Catholicose, Archbishop, and Bishop.
Vicarate: Within it there are the ranks of Chor-episcopos and Priest or qasheesho.
Deaconate: Within it there are the ranks of Archdeacon, Evangelical-Deacon (M’shamshono), Subdeacon (Apodyaqno), Reader (Qoruyo) and Singer (Mzamrono).
St.Thomas Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church Calgary
3107 40 street SW Calgary, Alberta
Church In India
St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, is the founder of the ancient church in India. Christian writers and historians from the 4th century refer to the evangelistic work of Apostle Thomas in India, and the Indian Christians ascribe the origin of their church to the labors of the apostle in the 1st century.
"Insistent tradition ascribes the introduction of Christianity to India to the Apostle Thomas, one of the original Twelve."
It is reasonable to believe that the St. Thomas came to India, preached the gospel, established the church and died there as a martyr. It is believed that St.Thomas arrived in Cranganore, Kerala, India, in 52 AD He preached the gospel and founded churches at seven places; Cranganore, Palur, Paraur, Gokkamangalam, Niranam, Chayal and Quilon, and appointed prelates and priests. He is believed to have been martyred at Mylapur, Madras, India, around 72 AD . Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in India is as old as any other ancient Christian communities elsewhere in the world.
South India had trade connections with the Mediterranean and West Asian world since ancient times. This enabled the Church in those areas, particularly Persia, to have knowledge of the existence of a Christian community in India. Many Christians, when they were persecuted in Persian Empire, fled to the southwestern coast of India and found there a ready and warm welcome.
There is no documentary evidence referring to the way the Indian Church was governed during early centuries. According to tradition, the successor of St. Thomas corresponded with the leaders of the Christian Churches in the Middle East; and prelates from that part of the world guided the church of India from time to time.
It is important to mention here that a group of Christians in Kerala, the Thekkumbhagar (Southists), call themselves Jewish Christians. They claim that their ancestors made up of 72 Jewish Christian families from around Baghdad, Nineveh, and Jerusalem came to India under the leadership of one Thomas of Cana (the place where Jesus turned water into wine), a blood-relative of Jesus. These new colonists settled down on the southern shore of the Periyar; hence they received the name "Southists," as opposed to the local "Northist" Christians who lived north of the river in Cranganore.These St. Thomas Christians followed the Aramaic language in their liturgy and were under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Oriental Patriarch of Celusia-Ctesiphon of Persia (Babylon) up until the arrival of the Portuguese in the fifteenth century.
The St.Thomas Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church, is the first Jacobit Syric Orthodox church in the western Canada.The new parish was inaugurated in Calgary on Sunday 18th July 2010. The Parish is inaugurated with the permission and blessings of the Diocesan Bishop, Archbishop H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho ,