The couples and witnesses (paternal uncle from each side) gather in front of the altar, along with other relatives and friends. The priest addresses them in the following or similar words.

CEL: Betrothal is a Jewish practice and Biblical tradition, as we see with St. Joseph and Blessed Virgin Mary. When the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary her selection as the mother of the Messiah, they had been betrothed, though not yet married. The Syro-Malabar church, as well as other Eastern Catholics, practice this tradition. Therefore, while it is not a covenant, this promise is a formal ritual to express the voluntary desire of the couples to marry before the church. The bride and groom’s paternal uncles will bear witness to this. They will mutually clasp their hands before the holy altar as a symbol of their agreement for the marriage, representing the families of the groom and bride. They assure they will work together for the wedding with mutual understanding. This marks the start of a new relationship between both families.

As we gather here to witness this agreement of the couple and their families, let us pray that God, who has invited them to a married life for mutual love and to take part in His creation, helps them keep their promise. We shall begin this service with the Knanaya traditional prayer song, honoring the founder of our church, St. Thomas.

(All sing together the Marthomman song)

മാർത്തോമ്മാൻ നന്മയാലൊന്നു തുടങ്ങുന്നു
നന്നായ് വരേണമേയിന്ന്
ഉത്തമനായ മിശിഹാ തിരുവുള്ളം
ഉണ്മൈയെഴുന്നൾക വേണം

കാരണമായവരെല്ലാരും കൂടീട്ട്
ആലാഹാനായനും അൻപൻ മിശിഹായും
കൂടെ തുണയ്ക്ക ഇവർക്ക്.

Maarthommaan Song (Transliteration)

Maarthommaan nanmayaal-onnu thudangunnu
Nannaay varename-yinnu
Uthamanaaya mishihaa thiru-vullam
Unmaiyezhunnalka venam

Kaaranamaayavar-ellaarum koodittu
Aalaahaanaayanum anpan mishihaayum
Koode thunaykka ivarkku.

—— If there is Holy Qurbana —–

CEL: As our Lord commanded
On the feast of Passover
Let us gather in His holy name
In unity, let us offer this sacrifice.

ALL: Let us be reconciled
And prepare a new altar
With the love of the Lord Jesus
Let us offer this Qurbana.

(Or Malayalam Song)

കാര്‍മ്മി: അന്നാപെസഹാത്തിരുനാളില്‍
കര്‍ത്താവരുളിയ കല്പനപോല്‍
തിരുനാമത്തില്‍ ച്ചേര്‍ന്നീടാം
ഒരുമയോടി ബലിയര്‍പ്പിക്കാം.

സമുഹം: അനുരഞ്ജിതരായ് തീര്‍ന്നീടാം
നവമൊരു പീഠമൊരുക്കീടാം
ഗുരുവിന്‍ സ്നേഹമൊടീയാഗം

CEL: Annaa pesahaa thirunaalil
Karuthaavaruliya kalpanapol
Thirunaamathil chernneedaam
Orumayodi baliyaruppikkam.

ALL: Anuranjitharaay theernneedaam
Navamoru peeda-morukkeedaam
Guruvinu snehamodeeyaagam

(Sing / Recite)

CEL: Glory to God in the highest.
ALL: Amen.

CEL: Peace and hope to people on earth, always and forever.
ALL: Amen.

CEL: Our Father in heaven
ALL: Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth / as it is in heaven. Give us this day the bread we need / and forgive us our debts and sins / as we have forgiven those who offended us. Do not let us fall into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Our Father in heaven, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Angels and people sing out Your Glory; Holy, holy, holy are You.

SER: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

CEL: We give praise to You, our Lord and God, who created humanity in the beginning, both male and female, and united them in a bond of love for the continuation of humanity. O Lord, who consecrated Isaac and Rebekah as husband and wife, grant your blessing to these servants … and … (names) who have come willingly and joyfully to make this holy promise of matrimony. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Lord, forever.

ALL: Amen.

Psalm 34:9-16

CEL: Taste and see that the LORD is good.
(Canon) Lord, who paved the way for Isaac to find a wife,
Bless these servants who have arrived for the promise of marriage.

CON: Fear the LORD, you his holy ones;
Nothing is lacking to those who fear him.

CEL: The rich grow poor and go hungry,
But those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

CON: Come, children, listen to me;
I will teach you fear of the LORD.

CEL: Who is the man who delights in life,
Who loves to see the good days?

CON: Keep your tongue from evil,
Your lips from speaking lies.

CEL: Turn from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

CON: The eyes of the LORD are directed toward the righteous
And his ears toward their cry.

CEL: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit.

CON: From eternity and forever, Amen.

CEL: (Canon) Lord, who paved the way for Isaac to find a wife,
Bless these servants who have arrived for the promise of marriage.

SER: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

CEL: Lord our God for all the helps and blessings You have bestowed on us and for which we can never be grateful enough we offer You never-ending praise and glory in the Church crowned like a spouse with every goodness and grace. You are the creator and Lord of all. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, forever.

CON: Amen.

(Opening of the Sanctuary veil. All bow towards the altar)

(Sing or Recite)

ALL: Lord of all, we bow and praise you.
Jesus Christ, we glorify You.
For You give man glorious resurrection
And You are the one who saves his soul.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit From eternity and forever. Amen.
ALL: Lord of all, we bow …

SER: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

(Or Malayalam Song)

സർവ്വാധിപനാം കർത്താവേ / നിൻ സ്തുതി ഞങ്ങൾ പാടുന്നു
ഈശോനാഥാ വിനയമൊടെ / നിന്നെ നമിച്ചു പുകഴ്ത്തുന്നു.

മർത്ത്യനു നിത്യ മഹോന്നതമാം / ഉത്ഥാനം നീയരുളുന്നു.
അക്ഷയമവനുടെയാത്മാവി- / ന്നുത്തമരക്ഷയുമേകുന്നു.

ശുശ്രൂഷി: നമുക്കു പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിക്കാം സമാധാനം നമ്മോടുകൂടെ.

Sarvvaadhipanaam karthaave / Nin-sthuthi njangal padunnu
Eesho-natha vinayamode / Ninne namichu pukazhthunnu.

Marthyanu nithya mahonnathamaam / Uthaanam nee-yarulunnu.
Akshayamavanude-yaathmaavi- / Nnuthama-rakshayumekunnu.

SER: Namukku praarthikkam samaadhaanam nammodukoode.

CEL: My Lord, You are truly the one who raises our bodies. You are the savior of our souls and the preserver of our lives. We are bound always to thank, adore, and glorify You, the Lord of all, forever.

ALL: Amen.


SER: Brothers and sisters, raise your voices and glorify the living God.

ALL: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
ALL: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us.

From eternity and forever, Amen.
ALL: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us.

SER: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

(Or Malayalam Song)

ശബ്ദമുയർത്തി പാടിടുവിൻ / സർവ്വരുമൊന്നായി പാടിടുവിൻ
എന്നെന്നും ജീവിക്കും / സർവ്വേശ്വരനെ വാഴ്ത്തിടുവിൻ

പരിപാവനനാം സർവ്വേശാ / പരിപാവനനാം ബലവാനേ
പരിപാവനനാം അമർത്യനേ / കാരുണ്യം നീ ചൊരിയണമേ

ശുശ്രൂഷി: നമുക്കു പ്രാർത്ഥിക്കാം, സമാധാനം നമ്മോടുകൂടെ.

Sabdamuyarthi padiduvin / Sarvvaru-monnaayi paadiduvin
Ennennum jeevikkum / Sarvveshvarane vaazhthiduvin

Paripaavananaam sarvveshaa / Paripaavananaam balavaane
Paripaavananaam amarthyane / Kaarunyam nee choriyaname

SER: Namukku praarthikkam, samaadhaanam nammodukoode.

CEL: Glorious, Mighty, Immortal, and Holy God! You who are pleased to dwell in the holy ones! We beseech You! Look upon us, pardon us, / and show us compassion according to Your nature. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Lord of all, forever.

ALL: Amen.

SER: Brothers and sisters, please be seated and listen attentively.

(Lector stands at the reading stand on the left side of the celebrant)

LECTOR: A reading from the book of Tobit.
(Bows to the celebrant for blessing)

LECTOR: Bless me, my Lord.

CEL: May God + bless you.

(The reader reads facing the congregation).

READER: (Tobit 4: 12-13) Be on your guard, son, against every kind of fornication, and above all, marry a woman of your own ancestral family. Do not marry a foreign woman, one who is not of your father’s tribe, because we are descendants of the prophets, who were the first to speak the truth. Noah prophesied first, then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our ancestors from the beginning of time. Son, remember that all of them took wives from among their own kindred and were blessed in their children, and that their posterity would inherit the land.

Therefore, son, love your kindred. Do not act arrogantly toward any of them, the sons and daughters of your people, by refusing to take a wife for yourself from among them. For in arrogance, there is ruin and great instability. In idleness, there is loss and dire poverty, for idleness is the mother of famine.

ALL: Praise be to the Lord, our God.

CEL: Lord our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of Your life-giving and divine commandments. In Your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love, hope, and salvation beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise You. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord of all, forever.

ALL: Amen.


LECTOR: A reading from the book of Hebrews.
(Bows to the celebrant for blessing)

READER: Bless me, my Lord.

CEL: May the Lord + bless you.

READER: (Hebrews 8:7-10) For if that first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second one. But he finds fault with them and says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will conclude a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they did not stand by my covenant and I ignored them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and I will write them upon their hearts. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”


Alleluia, sing Alleluia, Alleluia Alleluia
My heart is stirred by a noble theme

As I sing my ode to the king,
My tongue is the pen of a nimble scribe.

Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning / Let it be forever, Amen.

Alleluia, sing Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

(Or Malayalam Song)

ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ ഗീതം

ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യ പാടീടുന്നേൻ, ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ
നല്ലൊരാശയമെൻ മനതാരിൽ, വന്നു നിറഞ്ഞു തുളുമ്പീടുന്നു.

രാജാവിൻ തിരുമുൻപിൽ കീർത്തന, മധുവായി ഞാനതൊഴുക്കീടട്ടെ
ഏറ്റമനുഗ്രഹ പൂരിതനാം കവി, തൻ തൂലികപോലെൻ നാവിപ്പോൾ.

താതനുമതുപോൽ സുതനും, പരിശുദ്ധാത്മാവിന്നും സ്തുതിയുയരട്ടെ.
ആദി മുതൽക്കേയിന്നും നിത്യവു-മായി ഭവിച്ചീടട്ടെ, ആമ്മേൻ.

ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യ പാടീടുന്നേൻ, ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ.

Hallelooyya paateedunnen, hallelooyyaa hallelooyyaa
Nallorashaya-men manathaaril, vannu niranju thulumbeedunnu.

Rajavin thiru-munpil keerthana, madhuvaayi njan-athozhukkeetatte
Ettamanugraha poorithanaam kavi, than thoolikapolen naavippol.

Thaathanumathupol suthanum, parisuddhaathmaavinnum sthuthiyuyaratte.
Aadi muthalkke-yinnum nithyavu-maayi bhavicheetatte, aammen.

Hallelooyya paateedunnen, hallelooyyaa hallelooyyaa.

(The celebrant takes the Gospel and goes to the Bema in procession, accompanied by two bearers of candles and incense).

SER: (At the end of the pre-gospel hymn) Let us stand and listen attentively to the Holy Gospel.

Two servers hold lit candles on both sides.

CEL: Peace (+) be with you. (+ Blesses using the Bible).

ALL: With you and with your spirit.

CEL: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, proclaimed by St. John / Mathew.

ALL: Glory to You Christ, Our Lord.

CEL: (John 15:9-12) As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”


(Mathew 6:25-33) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wildflowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon, in all his splendor, was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you besides.

(At the end of the reading)
ALL: Glory to You Christ, our Lord.



(If there is Qurbana, bread and wine may be prepared at this time).

SER: With joy and reverence, let us all pray for …. (names), who are ready to make their marriage promise by saying: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: We entreat your blessing upon these servants who are making the promise of marriage, and give them the grace to marry in keeping with their promise.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: We pray to equip them to lead a married life in accordance with Christian faith and a heart filled with purity.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: We beseech these servants will be blessed to recognize the duties of Christian family life as they enter holy matrimony.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: We implore that these individuals be ready to receive the sacrament of marriage as a covenant between the two of them and with God, and as a union that lasts until death.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: Let us commend one another and ourselves to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

ALL: Lord, Our God, we commend ourselves to You.

CEL: Our Lord God, have mercy on these servants of yours who have prostrated themselves before you to make the wedding promise. Give them the blessings they need to fulfill their promise and lead a life pleasing to You. Keep them and their families in love and unity. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, forever.

ALL: Amen


(Paternal uncles of bride and groom stand near them as witnesses).

CEL: (To the couple) You have understood that engagement should be made only with proper knowledge, free will, and full consent. The Church is giving you the opportunity to make your betrothal announcement publicly.

CEL: (To the bridegroom) ….. (Name) do you promise to accept ….. (Name) as your wife according to the law of Christ and the custom of the holy Church?

GROOM: Yes, I promise.

CEL: (To the bride) ….. (Name) do you promise to accept ….. (Name) as your husband according to the law of Christ and the custom of the holy Church?

BRIDE: Yes, I promise.

CEL: (To the witnesses) Are you witness to this marriage promise?

WITNESSES: Yes, we are.


CEL: O Lord, Our God, bless + this ring, which this couple exchange as a symbol of their mutual promise for a married life in love and fidelity. In the name of the Father and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit. (Sprinkles the ring with holy water.)

CON: Amen.

(The groom adorns the bride’s finger with the ring.)

CEL: May Christ bless you who have made the promise of marriage and help you fulfill this promise. (Sprinkles the couple with holy water).

ALL: Amen.

CEL: (To the uncles) As a sign of this marriage promise, clasp your right hands together.

(While they do so, the celebrant blesses them).

CEL: God, who makes the contract with his people, who keeps his covenant, and who helps to keep it, please confirm the promise that your servants have made here. Bless your servants ….. (names of the groom and bride), the uncles and their families to fulfill the marriage promise just made. Christ the Lord, who accepted the church as a pure bride, extend Your merciful right hand upon these betrothed servants. May the prayers of our mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mar Joseph, the head of the Holy Family, and our father, Mar Thomas the Apostle, help the couple fulfill their promise. May the intercession of the saints, especially the saints and blessed of our Church, protect and help them. Lord of all forever.

ALL: Amen, Lord bless us.

CEL: May the Lord strengthen this marriage promise that you have made in God’s providence, sustain it with the commandment of love, and complete it with His mercy. May the God who united Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel, seal your promise in faith, truth, love, and unity of mind. May God strengthen you to approach the sacrament of marriage with fervent prayer and spiritual preparation. May God abundantly bless you, your parents who raised you in love, your family members, and all who took part in this ceremony. Now and always + forever. (The celebrant blesses the couple and sprinkles holy water over them).

ALL: Amen.

(If there is Holy Qurbana, it continues from offertory onwards in the Syro-Malabar Rite).

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The Knanayology Foundation (Knanaya Global Foundation NFP), a non-profit organization registered in IL, USA, hosts Knanayology and undertakes other projects on Knanaya Community .