Types and Symbols of the Church in the Writings of Jacob of Sarug (Doctoral Dissertation)

This dissertation (xii, 411 pages) published by the Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt is available for you to download, read, and share. (Click here.)


By Armando Elkhoury

This study deals with the life story of Jacob of Sarug (A.D. 451-521) and the various typologies of the Church scattered in his copious mimre. Jacob of Sarug is one of the most prolific, distinguished, and influential Syriac authors, yet a systematic examination of his symbolic language referring to the Church remains a desideratum. The following research satisfies this want which stems from the fact that the Church is next to Jesus Christ in importance, as her subject is prominent in Jacob’s poetic works. The work presented herein complements and contributes to the scholarly works already published in the theological field of Syriac Ecclesiology. Moreover, it is a foundational study for further researchers and theologians wishing to investigate Jacob’s comprehension of the Church.

This study shows that the question about the person of Jacob of Sarug shall remain unsatisfactorily answered, for his life stories discovered in extant manuscripts are hagiographical. Next, it reveals the Church as a building on Golgotha based on the actions of Melchizedek, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. Then, it explains Jacob’s depiction of the Church as a fisherman and life-giving fishnet. Next, it deals with the topic of the Church as the Garden of Eden on Earth in whose midst is the Tree of Life. Lastly, this study explicates the notion of the Church as the Virgin Bride of Christ.

The Church as such emerges as a permanent reality solidly founded on the cross, a sacramental and missionary Church, and sacrifice is central to her understanding. The Mysteries and the proclamation of the Good News are essential to the continuation of her Lord’s mission. Moreover, she is a return to the Garden of Eden which anticipates God’s promise of salvation in the afterlife.

Finally, Christ will always be united to her no matter what, for she is in effect his created body. Therefore, she remains with him wherever he is, and her actions mimic his deeds. She follows him to Sheol, breaks down its gates, frees Adam, resurrects with her Lord, is victorious over sin and death, and nothing overcomes her.

This dissertation (xii, 411 pages) published by the Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt is available for you to download, read, and share. (Click here.)

Themes in Syriac Spirituality – Seely Beggiani

Maronite Clergy Enrichment Conference
Maronite Seminary
April 17, 2018

Themes in Syriac Spirituality (Outline)
Chorbishop Seely Beggiani

The goal of the spiritual life: “This is true perfection: not to avoid the wicked life because like slaves we servilely fear punishment, nor to do good because we hope for rewards, as if cashing in on the virtuous life by some business-like and contractual arrangement. On the contrary, . . . we regard falling from God’s friendship as the only thing dreadful and we consider becoming God’s friend the only thing worthy of honor and desire.” Gregory of Nyssa, The life of Moses.”

Introductory observations:

Anthropology will deeply influence the goal and methods of one’s ascetical teaching. For example, a neo-Platonic view will focus on the soul’s liberation from the body, which is only a transitional arrangement, and seek the union of the completely detached soul with the Divinity in eternity.

Syriac spirituality, before the influence of Evagrius and to a degree afterwards, views the soul and body as a single entity which will be transformed into resurrected humanity in the next world.

The early Syriac spiritual writers were immersed in the study of Sacred Scripture. They consider the Scriptures to be the principal source of understanding God’s creation, which according to their faith consisted of both spiritual and material elements. Philosophy is inadequate to this task.

To my knowledge, there is no fully developed Maronite spirituality. We must rely on the broader Syriac tradition. However, the Maronite liturgical tradition is a very rich source of Maronite theology and spirituality.

This presentation will draw primarily from the writings of John the Solitary of Apamea with references to the teachings of Aphrahat, St. Ephrem and the Book of Steps.

The Syriac Theological World-View

Creation – Manifestation of God’s glory: God creates out of a superabundance of love and yearns toward the good he has created. He “is enticed away from his transcendent dwelling place and comes to abide in all things . . .” Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, The Divine Names

Humans are created in the image and likeness of the future Christ. Therefore, the Incarnation was essential to plan of salvation from the beginning and would have taken place, whether or not Adam had sinned.

Being thus created, humans are called to divinization by their very nature

Consisting of spirit, soul and body, the spirit in humans is found in the deepest part of the soul. The body is an integral part of the human self.

In this world, the spirit element is limited in its activity because of its reliance on the soul, and the soul’s intellectual activity is restrained by the body.

The resurrected humanity of Christ is an integral part of bringing about the transformation of our humanity.

The Economy of Salvation includes all spiritual beings, celestial and earthly.

Invisible and the Visible

Human spirit which is the stamp of the image and likeness of God is the meeting point between the visible and the invisible

Invisible realities are embedded in material creation

Divine Revelation = the Word of God becomes “speech” and is embodied in created forms: 1) Scripture and its types and antitypes; 2) Mysteries of the Church; 3) The presence of God in the material universe; 4) The climax of revelation is when the Word becomes voice and actions expressed in his humanity.

Humans sinned by choosing the material world and ignorance over wisdom: Captivated by the flesh, “creatures had gone outside their nature in turning toward the exterior world, having lost knowledge of themselves and of the dignity received at creation, and forgotten the invisible action of God hidden in them . . .”

Invisible Word became the visible Christ to be teacher, exemplar and redeemer “Without his self-abasement, we should have been far too low . . .” Christ appeared and showed in his person what is to be found invisibly in us. Christ “elevates and traces the image and structure of the new man in resemblance to his knowledge and in the image of his wisdom.

Goal of the Plan of Salvation: 1) To elevate, enrich and bring renewal in understanding to celestial creatures; 2) Resurrection, life and participation in his grandeur to earthly beings; 3) Humiliation of their pride, liquidation of their activity and annihilation of their power to Powers and Principalities

Spiritual Life

Faith: With the eye of faith we see hidden things. Ephrem: Faith is a second soul; spiritual sight. “Behold your image is portrayed with the blood of grapes upon the bread and portrayed on the heart by the finger of love with pigments of faith.” Aphrahat: faith is the foundation stone of the temple of our body where Christ will dwell

Baptism: 1) Plunging completely beyond this visible world; 2) Makes us children of God for the liberty of the new life to come; 3) It is not the water that renews but the “incubation of a secret force;” 4) Christ manifested himself as the true light, the true knowledge; 5) The Jerusalem on high will receive humans according to the measure of their growth in the knowledge of the new man.

Progress in the Spiritual Life

Corporeal Level: 1) The condition of humans before conversion, fully immersed in the secular world; 2) When humans begin to achieve a harmony between soul and body, they experience a salutary fear of judgment; 3) The soul realizes that it will be “deprived of true wisdom and become a stranger to the mysteries of God.

The Level of the Soul: 1) fasting, vigil, prayer, fear of God; 2) Study of the Scriptures; “nurturing a knowledge of the truth; 3) virtuous conduct by a faith which hopes in God; 4) strive against the temptation of vainglory practice charity and mercy.

Tears and Repentance: 1) Ephrem: there is one baptism, but our two eyes, when filled with tears become a baptismal font: “For the Creator knew well before-hand that sins multiply in us at all times and though there is a single baptism, he fixed two fonts (the eyes) that give absolution; 2) Book of Steps: the seal of baptism is there in the unjust till death: “If Iscariot had repented our Lord would have received him because (our Lord) does not seek the death of [any] person, but [wishes] that he might repent and be saved;” 3) Book of Steps: there are tears that arise from sorrow; others represent joy for being in the presence of God, our lover.

Humility: 1) Christ is the model: He emptied himself to become human for our sake; 2) Humans are called to empty themselves from all attachments, material and intellectual, so as to be totally attentive to the divine presence

Singleness – Ihidaya: Aphrahat: The “single one” is single in life-style, is not of a double- mind, and is one with Christ (the “Only-Begotten”), called to put on the mind of Christ.

Purity and Luminosity (Limpidity) of the Soul (Shafyuta): 1) Total purification of mind and will; 2) Ephrem: one is called to recollect in luminous silence within the mind; achieve a “luminous eye;” 3) On Mt. Sinai, rays shone from Moses’ physical eyes, while his interior eye witnessed a vision of God; 4) Ephesians: “May he enlighten the eyes of your hearts”

Prayer: 1) Aphrahat: Following the teaching of Christ, one should pray in secret; one’s inner self is the temple where Christ dwells; private prayer represents the offering of a sacrifice in the new covenant; just as one would not offer a lame animal as a sacrifice in the Old Testament, one must not offer a prayer with a heart that holds a grudge towards another, or where one’s intention is not pure; 2) Ephrem: The heart is a “bridal chamber;” Christ is the bridegroom; the soul is the bride in prayer, the soul is a mirror that must be purified, just as bronze mirrors had to be polished in ancient times; 3) Book of Steps: Three levels of Church visible church founded by Christ and the Apostles interior church where the person is the temple and the heart is the altar heavenly church, which is accessed rarely on earth, where the one seeking perfection recovers the state of Adam before the fall and has access to the “the tree of life”

The Level of the Spirit: 1) One receives a revelation of the divine mysteries; 2) Seeks God’s wisdom and nothing else; 3) Attains a knowledge of the mysteries of the future which leads to perfect charity in the love of others and in total humility.

Silent Prayer – the summit of the spiritual life on earth: 1) One stands where spiritual beings and angels are to be found; like them, one utters ‘holy’ without any words; 2) One has reached a state of humility where one considers others, even great sinners, as better than oneself; 3) In silent prayer, one reverses the process of the Incarnation. Where the Word of God departed from silence to become voice and speech, humans are called to leave the world of speech to arrive at the silence of the holy.

There are 5 types of silence: of the tongue, of the body, of the soul, of the intellect, and of the spirit. The silence of the tongue is to avoid evil speech. The silence of the body is when the senses are inactive. The silence of the soul is the absence of evil thoughts. The silence of the intellect is the absence of distractions in the realm of knowledge. “The silence of the spirit is when the intellect ceases even from stirrings caused by created spiritual beings and all its movements are stirred solely by Being, at the wondrous awe of the silence which surrounds Being.”

The New World

The resurrected humanity of Christ is the paradigm

One’s spiritual senses begin to operate efficaciously on spiritual matters

The body is transformed and constitutes a spiritual unity with the soul

The mind seeks communion with the wisdom of God in the knowledge of his mysteries

One will be able to see the invisible by an invisible thought without the need of form or intermediary


Just Father (ܐܰܒܳܐ ܕܩܘܽܫܬܳܐ) – by Jacob of Sarug (ca. A.D. 451 – 521) (an excerpt)

Just Father, behold Your Son, a sacrifice [sc. the Eucharist] [that is] pleasing to You. Receive this [sacrifice], [him] who died for me, that I might be pardon by it.

ܐܰܒܳܐ ܕܩܘܽܫܬܳܐ ܗܳܐ ܒܪܳܟ ܕܶܒܚܳܐ ܕܰܡܪܰܥܶܐ ܠܳܟ . ܠܗܳܢܳܐ ܩܰܒܶܠ ܕܰܚܠܳܦܰܝ ܡܺܝܬ ܘܶܐܬܚܰܣܶܐ ܒܶܗ.

Behold the offering! Receive [it] from my hands, be pleased with me, and do not remember the sins I have committed before Your Majesty.

ܗܳܐ ܩܘܽܪܒܳܢܳܐ ܣܰܒ ܡܶܢ ܐܺܝ̈ܕܰܝ ܘܶܐܬܪܰܥܳܐ ܠܺܝ . ܘܠܳܐ ܬܶܬܕܟܰܪ ܠܺܝ ܚ̈ܛܳܗܶܐ ܕܣܶܥܪܶܬ ܩܕܳܡ ܪܰܒܘܽܬܳܟ .

Behold His blood shed on Golgotha for my salvation, and it is praying for my sake! Accept my offering for its sake.

ܗܳܐ ܕܡܶܗ ܐܰܫܺܝܕ ܥܰܠ ܓܳܓܘܽܠܬܳܐ ܡܶܛܽܠ ܦܘܽܪܩܳܢܝ . ܘܒܳܥܶܐ ܚܠܳܦܰܝ ܩܰܒܶܠ ܩܘܽܪܒܳܢܝ ܡܶܛܽܠܳܬܶܗ .

How numerous are my sins! How great is Your love! If you weighed Your compassion, it would outweigh the mountains which are carrying You!

ܟܡܳܐ ܠܺܝ ܚܰܘ̈ܒܶܐ ܟܡܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܪ̈ܰܚܡܶܐ ܐܶܢ ܬܳܩܶܠ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ . ܚܢܳܢܳܟ ܢܳܬܰܥ ܛܳܒ ܡܶܢ ܛܘܽܪ̈ܶܐ ܕܰܬܩܺܝܠܺܝܢ ܠܳܟ .

Consider my sins, and consider the oblation [offered] on their account: the oblation and sacrifice [sc. of Your Son] are exceedingly greater than [my] faults.

ܚܘܽܪ ܒܰܚ̈ܛܳܗܶܐ ܘܚܘܽܪ ܒܰܥܠܳܬܳܐ ܕܰܚܠܳܦܰܝܗܘܽܢ . ܕܣܰܓܺܝ ܪܰܒܳܐ ܥܠܳܬܳܐ ܘܕܶܒܚܳܐ ܡܶܢ ܚܰܘ̈ܒܳܬܳܐ .

Since I have sinned, Your loved One [sc. Jesus Christ] bore the nails and spear [on the cross], and His sufferings are enough to appease You.

ܡܶܛܽܠ ܕܰܚܛܺܝܬ ܨ̈ܶܨܶܐ ܘܪܘܽܡܚܳܐ ܣܒܰܠ ܚܰܒܺܝܒܳܟ . ܘܣܳܦܩܺܝܢ ܚܰܫ̈ܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܕܰܢܪܰܥܘܽܢܳܟ ܘܰܒܗܘܽܢ ܐܺܚܶܐ .

Glory [be] to the Father who sent His Son for our sake, and adoration [is due] to the Son who freed all by His crucifixion.

ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܠܰܒܪܶܗ ܫܰܕܰܪ ܡܶܛܽܠܳܬܰܢ . ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܒܰܙܩܺܝܦܘܽܬܶܗ ܚܰܪܰܪ ܟܽܘܠܳܐ .

Thanksgiving [be] to the Spirit through whom the mystery of our Savior is accomplished. Blessed is the One who gave us life. Glory be to Him!

ܬܰܘܕܺܝ ܠܪܘܽܚܳܐ ܕܒܶܗ ܐܶܫܬܰܡܠܺܝ ܪܳܐܙ ܦܘܽܪܩܳܢܰܢ . ܒܪܺܝܟ ܕܰܒܚܘܽܒܶܗ ܐܰܚܺܝ ܠܟܽܠܰܢ ܠܶܗ ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ .

Enjoy this hymn sung in Syriac.


St. Ephrem’s Hymn on the Angel’s Announcement to Mary (an excerpt)

St. Ephrem’s Hymn on the Angel’s Announcement to Mary (an excerpt) (Translated by Fr. Ephrem Adde and edited by the staff of thehiddenpearl.org)  ܣܘܽܓܺܝܬܳܐ ܕܡܳܪܝ ܐܦܪܝܡ ܕܥܰܠ ܣܘܽܒܳܪ ܥܺܝܪܳܐ ܠܡܰܪܝܰܡ
Glory to You, Lord, whom heaven and earth, and everything in [heaven] and on [earth] worship. ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܡܳܪܝ ܕܠܳܟ ܣܳܓ̈ܕܺܝܢ ܫܡܰܝܳܐ ܘܰܐܪܥܳܐ ܘܟܽܠ ܕܰܒܗܘܽܢ
[O] Father’s Power, whose love compelled Him to come down and dwell in a virgin womb, grant me a mouth to speak about this mysterious, extraordinary event. ܚܰܝܠܶܗ ܕܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܢܚܶܬ ܫܪܳܐ ܒܥܽܘܒܳܐ ܒܬܘܽܠܳܐ ܕܚܘܽܒܶܗ ܥܨܶܐ . ܗܰܒ ܠܺܝ ܦܘܽܡܳܐ ܕܶܐܡܰܠܠܺܝܘܗ̱ܝ ܠܫܰܪܒܳܐ ܪܰܒܳܐ ܕܠܳܐ ܡܶܬܒܨܶܐ ܀
The mouth is feeble to speak about You; both voice and word are inadequate to praise Your humility [lacuna] ܙܥܘܽܪ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܦܘܽܡܳܐ ܕܰܢܡܰܠܠܶܟ ܘܰܒܨܺܝܪ ܩܳܠܳܐ ܐܳܦ ܡܶܠܬܳܐ . ܕܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܢܶܬܠܘܽܢ ܠܡܘܽܟܳܟܳܟ [lacuna]
O discerners, come; pay attention; listen to the altogether awe-inspiring event, and sing glory to Him who lowered Himself to grant life to Adam, who had sinned and died. ܐܳܘ ܦܳܪ̈ܘܽܫܶܐ ܬܰܘ ܨܘܽܬܘ ܫܡܰܥܘ ܫܰܪܒܳܐ ܕܟܽܠܳܗ ܬܶܗܪܳܐ ܡܠܶܐ . ܘܰܙܡܰܪܘ ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܗܰܘ ܕܶܐܬܪܟܶܢ ܕܢܰܐܚܶܐ ܠܳܐܕܳܡ ܕܰܚܛܳܐ ܘܡܺܝܬ ܀
Mercy appeared to David’s daughter that she might become a mother to Him who brought into existence Adam and the world, and whose name existed before the sun. ܨܶܕ ܒܰܪ̱ܬ ܕܰܘܺܝܕ ܪܳܚܡܳܐ ܕܢܰܚ ܕܗܺܝ ܬܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܶܗ ܐܶܡܳܐ ܠܗܰܘ . ܕܰܐܘܠܶܕ ܠܳܐܕܳܡ ܘܰܠܥܳܠܡܳܐ ܘܰܩܕܳܡ ܫܶܡܫܳܐ ܐܺܝܬܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܫܡܶܗ܀
He [sc. the angel Gabriel] brought to the world the letter that was sealed with an awesome mystery, announced peace to the girl, and good tidings to the entire world. ܫܩܰܠ ܐܶܓܰܪܬܳܐ ܕܰܡܚܰܬܡܳܐ ܒܐ̱ܪܳܙܳܐ ܪܰܒܳܐ ܡܶܢ ܥܳܠܡܳܐ . ܘܡܰܠܳܗ݀ ܫܠܳܡܳܐ ܠܰܥܠܰܝܡܬܳܐ ܘܣܰܒܪܳܐ ܛܳܒܳܐ ܠܟܽܠ ܥܳܠܡܳܐ ܀
The Virgin says, “Who are you, Sir? What is this that you are saying? What you have [just] said is far from me. Besides, I do not know the Power of your Lord. ܐܳܡܪܳܐ ܒܬܘܽܠܬܳܐ ܡܰܢ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܡܳܪܝ ܘܡܳܢܰܘ ܗܳܢܳܐ ܕܰܡܡܰܠܠܰܬ . ܪܰܚܺܝܩ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܡܶܢܝ ܡܘܽܢ ܕܶܐܡܰܪܬ ܘܚܰܝܠܶܗ ܕܡܳܪܳܟ ܠܳܐ ܝܳܕܥܳܢܝ ܀
I beseech you, Sir, do not frighten me; do not set me on fire with burning coals that are from you, for it is difficult for my virginity to receive the Almighty, whom you are announcing. ܒܳܥܝܳܢܳܐ ܡܳܪܝ ܠܳܐ ܬܰܪܗܒܰܢܝ ܒܓܘܽܡܪ̈ܶܐ ܕܡܶܢܳܟ ܠܳܐ ܬܰܘܩܕܰܢܝ . ܕܥܳܛܠܳܐ ܒܬܘܽܠܘܽܬܝ ܕܰܬܩܰܒܶܠܝ ܠܗܰܘ ܥܰܙܺܝܙܳܐ ܕܰܐܢ̱ܬ ܡܰܟܪܙܰܬ ܀
You are a blaze; do not frighten me. You are arrayed in burning coals; do not set me on fire. Fiery one, why have you come to me, and why do you also talk to me about novelties? ܓܰܘܙܰܠܬܳܐ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܠܳܐ ܬܰܪܗܒܰܢܝ ܓܘܽܡܪ̈ܶܐ ܥܛܺܝܦ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܠܳܐ ܬܰܘܩܕܰܢܝ . ܢܘܽܪܳܢܳܐ ܠܡܘܽܢ ܐܶܬܰܝܬ ܠܺܝ ܘܳܐܦ ܚ̈ܰܕܬܳܬܳܐ ܥܰܡܝ ܡܰܠܰܠܬ ܀
Sir, I am afraid to consent to the words of your fiery mouth, for even my mother, Eve, died after she consented to the message of the snake.” ܕܳܚܶܠܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܡܳܪܝ ܕܶܐܩܰܒܶܠ ܡܶܠܰـܝ̈ ܦܘܽܡܳܟ ܢܘܽܪܳܢܳܐ . ܕܳܐܦ ܐܶܡܝ ܚܰܘܳܐ ܟܰܕ ܐܰܩܒܠܰܬ ܣܒܰܪܬܳܐ ܕܚܶܘܝܳܐ ܡܺܝܬܰܬ ܠܳܗ݀ ܀
“This subject which I have talked to you about is elementary for the Lord, about whom all the prophets had proclaimed that He willed to become a human being.” ܗܳܢܳܐ ܫܰܪܒܳܐ ܕܡܰܠܠܶܬ ܠܶܟܝ ܦܫܺܝܩ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܣܰܓܺܝ ܥܰܠ ܡܳܪܝܳܐ . ܕܟܽܠܗܘܽܢ ܢ̈ܒܺܝܶܐ ܥܠܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܐܰܟܪܶܙܘ ܕܰܨܒܳܐ ܕܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܒܰܪܢܳܫܳܐ ܀
“Your promise would have been appropriate if I were married to a man like everyone else; I am chaste and have never had relations. ܘܰܥܕܳܟ ܫܰܦܺܝܪ ܐܶܠܘܽ ܡܛܳܢܝ ܙܘܽܘܳܓ ܓܰܒܪܳܐ ܐܰܝܟ ܟܽܠ ܐ̱ܢܳܫ . ܕܰܒܬܘܽܠܳܝܬܳܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܘܡܶܢ ܡܬܘܽܡ ܠܳܐ ܪܓܝܺܫܳܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܒܙܘܽܘܳܓܳܐ ܀
I am disquieted, Sir, alarmed, and afraid. Still, I am not convinced because nature does not instruct me that a virgin begets a child. ܙܳܥܶܬ ܠܺܝ ܡܪܳܝ ܘܶܐܣܬܰܪܕܶܬ ܘܟܰܕ ܩܳܢܛܳܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܘܠܳܐ ܡܰܫܪܳܢܝ . ܕܳܐܦ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܟܝܳܢܳܐ ܠܳܐ ܡܦܺܝܣ ܠܺܝ ܕܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܝܰܠܕܳܐ ܠܰܒܬܘܽܠܬܳܐ ܀
Your appearance is venerable; your story is frightening, and the entire house is on fire. Your Lord’s matter is inscrutable; it is difficult for me to confirm this [matter]. ܚܶܙܘܳܟ ܝܰܩܺܝܪ ܘܫܰܪܒܳܟ ܕܚܺܝܠ ܘܟܽܠܶܗ ܒܰܝܬܳܐ ܡܶܬܓܰܘܙܰܠ . ܫܰܪܒܶܗ ܕܡܳܪܳܟ ܠܳܐ ܡܶܬܒܨܶܐ ܘܕܰܐܫܰܪ ܗܳܕܶܐ ܥܰܣܩܳܐ ܗ̱ܝ ܠܺܝ ܀
I am [but] a girl, and cannot give consent to a man of fire, for the subject you spoke about is hidden and makes me afraid to consent to it. ܛܠܺܝܬܳܐ ܐܶܢܳܐ ܘܠܳܐ ܡܶܫܟܚܳܢܝ ܠܓܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܕܰܐܩܒܶܠܺܝܘܗ̱ܝ . ܕܰܟܣܳܐ ܫܰܪܒܳܐ ܕܰܡܡܰܠܠܰܬ ܘܰܡܣܰܪܶܕ ܠܺܝ ܕܰܐܩܒܶܠܺܝܘܗ̱ܝ ܀
Today, I have been amazed and astonished at all you have said to me. I am afraid, Sir, to give you consent, for deceit could be [lurking] in your word. ܝܰܘܡܳܢ ܬܶܡܗܶܬ ܘܶܐܬܕܰܡܪܶܬ ܒܗܳܠܶܝܢ ܟܽܠܗܶܝܢ ܕܶܐܡܰܪܬ ܠܺܝ . ܕܳܚܠܳܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܡܳܪܝ ܕܰܐܩܶܒܠܳܟ ܕܰܠܡܳܐ ܢܶܟܠܳܐ ܒܓܰܘ ܡܶܠܬܳܟ ܀
All your words amaze me. I ask you, Sir, not to frighten me. Childbearing is never for a virgin, and no man has touched me. ܟܽܠܗܶܝܢ ܡܶܠܰܝ̈ܟ ܠܺܝ ܡܬܰܗܪ̈ܳܢ ܡܦܺܝܣܳܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܡܳܪܝ ܠܳܐ ܬܙܺܝܥܰܢܝ . ܠܳܐ ܒܰܒܬܘܽܠܬܳܐ ܝܰܠـܕܳܐ ܡܬܘܽܡ ܘܶܐܢܳܐ ܓܰܒܪܳܐ ܠܳܐ ܦܓܺܝܥ ܒܺܝ ܀
I do, Sir, have a man; he does not have relations with me, and I am not married. How could it come to happen according to what you have said that a son is to be without having relations? ܠܺܝ ܡܳܪܝ ܓܰܒܪܳܐ ܠܳܐ ܚܟܺܝܡ ܠܺܝ ܘܰܒܙܘܽܘܳܓܳܐ ܠܳܐ ܪܓܺܝܫܳܢܝ . ܘܰܐܝܟܰܢ ܬܶܗܘܶܐ ܐܰܝܟ ܕܶܐܡܰܪܬ ܕܰܕܠܳܐ ܢܶܩܦܳܐ ܒܪܳܐ ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܀
Well then, Watcher [sc. angel], I will not refuse whensoever the Holy Spirit would come to me. I am his Handmaid; He has the power to make it happen to me according to your word. ܡܳܕܶܝܢ ܥܺܝܪܳܐ ܠܳܐ ܡܗܰܦܟܳܢܝ ܐܶܢ ܪܘܽܚ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ ܐܶܬܳܐ ܠܘܳܬܝ . ܐܰܡܬܶܗ ܐܶܢܳܐ ܘܫܰܠܺܝܛ ܠܶܗ ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܺܝ ܡܳܪܝ ܐܰܝ̱ܟ ܡܶܠܬܳܟ ܀
May my head, Sir, be raised according to your word, and I shall praise His name while rejoicing. Since you are His servant, and thus you are splendid, what does he resemble, if you know? ܢܶܬܬܪܺܝܡ ܪܺܝܫܝ ܡܳܪܝ ܐܰܝ̱ܟ ܡܶܠܬܳܟ ܘܰܐܘܕܶܐ ܠܰܫܡܶܗ ܟܰܕ ܚܳܕܝܳܢܝ . ܕܶܐܢ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܥܰܒـܕܶܗ ܗܳܟܰܢ ܦܰܐܝܰܬ ܠܡܘܽܢ ܕܳܡܶܐ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܐܶܢ ܝܳـܕܥܰܬ ܀
You disturbed me greatly now! If He is a blaze according to your word, how would my womb not be injured by the Flame that dwells in it? ܣܰܓܺܝ ܗܳܫܳܐ ܐܰܙܺܝܥܬܳܢܝ ܘܐܶܢ ܓܰܘܙܰܠܬܰܐ ܗ̱ܘ ܐܰܝܟ ܡܶܠܬܳܟ . ܥܘܽܒܝ ܕܺܝܠܝ ܐܰܝܟܰܢ ܠܳܐ ܡܶܬܢܟܶܐ ܒܫܰܠܗܶܒܺܝܬܳܐ ܕܒܶܗ ܫܳܪܝܳܐ ܀
Watcher, reveal to me why it pleased your Lord to dwell in a poor [girl]. Behold the world is filled with daughters of kings. Why did He choose me, a destitute? ܥܺܝܪܳܐ ܓܠܺܝ ܠܺܝ ܠܡܘܽܢ ܟܰܝ ܫܦܰܪ ܠܡܳܪܳܟ ܕܢܶܫܪܶܐ ܒܡܶܣܟܺܢ̱ܬܳܐ. ܗܳܐ ܒ̈ܢܳܬ ܡܰܠ̈ـܟܶܐ ܥܳܠܡܳܐ ܡܠܶܐ ܘܒܺܝ ܠܡܳܢܳܐ ܨܒܳܐ ܕܰܡܓܰܙܝܳـܢܝ ܀
Announce to me, sir, if you know when He desires to come to me, and whether He will appear to me as fire whenever He [comes to] dwell in me according to your word. ܦܰܫܶܩ ܠܺܝ ܡܳܪܝ ܐܶܢ ܝܳܕܥܰܬ ܐܶܡܰܬܝ ܨܳܒܶܐ ܕܢܺܐܬܶܐ ܠܘܳܬܝ . ܘܶܐܢ ܐܰܝ̱ܟ ܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܠܺܝ ܡܶܬܚܙܶܐ ܡܳܐ ܕܰܫܪܳܐ ܒܺܝ ܐܰܝ̱ܟ ܡܶܠܬܳܟ܀
Sir, I would like to ask you to explain to me the habits of my Son, for He will dwell in me, and I do not know what to do for Him lest He be insulted. ܨܳܒܝܳܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܡܳܪܝ ܕܶܐܫܰܐܠܳܟ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܦܰܫܶܩ ܠܺܝ ܥܝ̈ܳـܕܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܕܒܶܪܝ . ܕܫܳܪܶܐ ܒܺܝ ܘܠܳܐ ܝܳܕܥܳܢܝ ܡܘܽܢ ܐܶܥܒܶܕ ܠܶܗ ܕܠܳܐ ܢܶܬܬܫܺܝܛ ܀
His name is holy, glorious and blessed, for He gave heed to the lowliness of His handmaid. Henceforth, the kings of the earth and all that is on it shall call me blessed. ܩܰܕܺܝܫ ܘܰܫܒܺܝܚ ܘܰܒܪܺܝܟ ܫܡܶܗ ܕܰܒܡܽܘܟܳܟܳܗ܁ ܚܳܪ ܕܰܐܡܬܶܗ . ܡܶܟܺܝܠ ܛܘܽܒܳܐ ܠܺܝ ܢܶܬܠ̈ـܘܽܢ ܡܰܠ̈ـܟܶܐ ܕܰܐܪܥܳܐ ܘܟܽܠ ܕܰܥܠܶܝܗ݀ ܀
He is mighty, glorious, and inscrutable; He is unfathomable through lips. His Might is powerful, for He, the One who sent Him, and the Holy Spirit created all.” ܪܰܒ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܘܰܫܒܺܝܚ ܘܠܳܐ ܡܶܬܒܨܶܐ ܘܰܒܣܶܦܘ̈ܳܬܳܐ ܠܳܐ ܡܶܬܬܡܺܝܫ . ܕܚܰܝܠܶܗ ܚܰܣܺܝܢ ܕܗܘܽ ܒܪܳܐ ܠܟܽܠ ܥܰܡ ܫܳܠـܘܽܚܶܗ ܘܪܘܽܚ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ ܀
Heaven and earth were awestruck because of His birth from Mary. Behold they witness that He became man for sinful Adam. ܫܡܰܝܳܐ ܘܰܐܪܥܳܐ ܬܶܗܪܳܐ ܠܒܰܟ ܥܰܠ ܡܰܘܠܳܕܶܗ ܕܡܶܢ ܡܰܪܝܰܡ . ܘܕܰܗܘܳܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܫܳܐ ܗܳܐ ܣܳܗܕܺܝܢ ܡܶܛܽܠ ܐܳܕܳܡ ܚܰܝܳܒܳܐ ܀

Psalm of the Readings – The Announcement to Zechariah – Lk 1:5-25 – (Maronite Divine Liturgy)


The watcher [sc. the angel Gabriel] brought tidings to Zechariah in the holy of holies announcing [to him]: “[In] your old age [you] are having a son, and you shall name him John [see Lk 1:13].” ܥܺܝܪܳܐ ܣܰܒܰܪ ܠܰܙܟܰܪܝܳܐ ܆ ܒܰܩܕܘܽܫ ܩܘܽܕܫܺܝܢ ܟܰܕ ܐܳܡܰܪ ܆ ܕܰܒܪܳܐ ܗܳܘܶܐ ܠܣܰܝܒܘܽܬܳܟ ܆ ܘܬܶܩܪܶܐ ܠܰܫܡܶܗ ܝܘܽܚܰܢܳܢ ܀
Zechariah was awestruck by the words of the watcher speaking to him in the sanctuary, and wonder and astonishment ceased him because of the pregnancy of the barren one [sc. Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife]. ܬܡܰܗ ܙܟܰܪܝܳܐ ܒܡ̈ܶܠܰܝ ܥܺܝܪܳܐ ܆ ܕܡܰܠܶܠ ܥܰܡܶܗ ܒܒܶܝܬ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ ܆ ܘܰܐܚܕܶܗ ܬܶܗܪܳܐ ܘܕܘܽܡܳܪܳܐ ܆ ܡܶܛܽܠ ܒܰܛܢܳܗ̇ ܕܰܥܩܰܪܬܳܐ ܀
Glory be to the One who chose him [sc. John the Baptist] to be the herald of his [sc. Jesus Christ] coming and to bring back nations and peoples from the pathless desert to the path of life. ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܗܰܘ ܕܰܓܒܳܝܗ̱ܝ ܕܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܆ ܐܺܝܙܓܰܕܳܐ ܩܕܳܡ ܡܶܐܬܺܝܬܶܗ ܆ ܘܢܰܦܢܶܐ ܠܥܰܡ̱̈ܡܶܐ ܘܶܐܡ̈ܘܳܬܳܐ ܆ ܡܶܢ ܬܰܘܫܳܐ ܠܐܘܽܪܚܳܐ ܕܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܀

Syriac Maronite Hymn: ܕܶܐܟܠܶܬ ܦܰܓܪܳܟ ܩܰܕܺܝܫܳܐ

 The Syriac text is sung according to ܩܳܠܳܐ ܦܫܺܝܛܳܐ

Glory be to the Lord! Since I have eaten Your holy body, fire shall not consume me, and since I have pressed it [sc. Your holy body] to my eyes, they see Your mercy, Lord. I have not been a stranger here; may I not be an outsider there. Do not place me on the side of the goats, [but] make me worthy to praise You with the lambs standing at Your right [see Mt 25:33]. ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ ܠܡܳܪܝܳܐ ܆ ܕܶܐܟܠܶܬ ܦܰܓܪܳܟ ܩܰܕܺܝܫܳܐ ܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܠܳܐ ܬܶܐܟܠܰܢܝ ܆ ܘܰܕܛܰܦܺܝܬܶܗ ܥܰܠ ܥܰܝ̈ܢܰܝ ܚܢܳܢܳܟ ܡܳܪܝ ܢܶܚ̈ܙܝܳܢ ܆ ܠܳܐ ܗܘܺܝܬ ܠܳܟ ܡܳܪܝ ܗܳܪܟܳܐ ܢܘܽܟܪܳܝܳܐ ܆ ܠܳܐ ܐܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܺܝ ܬܰܡܳܢ ܒܰܪܳܝܳܐ ܆ ܘܠܳܐ ܬܩܺܝܡܰܢܝ ܡܶܢ ܗܰܘ ܓܰܒܳܐ ܕܰܓ̈ܕܰܝܳܐ ܩܳܝܡܺܝܢ ܆ ܥܰܡ ܐܶܡܪ̈ܶܐ ܒ̈ܢܰܝ ܝܰܡܺܝܢܳܐ ܐܰܫܘܳܢܝ ܕܶܐܫܰܒܚܳܟ ܀
Glory be to the Lord! I took You, Son of God, provision for a journey. Whenever I hunger, I eat from You, Savior of the world. The fire shall stand in awe of my members when the smell of Your body and blood fight it away from me. May Your baptism be for me an unsinkable ship, and may I travel by it [through] the place of fear to the place full of life.

ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ ܠܡܳܪܝܳܐ ܆ ܙܘ̈ܳܕܶܐ ܠܐܘܽܪܚܳܐ ܫܩܰܠܬܳܟ ܠܺܝ ܒܰܪ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܆ ܘܡܳܐ ܕܟܶܦܢܶܬ ܐܶܟܠܶܬ ܡܶܢܳܟ ܦܳܪܘܽܩܶܗ ܕܥܳܠܡܳܐ ܆ ܬܶܒܗܰܬ ܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܡܶܢ ܨܶܝܕ ܗܰܕܳܡ̈ܰܝ ܡܳܐ ܕܰܡܚܳܗ̇ ܡܶܢܝ ܪܺܝܚ ܦܰܓܪܳܟ ܘܰܕܡܳܟ ܆ ܡܰܥܡܘܽܕܺܝܬܳܟ ܬܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܺܝ ܐܶܠܦܳܐ ܕܠܳܐ ܛܳܒܥܳܐ ܆ ܘܶܐܥܒܰܪ ܒܳܗ̇ ܐܰܬܪܳܐ ܕܩܶܢܛܳܐ ܠܰܐܬܪܳܐ ܕܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܡܠܶܐ ܀

Hear this hymn sung in Syriac:

Communion of the People (Maronite Divine Liturgy)

“I am the Bread of Life,” said our Lord, “whoever eats me in faith shall inherit life [see Jn 6:51].” ܐܶܢܳܐ ܐܶܢܳܐ ܠܰܚܡܳܐ ܕܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܐܶܡܰܪ ܡܳܪܰܢ ܆ ܟܽܠ ܕܳܐܟܶܠ ܠܺܝ ܒܗܰܝܡܳܢܘܽܬܳܐ ܢܺܐܪܰܬ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܀
This is the cup which our Lord mixed on top of the wood [sc. the cross] [see Jn 19:34]: Come, mortals, and drink from it for the forgiveness of sins. ܗܳܢܰܘ ܟܳܣܳܐ ܕܡܰܙܓܶܗ ܡܳܪܰܢ ܥܰܠ ܪܺܝܫ ܩܰܝܣܳܐ ܆ ܩܪܘܽܒ ܡܳܝ̈ܘܽܬܶܐ ܘܶܐܫܬܰܘ ܡܶܢܶܗ ܠܚܘܽܣܳܝ ܚܰܘ̈ܒܶܐ ܀
“Sisters and brothers, receive the body of the Son,” cries out the Church, “drink his blood in faith, and sing praise [to Him][see Ps 104:33].” ܐܰܚ̈ܰܝ ܩܰܒܶܠܘ ܦܰܓܪܶܗ ܕܰܒܪܳܐ ܩܳܥܝܳܐ ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܆ ܘܶܐܫܬܰܘ ܠܰܕܡܶܗ ܒܗܰܝܡܳܢܘܽܬܳܐ ܘܰܙܡܰܪܘ ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܀
“Lord, you are Holy, Holy, Holy [see Is 6:3],” cries out the Church, “blessed is the One who offered me His body and blood that I may be forgiven by them.” ܩܰܕܺܝܫ ܩܰܕܺܝܫ ܩܰܕܝܫܰܬ ܡܳܪܝ ܩܳܥܝܳܐ ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܆ ܒܪܺܝܟ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܕܝܰܗ̱ܒܠܺܝ ܦܰܓܪܶܗ ܘܰܕܡܶܗ ܕܶܐܬܚܰܣܶܐ ܒܶܗ ܀
Halleluja! Hallelujah! Glory be to the One who offered us His body and living blood that we may be forgiven by them. ܗܰܠܶܠܘܽܝܰܐ ܘܗܰܠܶܠܘܽܝܰܐ ܠܶܗ ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ ܆ ܕܝܰܗ̱ܒ ܠܰܢ ܦܰܓܪܶܗ ܘܰܕܡܶܗ ܚܰܝܳܐ ܕܢܶܬܚܰܣܶܐ ܒܶܗ ܀
May Your holy Oblation be the intercessor on our behalf on judgment [day] before that bema full of dread and vehemence. ܩܘܽܕܫܳܟ ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܡܶܬܟܰܫܦܳܢܳܐ ܒܕܺܝܢܳܐ ܚܠܳܦܰܝܢ ܆ ܩܕܳܡ ܗܳܝ ܒܺܐܡܰܐ ܕܡܰܠܝܳܐ ܕܶܚܠܳܐ ܘܥܰܙܺܝܙܘܽܬܳܐ ܀
Halleluja! Hallelujah! Glory be to the One from whom the Church and her children drink and [to whom] sing praise [see Ps 104:33]. ܗܰܠܶܠܘܽܝܰܐ ܘܗܰܠܶܠܘܽܝܰܐ ܠܶܗ ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ ܆ ܕܫܳܬܝܳܐ ܡܶܢܶܗ ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܘܝܰܠܕܶܝܗ̇ ܘܙܳܡܪܺܝܢ ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܀

Hear this hymn sung in Syriac:


Psalm of the Readings – Consecration and Renewal of the Church (Maronite Divine Liturgy)

Sister Natalie Sayde Salameh and Sister Therese Maria of the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light translated this Hymn 

Behold priests and deacons with the excellent scent of their censers encircle the Altar of Reconciliation, and the Holy Spirit hovers over it [in reference to Gn 1:2]. ܗܳܐ ܟܳܗ̈ܢܶܐ ܘܰܡܫܰܡ̈ܫܳܢܶܐ ܆ ܒܥܶܛܪܳܐ ܫܒܺܝܚܳܐ  ܕܦܺܝܪ̈ܡܰܝܗܘܽܢ ܆ ܟܪܺܝܟܺܝܢ ܠܡܰܕܒܰܚ ܬܰܪܥܘܽܬܳܐ ܆ ܘܪܘܽܚܳܐ ܕܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ ܡܪܰܚܦܳܐ ܥܠܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܀
Listen to this all nations, “Priests encircle the Altar.” Give heed inhabitants of the earth, “The Holy Spirit hovers over it [in reference to Gn 1:2].” ܫܡܰܥܘ ܗܳܕܶܐ ܟܽܠܟܘܽܢ ܥܰܡ̱ܡ̈ܶܐ ܆ ܕܟܳܗ̈ܢܶܐ ܟܪܺܝܟܺܝܢ ܠܶܗ ܠܡܰܕܒܚܳܐ ܆ ܘܨܘܽܬܘ ܟܽܠܟܽܘܢ ܝܳܬܒܰܝ ܐܰܪܥܳܐ ܆ ܕܪܘܽܚܳܐ ܕܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ ܡܪܰܚܦܳܐ ܥܠܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܀
On the rock of faith, our Lord built the Holy Church; on Simon, He laid down her foundations, and Paul finished her structure. ܥܰܠ ܫܘܽܥܳܐ ܕܗܰܝܡܳܢܘܽܬܳܐ ܆ ܒܢܳܐ ܡܳܪܰܢ ܠܥܺܕܰܬ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ ܆ ܘܥܰܠ ܫܶܡܥܘܽܢ ܣܳܡ ܫܶܬܶܣܶܝܗ̇ ܆ ܘܦܰܘܠܳܘܣ ܫܰܟܠܶܠ ܒܶܢܝܳܢܳܗ̇ ܀

Psalm of the Readings – The Exaltation of the Cross (Maronite Divine Liturgy)

Our Redeemer has guarded the Church and her children with the Cross of Light, the fountainhead of life and fulfillment of all types. ܒܰܨܠܺܝܒ ܢܘܽܗܪܳܐ ܦܳܪܘܽܩܰܢ ܆ ܢܰܛܰܪ ܠܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܘܰܠܝ̈ܰܠܕܶܝܗ̇ ܆ ܕܡܰܒܘܽܥܳܐ ܕܚ̈ܰܝܶܐ ܐܺܝܬܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܆ ܘܫܘܽܡܠܳܝܳܐ ܕܟܽܠܗܘܽܢ ܪ̈ܳܐܙܶܐ ܀
With Your Cross, the priest signs Your Body and Blood on the altar, and by Your divine power, he consecrates the mysteries of Your Church. ܒܰܨܠܺܝܒܳܟ ܪܳܫܶܡ ܟܳܗܢܳܐ ܆ ܦܰܓܪܳܟ ܘܰܕܡܳܟ ܥܰܠ ܡܰܕܒܚܳܐ ܆ ܒܫܘܽܠܛܳܢܳܐ ܕܰܐܠܳܗܘܽܬܳܟ ܆ ܘܰܡܩܰܕܶܫ ܪ̈ܳܐܙܶܐ ܕܥܺܕܬܳܟ ܀
O Redeemer, Your Cross, which became a ladder [see Gn 28:10-17] to Your Church, is blessed, and by it, mortals are raised up and are together with the Spiritual Beings. ܒܪܺܝܟ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܨܠܺܝܒܳܟ ܦܳܪܘܽܩܰܢ ܆ ܕܰܗܘܳܐ ܠܥܺܕܬܳܟ ܣܶܒܶܠܬܳܐ ܆ ܘܒܶܗ ܡܶܬܥܰܠܶܝܢ ܡܳܝ̈ܘܽܬܶܐ ܆ ܘܡܶܬܚܰܠܛܺܝܢ ܥܰܡ ܪ̈ܘܽܚܳܢܶܐ ܀