Glory be to You, Lord (literally, the Son of Lordship), self-existent and without beginning! With this sweet incense that we offer in your honor, may You, Lord, forgive our debts and pardon our offenses. May the dead find rest in it, and the living hope and safekeeping.
May this sweet incense strengthen churches, and guard monasteries, convents, [and seminaries]. With it, may we spread tranquility on earth and may peace reign in [the hearts of] kings. Lord, send with it healing and cure to all the sick, and may the bodies afflicted with torment rise from [their] beds.
May Your goodness bless abundantly the house of the one who gives from his labor to the needy and the poor. May the oblations of those who bring offerings and first fruits to the temple of holiness, [namely, the church,] be acceptable, and may their sins be forgiven.
Bless the harvest of the year. May the sowing and fruit be protected, and may they be free from damage so that the hungry may eat and praise You. We remember, with the prayer accompanying this sweet incense, Your announcement, Lord, Your conception, Your birth, Your upbringing,
Your baptism, Your affliction, Your crucifixion for our sake, Your death, Your burial, Your resurrection and rising, Your ascension to heaven, Your sitting at the right [of the Father], and Your whole plan of salvation which Your will did for us.
Also, [we commemorate] our bishops and our priests. They labored and worked [in Your vineyard]. They taught us and showed us the way of life so that we may journey on it to the house of the Kingdom. Likewise, [we remember] the departed who put You on at baptism, and, in Your compassion, You made them partakers of Your Holy Body and Blood.
Lord, in Your mercy and by Your lovingkindness, care for the one who has said, “remember me in prayer for our Lord’s sake.” May we enjoy forgiveness and pardon from Your treasury through the prayer of the blessed Mary, the mother who bore You,
the prayers of the blessed martyrs, killed for Your sake, and of the just and righteous, who pleased you with the aroma of their incense. To You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One True God, be Glory forever, and may Your mercy be upon us at every moment forever. Amen.
The cross is a heinous instrument of execution. Why, then, do Maronites and other Christians venerate it? The cross adorns our necks, for example, and we hang it in our homes, churches, workplaces, etc. At various liturgies, we adore the cross by kissing and bowing to it. We refer to it as the cross of splendor, the cross of wonder, and the cross of glory, and the Church celebrates the feast of the Exaltation of the Glorious Cross each year, on September 14.
The cross, in and of itself, depicts total defeat and horrendous death. Paradoxically, the cross of Jesus Christ symbolizes victory and life. Why? Precisely because of who Jesus the Nazarene is: he is the Messiah, the Son of God, the Crucified One. Hence, in the light of Jesus Christ, let us explore a couple of theological themes about the cross found in the Maronite Book of Offering—henceforth BO.
Hallelujah! In Your light, we see light, Jesus, Full of Light. Since You are the True Light shining upon creation, shine brightly upon us with Your delightful light, and gladden us with the dawn of Your morning.
Hallelujah! Son of the Living One, You who died, was raised, gave life to mortals, consoled those who are buried, and brought hope to those who are asleep, may the departed who confessed the Trinity be raised to life by You.
The One whom the Seraphim carry and cannot look upon His face dwelt in the womb of the blessed one (that is to say, the Blessed Virgin Mary) and arrived at the house of His servants (that is to say, Zechariah and Elizabeth).
The Lord, sitting upon the Cherubim, dwelt in the womb of the blessed one, arrived at the house of His servants, and baptized in the womb the son of the barren ones (that is to say, John, the son of Zechariah and Mary).
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].
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].
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.