Annunciation
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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 ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – On Simeon Seeing God’s Mercy (Lk 2:22-35)


“Let me go in peace,” said Simeon, “for my eyes have seen your Mercy as You had said.” [See Lk 2:22-35] ܫܪܺܝܢܝ ܒܰܫܠܳܡܳܐ . ܐܶܡܰܪ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܫܶܡܥܘܽܢ . ܕܗܳܐ ܚ̈ܙܰܝ ܥܰܝ̈ܢܰܝ . ܚܢܳܢܳܟ ܐܰܝܟ ܕܶܐܡܰܪܬ ܀
Mary carried [Jesus] as an offering to the One who receives all to bring offerings to the Holy Temple according to the law. ܛܥܰܢܬܶܗ ܡܰܪܝܰܡ ܐܰܝܟ ܩܘܽܪܒܳܢܳܐ ܠܰܡܩܰܒܶܠ ܟܽܠ . ܕܰܐܝܟ ܢܳܡܘܽܣܳܐ ܬܰܝܬܶܐ ܕܶܒ̈ܚܶܐ ܠܗܰܝܟܰܠ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ ܀
On this day, Simeon was petitioning the life-giving Son, “Let me go, so then I should go rest until the resurrection.” ܒܗܳܢܳܐ ܝܰܘܡܳܐ ܡܦܺܝܣ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܫܶܡܥܘܽܢ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܚܰܝܳܐ . ܕܰܫܪܺܝܢܝ ܡܶܟܺܝܠ ܐܶܙܰܠ ܐܶܬܬܢܺܝܚ ܥܰܕ ܢܘܽܚܳܡܳܐ ܀
[Simeon] saw the girl who was carrying [Jesus], folded his hands [in prayers], bowed himself in fear and received Him from her affectionately. ܚܙܳܗ݀ ܠܰܛܠܺܝܬܳܐ ܕܰܛܥܺܝܢܳܐ ܠܶܗ ܘܰܦܟܰܪ ܐܺܝ̈ܕܰܘܗ̱ܝ . ܣܓܶܕ ܒܰܪܬܺܝܬܳܐ ܘܩܰܒܠܶܗ ܡܶܢܳܗ݀ ܚܒܺܝܒܳܐܺܝܬ ܀
Glory be to the Father, who bound Simeon symbolically, and adoration to the Son, who unbound his restraints by His birth. ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܐܣܪܶܗ ܠܫܶܡܥܘܽܢ ܪܐܙܳܐܢܳܐܺܝܬ . ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܰܫܪܳܐ ܐܶܣܪ̈ܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܒܺܝܠܺܝܕܘܽܬܶܗ ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – Mary and the Martyrs, our Helpers with Prayers


Mother of our Lord, we put our trust in you truly, since Your majestic Son listens to you kindly. ܐܶܡܶܗ ܕܡܳܪܰܢ ܥܠܰܝܟܝ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܣܰܒܪܰܢ ܫܰܪܺܝܪܳܐܺܝܬ. ܕܫܳܡܰܥ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܠܶܟܝ ܝܰܠܕܶܟܝ ܦܰܐܝܳܐ ܒܰܣܺܝܡܳܐܺܝܬ܀
Help us fervently with prayer, martyrs (literally confessors), and expel the Evil One, since, behold, he constantly harms us. ܩܘܽܡܘ ܒܰܨܠܘܽܬܳܐ ܣܳܗ̈ܕܶܐ ܥܰܡܰܢ ܓܰܢ̱ܒܳܪܳܐܺܝܬ. ܘܰܛܪܘܽܕ ܠܒܺܝܫܳܐ ܕܗܳܐ ܡܰܐܟܶܐ ܠܰܢ ܐܰܡܺܝܢܳܐܺܝܬ܀
Call the departed and raise them by way of command, Son of God, since You are truly the Resurrection. ܩܪܺܝ ܠܥܰܢܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ ܘܰܐܩܺܝܡ ܐܶܢܘܽܢ ܦܳܩܘܽܕܐܺܝܬ. ܒܰܪ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܕܢܘܽܚܳܡܳܐ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܫܰܪܺܝܪܳܐܺܝܬ܀
To You be glory on the day of Your mother’s memorial unceasingly (lit. without repletion), Son of God, Who athletically strengthened His martyrs (lit. confessors). ܠܳܟ ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ ܒܕܘܽܟܪܳܢ ܐܶܡܳܟ ܠܳܐ ܣܰܒܥܳܐܺܝܬ. ܒܰܪ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܕܚܰܝܶܠ ܣܳܗ̈ܕܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܐܰܬܠܺܝܛܳܐܺܝܬ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – On Mary and the Departed


O blessed [Mary], come [and] be the protection of our weakness that we may live in grace with you through your prayers. ܐܳܘ ܡܝܰܩܰܪܬܳܐ ܬܳܝ ܩܘܽܡܝ ܒܰܐܦܶܝ̈ܗ݀ ܕܰܡܚܺܝܠܘܽܬܰܢ. ܘܰܒܛܰܝܒܘܽܬܳܐ ܢܺܐܚܶܐ ܥܰܡܶܟܝ ܒܰܨ̈ܠܰܘܳܬܶܟܝ܀
O holy ones, be our companions, [lacuna] mercy. Persevere in prayer and righteousness before God. ܐܳܘ ܩܰܕܺܝ̈ܫܶܐ ܗܘܰܘ ܠܰܢ ܚܰܒܪ̈ܶܐ … ܪܰܚ̈ܡܶܐ. ܩܘܽܡܘ ܒܰܨܠܘܽܬܳܐ ܘܰܒܟܺܐܢܘܽܬܳܐ ܩܕܳܡ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ܀
O departed, tomb-dwellers, be comforted. The Good News is upon you, since, behold, Resurrection is standing at the door. ܐܳܘ ܥܰܢܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ ܥܳܡܪ̈ܰܝ ܩܰܒܪ̈ܶܐ ܩܢܰܘ ܒܘܽܝܳܐܳܐ. ܣܒܰܪܬܳܐ ܥܠܰܝܟܘܽܢ ܕܗܳܐ ܢܘܽܚܳܡܐ ܒܬܰܪܥܳܐ ܩܳܐܶܡ܀
Glory be to the Father, Who chose Mary among all generations, and worship be to the Son, Whose hidden power dwells in the holy ones. ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܓܒܳܗ݀ ܠܡܰܪܝܰܡ ܡܶܢ ܟܽܠ ܫܰܪ̈ܒܳܢ. ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܚܰܝܠܶܗ ܟܰܣܝܳܐ ܫܪܶܐ ܒܩܰܕܺܝ̈ܫܶܐ܀

Early Syriac Theology With Special Reference to the Maronite Tradition


Written by Msgr. Seely Beggiani

Early Syriac Theology with Special Reference to the Maronite Tradition

Available at Amazon.com

St. Ephrem, who was proclaimed a Doctor of the Universal Church by Pope Benedict XV, and Jacob of Serugh were two of the earliest and most important representatives of the theological world-view of the Syriac Church.  A good part of their work was in the form of hymns and metrical homilies wherein theology was expressed in poetry.  This present work strives to present their insights in a systematic form according to headings used in western treatises, while not undermining the originality and cohesiveness of their thought.  The material is organized under the themes of the hiddenness of God, creation and sin, revelation, incarnation, redemption, divinization and the Holy Spirit, the Church, Mary, the mysteries of initiation, eschatology and faith.

This work notes the paradox of God’s utter mysteriousness and yet his presence in all that he has created.  The kenosis (emptying) of the Word of God is found not only in the human nature of Christ but in the finite words of Sacred Scripture. The purpose of these actions is for the divine to make itself accessible to humans. The triple descent of the Son of God into the womb of Mary, the Jordan River at his baptism, and into sheol at his death were actions directed both to redemption and divinization. The system of types and antitypes used in Sacred Scripture are employed to demonstrate the sacraments as extensions of Christ’s actions through history.

The goal of this work is to display the rich theological insights the early Syriac fathers provide to the tradition of the universal church. A second purpose of this work is to highlight the fact that the liturgical tradition of the Maronite Church, one of the Syriac Churches, is consistently and pervasively a living expression of the theology of these to Syriac church fathers.  This is done through citations from the Maronite divine liturgy, ritual, and divine office.

While monographs on specific themes in St. Ephrem and James of Serugh have been published in English and other modern languages, this work aims to present a complete overview of the theological world-view of these Syriac writers.

Balai of Qenneshrin on the Faithful Departed


May the faithful departed
who put You on through baptism
put on, in Eden,
the robe of glory.
ܥܰܢܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ ܡܗܰܝ̈ܡܢܶܐ.
ܕܠܰܒܫܘܽܟ ܒܰܥܡܳܕܳܐ.
ܢܶܬܥܰܛܦܘܽܢ ܒܰܥܕܶܝܢ.
ܐܶܣܛܰܠ ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ܀
The mouths that professed You,
ate You and drank Your blood,
shout with the angels,
“Glory be upon Your coming!”
ܦ̈ܘܽܡܶܐ ܕܰܐܘܕܺܝܘ ܒܳܟ.
ܘܰܐܟܠܘܽܟ ܘܐܶܫܬܺܝܘ ܕܡܳܟ.
ܥܰܡ ܥܺܝܪ̈ܶܐ ܢܶܩܥܘܽܢ.
ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܒܡܶܐܬܺܝܬܳܟ܀
The hands and feet
that have ministered at the altar
may they not, Lord, be burnt up
in the fire of Gehenna.
ܐܺܝ̈ܕܰܝܳܐ ܘܪ̈ܶܓܠܶܐ.
ܕܫ̈ܰܡܶܫܝ ܩܕܳܡ ܡܰܕܒܚܳܐ.
ܠܳܐ ܡܳܪܝ ܢܶܣ̈ܬܰܝܛܳܢ.
ܒܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܕܓܺܗܰܢܳܐ܀
Glory be to the Voice,
who calls the departed
so that they may rise in incorruption
and sing glory.
ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܗܰܘ ܩܳܠܳܐ.
ܕܩܳܪܶܐ ܠܥܰܢܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ.
ܘܩܳܝܡܺܝܢ ܕܠܳܐ ܚܒܳܠܳܐ.
ܘܙܳܡܪܺܝܢ ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin on a Laborer in the Vineyard of the Lord


Blessed are you, our father,
when the King reveals himself
and rewards justly every
person according to their deeds.
ܛܘܽܒܰܝܟ ܐܳܘ ܐܰܒܘܽܢ.
ܡܳܐ ܕܡܶܬܓܠܶܐ ܡܰܠܟܳܐ.
ܘܦܳܪܰܥ ܒܟܺܐܢܘܽܬܳܐ.
ܠܟܽܠܢܳܫ ܐܰܝܟ ܥܰܡܠܶܗ.
Since you labored in His vineyard
from morning till evening,
behold, a wage awaits you,
an entire denarius.
ܕܰܦܠܰܚܬ ܒܓܰܘ ܟܰܪܡܶܗ.
ܡܶܢ ܨܰܦܪܳܐ ܠܪܰܡܫܳܐ.
ܗܳܐ ܢܛܺܝܪ ܠܳܟ ܐܰܓܪܳܐ.
ܕܺܝܢܳܪܳܐ ܡܰܠܝܳܐ܀
Pray, on our behalf,
to your Lord, Who is pleased with you,
so that, through your prayer, with you,
we may rejoice in your gladness.
ܐܰܦܺܝܣ ܚܠܳܦ ܟܽܠܰܢ.
ܠܡܳܪܳܟ ܕܡܶܬܬܢܺܝܚ ܒܳܟ.
ܕܒܰܨܠܘܽܬܳܟ ܥܰܡܳܟ.
ܢܶܚܕܶܐ ܒܚܰܕܘܽܬܳܟ܀
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
Who chose you, our father.
You then triumphed and were crowned.
ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܶܗ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ.
ܘܰܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܘܪܘܽܚ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ.
ܕܰܓܒܳܟ ܐܳܘ ܐܰܒܘܽܢ.
ܘܰܢܨܰܚܬ ܘܐܶܬܟܰܠܰܠܬ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin on the Holy Martyrs


To the contest went
the holy martyrs
and against false worship battled
the glorious laborers.
ܠܰܐܓܘܽܢܳܐ ܢܚܶܬܘ ܗ̱ܘܰܘ.
ܣܳܗ̈ܕܶܐ ܩܰܕܺܝ̈ܫܶܐ.
ܘܥܰܡ ܛܘܽܥܝܰܝ ܐܰܩܪܶܒܘ.
ܦܳܠܚ̈ܶܐ ܢܰܨܺܝ̈ܚܶܐ܀
We beseech the martyrs
and entreat them earnestly
to implore with us
the Lord, who crowned them.
ܡܶܢ ܣܳܗ̈ܕܶܐ ܢܶܒܥܶܐ.
ܘܰܠܗܘܽܢ ܢܶܬܟܰܫܰܦ.
ܕܰܢܦܺܝܣܘܽܢ ܥܰܡܰܢ.
ܠܡܳܪܝܳܐ ܡܟܰܠܠܳܢܗܘܽܢ܀
They entered the contest
that is full of sufferings
and trampled every torment
by the Messiah’s love.
ܥܰܠܘ ܗ̱ܘܰܘ ܠܰܐܓܘܽܢܳܐ.
ܕܡܳܠܶܐ ܐܘܽܠܨ̈ܳܢܶܐ.
ܘܕܳܫܘ ܥܰܠ ܟܽܠ ܫܶܢ̈ܕܺܝܢ.
ܒܚܘܽܒܶܗ ܕܰܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ܀
Glory be to Him who exalted
the commemoration of His holy ones
in heaven, on earth
and in the four corners of the world.
ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܗܰܘ ܕܰܐܘܪܶܒ.
ܕܘܽܟܪܳܢ ܩܰܕܺܝ̈ܫܰܘܗ̱ܝ.
ܒܰܫܡܰܝܳܐ ܘܒܰܐܪܥܳܐ.
ܘܒܰܐܪ̈ܒܰܥ ܦܶܢ̈ܝܳܬܳܐ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin on the Holy Apostles


The disciples of the Son,
the holy apostles,
armed themselves and went out
to the four corners of world.
ܬܰܠܡܺܝ̈ܕܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܕܰܒܪܳܐ.
ܫܠܺܝ̈ܚܶܐ ܩܰܕܺܝ̈ܫܶܐ.
ܐܶܙܕܰܝܰܢܘ ܘܰܢܦܰܩܘ.
ܠܰܐܪܒܰܥ ܦܶܢ̈ܝܳܬܳܐ܀
The holy apostles
laid hold of the cross,
an unequally matched weapon,
and battled with the evil one.
ܫܠܺܝ̈ܚܶܐ ܩܰܕܺܝ̈ܫܶܐ.
ܠܰܨܠܺܝܒܳܐ ܐܶܚܰܕܘ.
ܘܙܰܝܢܳܐ ܕܠܐܳ ܚܳܐܶܒ.
ܘܰܐܩܪܶܒܘ ܥܰܡ ܒܺܝܫܳܐ܀
Blessed is the One Who chose them
and exalted their commemoration
in heaven, on earth
and in the four corners of the world.
ܒܪܺܝܟ ܕܰܓܒܳܐ ܐܶܢܘܽܢ.
ܘܰܐܘܪܶܒ ܕܘܽܟܪܳܢܗܘܽܢ.
ܒܰܫܡܰܝܳܐ ܘܒܰܐܪܥܳܐ.
ܘܒܰܐܪ̈ܒܰܥ ܦܶܢ̈ܝܳܬܳܐ܀
Remembrance to the just ones,
hope to the righteous ones,
and, to the Trinity,
worship and exaltation.
ܕܘܽܟܪܳܢܳܐ ܠܟܺܐܢ̈ܶܐ.
ܘܣܰܒܪܳܐ ܠܙܰܕܺܝ̈ܩܶܐ.
ܘܠܰܬܠܺܝܬܳܝܘܽܬܳܐ.
ܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܘܪܘܽܡܪܳܡܳܐ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin on Mary, the Martyrs and the Departed


Who is able to stop
speaking your praises,
for you bore and carried
the Hope of every creature?
ܡܰܢܘܽ ܓܶܝܪ ܡܰܘܦܶܐ.
ܕܢܺܐܡܰܪ ܩ̈ܘܽܠܳܣܰܝܟܝ.
ܕܙܰܝܶܚܬܝ ܘܰܛܥܰܢܬܺܝܘܗ̱ܝ.
ܠܣܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܟܽܠ ܒ̈ܶܪܝܳܢ܀
Who could tell
the story of your slaughters,
brave athletes,
God’s laborers?
ܡܰܢܘܽ ܡܨܶܐ ܕܢܶܬܢܶܐ.
ܫܰܪܒܳܐ ܕܩܰܛܠܰـܝ̈ܟܘܽܢ.
ܐܰܬܠܺܝ̈ܛܶܐ ܙܪ̈ܺܝܙܶܐ.
ܦܳܠܚ̈ܶܐ ܕܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ܀
Heavenly King,
by Your loving-kindness, make
the faithful departed worthy
to enter paradise.
ܡܰܠܟܳܐ ܫܡܰܝܳܢܳܐ.
ܐܰܫܘܳܐ ܒܛܰܝܒܘܽܬܳܟ.
ܠܥܰܢܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ ܡܗܰܝ̈ܡܢܶܐ.
ܕܢܶܥܠܘܽܢ ܠܦܰܪܕܰܝܣܳܐ܀
Glory be to You, our Lord,
on [the day of] the commemoration of Your mother.
Thanksgiving be to Your Cross,
that strengthened Your athletes
and to Your life-giving Spirit,
who raises the departed.
ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܡܳܪܰܢ.
ܒܕܘܽܟܪܳܢ ܝܳܠܶܕܬܳܟ.
ܘܬܰܘܕܺܝ ܠܰܨܠܺܝܒܳܟ.
ܕܚܰܝܶܠ ܠܰܐܬܠܺܝ̈ܛܰܝܟ.
ܘܰܠܪܘܽܚܳܟ ܚܰܝܳܐ.
ܡܢܰܚܶܡ ܠܥܰܢܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin on Mary (Another Hymn)


On Mt. Sinai, Moses
symbolized you,
O Virgin, Daughter of David,
as a bush, full of all graces.
ܡܘܽܫܶܐ ܒܛܘܽܪ ܣܺܝܢܰܝ.
ܒܣܰܢܝܳܐ ܡܰܬܠܶܟܝ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ.
ܒܬܘܽܠܬܳܐ ܒܰܪ̱ܬ ܕܰܘܺܝܕ.
ܡܳܠܶܝܢ ܟܽܠ ܫܘܽܦܪ̈ܺܝܢ܀
The prophet Isaiah
foretold,
“Behold! A virgin conceives
and bears a Wonder.”
ܐܶܫܰܥܝܳܐ ܢܒܺܝܳܐ.
ܩܰܕܶܡ ܐܰܟܪܶܙ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ.
ܕܗܳܐ ܒܬܘܽܠܬܳܐ ܒܳܛܢܳܐ.
ܘܝܳܠܕܳܐ ܕܘܽܡܳܪܳܐ܀
The prophet Ezekiel
called you a gate,
O Virgin, Daughter of David,
full of grace.
ܢܒܺܝܳܐ ܚܰܙܩܺܝܐܝܶܠ.
ܬܰܪܥܳܐ ܫܰܡܗܶܟܝ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ.
ܒܬܘܽܠܬܳܐ ܒܰܪ̱ܬ ܕܰܘܺܝܕ.
ܡܰܠܝܰܬ ܛܰܝܒܘܽܬܳܐ܀
Glory be to the One Who came,
appeared from Mary
and exalted her commemoration
in the Holy Church.
ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܗܰܘ ܕܶܐܬܳܐ.
ܘܰܕܢܰܚ ܡܶܢ ܡܰܪܝܰܡ.
ܘܰܐܘܪܶܒ ܕܘܽܟܳܪܳܢܳܗ݀.
ܒܥܺܕ̱ܬܳܐ ܩܰܕܺܝܫܬܳܐ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin on Mary


Mary, Daughter of David,
who would not extol you,
for all creatures
marvel at your Child?
ܡܰܪܝܰܡ ܒܰܪ̱ܬ ܕܰܘܺܝܕ.
ܡܰܢܘܽ ܕܠܳܐ ܢܩܰܠܣܶܟܝ.
ܕܟܽܠܗܘܽܢ ܒܶܪ̈ܝܳܬܳܐ.
ܒܝܰܠܕܶܟܝ ܬܰܗܺܝܪ̈ܺܝܢ܀
Virgin, who bore
the milk of mothers
and suckled the Preserver
Who nourishes all,
ܒܬܘܽܠܬܳܐ ܕܰܛܥܺܝܢܳܐ.
ܚܰܠܒܳܐ ܕܶܐܡ̈ܗܳܬܳܐ.
ܘܡܰܝܢܩܳܐ ܠܙܳܝܘܽܢܳܐ.
ܕܗܘܽܝܘܽ ܡܬܰܪܣܶܐ ܟܽܠ܀
the Church rejoices
on the day of your commemoration.
Through your prayer,
may mercies by upon the world.
ܥܺܕ̱ܬܳܐ ܕܶܝܢ ܚܳܕܝܳܐ.
ܒܝܰܘܡܳܐ ܕܕܘܽܟܪܳܢܶܟܝ.
ܒܰܨܠܘܽܬܶܟܝ ܢܶܗܘܘܽܢ.
ܪ̈ܰܚܡܶܐ ܥܰܠ ܥܳܠܡܳܐ܀
Glory be to you, our Lord,
on [the day of] Your mother’s commemoration,
in heaven, on earth
and in the four corners of the world.
ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܡܳܪܰܢ.
ܒܕܘܽܟܪܳܢ ܝܳܠܶܕܬܳܟ.
ܒܰܫܡܰܝܳܐ ܘܒܰܐܪܥܳܐ.
ܘܒܰܐܪ̈ܒܰܥ ܦܶܢ̈ܝܳܬܳܐ܀

My Vision of the Maronite Church


  • The Antiochene Syriac Maronite Church is depicted as a Cedar of Lebanon. She is founded on Christ (the cross) who is the cornerstone of all churches and she is nourished by God’s Word as found in both Testaments of the Bible. Her roots are based in Jerusalem (the mother of all Churches), Antioch, Edessa and Nisibis, and Lebanon, the See of the Maronite Patriarch.
The Family of Maron
  • For the Maronites, the Cedar of Lebanon represents Mary. In the Maronite Marian litany we find, “O Cedar of Lebanon pray for us.”
  • The cross represents Jesus, the Son of God, who freely accepted death on the cross between two thieves and was vindicated and resurrected by His Father.
  • The Maronite Church embraced Mary as her mother following Jesus’ words to his beloved disciple “Behold, your mother.” And as “from that hour the disciple took her into his home,” the Maronite faithful took Mary into their own homes. Wherever the Maronite Patriarch’s See ended up Mary was at its heart. She is the Patron Saint of every Maronite Patriarch’s chapel.
  • Maronites should return to their Syriac Heritage which is biblical. “Save me, O Lord, from the poison of the Greeks (i.e. philosophy)” uttered Saint Ephrem. The Syriac Fathers used typology in interpreting the Bible. The image of the Cross of Christ was evoked in their mind every time they read a reference to trees and wood in the Old Testament. Therefore, the Cedar of Lebanon refers to the cross.
  • The Maronite Church is a universal Church with roots extending in all continents. Her branches embrace the world as a mother embraces her children without distinction and discrimination.  Let us not forget the parable given by Christ, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches” (Mt. 13:31) The same parable is being evoked. A cedar tree, however, is used instead of a mustard tree.