Balai of Qenneshrin – On Jesus Consoling the Bereaved Woman

The widow was weeping over the bed of her only son and screaming, “With you, son, I shall go down into the grave.” However, when she reached the grave, she despaired. Suddenly, our Lord appeared and raised up her son. (See Lk 7:11-17)ܒܳܟܝܳܐ ܗ̱ܝ ܐܰܪܡܰܠܬܳܐ . ܠܥܰܪܣܳܐ ܕܺܝܚܺܝܕܳܗ݀ . ܘܩܳܥܝܳܐ ܕܥܰܡܳܟ ܒܶܪܝ . ܐܶܚܘܽܬ ܠܓܰܘ ܩܰܒܪܳܐ . ܘܡܳܐ ܕܰܡܛܳܬ ܠܩܰܒܪܳܐ . ܦܶܣܩܰܬ ܠܳܗ݀ ܣܰܒܪܳܐ . ܡܶܢܫܶܝܠ ܕܢܰܚ ܡܳܪܰܢ . ܘܰܐܚܺܝ ܠܺܝܚܺܝܕܳܗ݀ .
The Lord of the earth walked on the earth and uprooted its thorns. Consequently, the fruits of glory instead of tares began to sprout.ܗܰܠܶܟ ܒܰܐܪܥܳܐ ܡܳܪܳܗ݀ ܕܰܐܪܥܳܐ ܘܥܰܩܰܪ ܟܘܽܒܶܝ̈ܗ݀ . ܘܫܰܪܺܝܘ ܫܳܘܚܺܝܢ ܦܺܐܪ̈ܶܐ ܕܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܚܠܳܦ ܙܺܝ̈ܙܳܢܶܐ ܀
What would the mother of [the deceased] have heard her neighbors [say] except, “Woe is you! Woe is you henceforth for your bulwark had fallen!ܐܶܡܶܗ ܕܗܳܢܳܐ ܠܡܘܽܢ ܫܳܡܥܳܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܬ ܡܶܢ ܚܰܒܪ̈ܳܬܳܗ݀ . ܐܶܠܳܐ ܕܘܳܝ ܠܶܟܝ ܘܳܝ ܠܶܟܝ ܡܶܟܺܝܠ ܕܰܢܦܰܠ ܫܘܽܪܶܟܝ ܀
Sun that [lacuna] Who eclipsed you and extinguished your light? Behold! Death’s shadows encompass you from all sides.ܫܶܡܫܳܐ ܕ… ܡܰܢܘܽ ܚܰܦܝܳܟ ܘܰܐܕܥܶܟ ܢܘܽܗܪܳܟ . ܘܗܳܐ ܛܶܠ̈ܳܠܶܐ ܕܡܰܘܬܳܐ ܚܰܕܪܘܽܟ ܡܶܢ ܟܽܠ ܓܰܒܺܝ̈ܢ ܀
Behold! You were anxious to prepare a wedding feast, but death [suddenly] came and brought to nought your plans.”ܗܳܐ ܠܡܰܫܬܘܽܬܳܐ ܝܰܨܺܝܦܳܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܬ ܠܰܡܬܰܩܳܢܘܽ . ܘܶܐܬܳܐ ܡܰܘܬܳܐ ܘܒܰܛܶܠ ܐܶܢܶܝ̈ܢ ܠܰܥܒܺܝ̈ܕܳܬܳܟ ܀
Our Lord, who governs all, noticed this lamentation and desired to solace the bereaved woman, who was tormented.ܠܗܳܢܳܐ ܐܶܒܠܳܐ ܚܢܳܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܡܳܪܰܢ ܕܟܘܽܠܳܐ ܡܰܕܒܰܪ . ܘܰܨܒܳܐ ܕܢܰܪܘܰܚ ܠܰܡܓܰܙܰܝܬܳܐ ܕܰܐܠܺܝܨܳܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܬ ܀
I adore [You], Lord, for You made hope abound when there is no hope. Behold! You enriched the bereaved woman with Your gift.ܣܳܓܶܕ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܡܳܪܝ ܕܰܐܣܓܺܝܬ ܣܰܒܪܳܐ ܥܰܕ ܠܳܐ ܣܰܒܪܳܐ . ܘܗܳܐ ܐܰܥܬܰܪܬܳܗ݀ ܠܰܡܓܰܙܰܝܬܳܐ ܡܶܢ ܡܰܘܗܰܒܬܳܟ ܀
Glory be to You, Lord, who hastily went after death and rescued from it the soul that it had seized from its place.ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܡܳܪܝ ܕܪܗܶܛ ܗܰܠܶܟ ܒܳܬܰܪ ܡܰܘܬܳܐ . ܘܰܐܥܕܺܝܬ ܡܶܢܶܗ ܢܰܦܫܳܐ ܕܚܰܛܦܳܗ݀ ܡܶܢ ܐܰܦܢܺܝܬܳܗ݀ ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – On a Martyr by the Name of Theodore

When Theodore came before the judge, the king began talking to him furiously,

ܟܰܕ ܕܶܝܢ ܥܰܠ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܬܶܐܳܕܳܘܪܳܘܣ ܩܕܳܡ ܕܰܝܳܢܳܐ . ܫܰܪܺܝ ܡܰܠܟܳܐ ܢܡܰܠܶܠ ܥܰܡܶܗ ܚܰܡܬܳܢܳܐܺܝܬ ܀

“He too took fire and torched the images that were there. Consequently, the temples, images, wooden [idols] and their graven images went up in flames!”

ܫܩܰܠ ܬܘܽܒ ܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܘܰܐܘܩܶܕ ܨܰܠܡ̈ܶܐ ܕܺܐܝܬ ܗܘܰܘ ܬܰܡܳܢ . ܘܺܝܩܶܕܘ ܒ̈ܳܬܶܐ ܘܨܰܠܡ̈ܶܐ ܘܩܰܝ̈ܣܶܐ ܘܰܓܠܺܝ̈ܦܰܝܗܘܽܢ ܀

The martyr responded to the [heathen] king, “If you would throw me into the fire, I have Christ, who would deliver me.”

ܗܘܽ ܕܶܝܢ ܣܳܗܕܳܐ ܦܰܢܺܝ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܠܶܗ ܠܡܰܠܟܳܐ [ܚܰܢܦܳܐ] . ܕܬܰܪܡܺܝܢܝ ܒܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܐܺܝܬ ܠܺܝ ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ ܕܰܡܦܰܨܶܐ ܠܺܝ ܀

Glory be to the Father, who chose the martyr to become an offering, and adoration to the Son, who was well pleased by the offering of the spotless lamb.

ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܓܒܳܐ ܠܣܳܗܕܳܐ ܕܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܕܶܒܚܳܐ . ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܶܐܨܛܒܺܝ ܒܕܶܒܚܶܗ ܕܶܐܡܪܳܐ ܕܰܟܝܳܐ ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – On Jesus Sending Thomas to India

May the commemoration of [Saint] Thomas be blessings [to us] and his prayer a bulwark to our souls.ܕܘܽܟܪܳܢܶܗ ܕܬܐܘܽܡܰܐ. ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܒܘܽܪ̈ܟܳܬܳܐ. ܘܰܨܠܘܽܬܶܗ ܬܶܗܘܶܐ. ܫܘܽܪܳܐ ܠܢܰܦ̈ܫܳܬܰܢ܀
The Apostle Thomas was sent to the land of India, and Christ, his Shepherd, comforted him as a human being,ܠܰܐܬܪܳܐ ܕܗܶܢܕܘܽ ܐܶܫܬܰܕܰܪ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܬܐܘܽܡܰܐ ܫܠܺܝܚܳܐ. ܘܰܐܝ̱ܟ ܒܰܪ ܓܶܢܣܳܐ ܡܒܰܝܰܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܠܶܗ ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ ܪܳܥܝܶܗ܀
“I exalted that one [i.e., Joseph] after he interpreted the dream to the king [i.e., Pharaoh] (see Gn 41). However, I will exalt you, chosen one, after your death.”ܠܗܰܘ ܐܰܘܪܶܒܬܶܗ ܒܳܬܰܪ ܕܦܰܫܰܪ ܚܳܠܡܳܐ ܠܡܰܠܟܳܐ. ܠܳܟ ܕܶܝܢ ܓܰܒܝܳܐ ܡܰܘܪܶܒ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܒܳܬܰܪ ܡܰܘܬܳܟ܀
He also said to him, “What is it with you, Thomas? Why are you sad? [Is it] because you would not succeed [in fulfilling] your promises although they are true?”ܬܘܽܒ ܐܶܡܰܪ ܠܶܗ ܕܡܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܬܐܘܽܡܰܐ ܘܡܘܽܢ ܟܰܪܝܳܐ ܠܳܟ.ܕܰܠܫ̈ܘܽܕܳܝܰܝܟ ܠܳܐ ܟܳܫܰܪ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܟܰܕ ܫܰܪܺܝܪܺܝܢ܀
Glory be to the Father, who chose the feeble one to proclaim the Gospel, and adoration to the Son [lacuna] by the touch of His hands and side. (Jn 20, 27)ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܓܒܳܐ ܠܫܰܦܠܳܐ[?] ܕܢܰܟܪܶܙ ܣܒܰܪܬܳܐ. ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ … ܒܓܶܫܬܳܐ ܕܺܐܝ̈ܕܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܘܣܶܛܪܶܗ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – Be Compassionate to Others

My brothers, do not be deprived of mercy like the rich man who did not have pity on another human being.ܐܰܚܰܝ̈ ܠܳܐ ܬܶܗܘܘܽܢ.ܓܠܺܝ̈ܙܶܐ ܡܶܢ ܪ̈ܰܚܡܶܐ. ܐܰܝ̱ܟ ܗܰܘ ܥܰܬܝܪܳܐ. ܕܠܳܐ ܚܰܢ ܠܒܰܪ ܒܶܣܪܶܗ܀
The poor man had been lying at this [rich man’s] door. Since he did not have pity on [the poor man], [the rich man] inherited Gehenna. (See Lk 16:19-31)ܡܶܣܟܺܢܳܐ ܪܳܡܶܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ. ܥܰܠ ܬܰܪܥܶܗ ܕܗܳܢܳܐ. ܘܥܰܠ ܕܠܳܐ ܚܰܢܶܗ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ. ܝܺܪܶܬ ܓܺܝܗܰܢܳܐ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – Jesus Calming of the Storm at Sea

The Son of the Supreme Being, Whom the types of every seer [prophet?] depicted, slept on a boat and completed the types of Jonah the master.ܒܪܳܐ ܕܺܐܝܬܘܽܬܳܐ ܕܨܳܪܘ ܗ̱ܘܰܘ ܛܘܽܦ̈ܣܶܐ ܕܟܽܠ ܚ̈ܰܙܳܝܶܐ. ܕܡܶܟ ܒܰܣܦܺܝܢ̱ܬܳܐ ܘܚܰܬܶܡ ܛܘܽܦ̈ܣܶܐ ܕܪܰܒܳܐ ܝܰܘܢܳܢ܀
The disciples approached to wake up the One Who does not sleep, “Our Master, our Master, wake up, help us, for, behold, we are perishing!” (See Mt 8:23-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25)ܩܪܶܒܘ ܬܰܠܡܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ ܕܰܢܥܺܝܪܘܽܢܳܝܗ̱ܝ ܠܗܰܘ ܕܠܳܐ ܕܡܳܟܳܐ. ܪܰܒܰܢ ܪܰܒܰܢ ܩܘܽܡ ܥܰܕܰܪܰܝܢ ܕܗܳܐ ܐܳܒܕܺܝܢܰܢ܀
The men in the boat witnessed a miracle and began to say, “Who is this One Whom sea and wind obey?“ܚܙܰܘ ܬܶܕܡܘܽܪܬܳܐ ܐ̱ܢ̈ܳܫܳܐ ܕܒܶܐܠܦܳܐ ܘܫܰܪܺܝܘ ܐܳܡܪܺܝܢ. ܕܡܰܢܘܽ ܗܳܢܳܐ ܕܝܰܡܳܐ ܘܪܘܽܚܳܐ ܡܶܫܬܰܡܥܺܝܢ ܠܶܗ܀
Glory be to the Father, Who sent His Son to earthly beings, and adoration to the Son, Who, as a human being, slept on a boat.ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܫܰܕܰܪ ܠܰܒܪܶܗ ܨܶܝܕ ܬܰܚ̈ܬܳܝܶܐ. ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܰܐܝ̱ܟ ܒܰܪܢܳܫܳܐ ܕܡܶܟ ܒܰܣܦܺܝܢ̱ܬܳܐ܀

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܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – Another Hymn on Fasting

O You who fast, since you have distinctly pleased God, behold, the table of the kingdom is set before you.ܐܳܘ ܨܰܝ̈ܳܡܶܐ ܕܦܳܪܘܽܫܳܐܺܝܬ ܫܦܰܪܘ ܠܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ. ܗܳܐ ܦܳܬܘܽܪܳܐ ܕܒܶܝܬ ܡܰܠܟܘܽܬܳܐ ܣܺܝܡ ܩܘܽܕܡܰܝܟܘܽܢ܀
The one who has always loved fasting and has [always] rejoiced in it, their lives are joined to God and they delight in Him.ܐܰܝܢܳܐ ܕܰܐܚܒܶܗ ܠܨܰܘܡܳܐ ܟܽܠܙܒܰܢ ܘܶܐܬܓܰܐܺܝ ܒܶܗ. ܒܶܗ ܒܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ ܐܳܣܪܺܝܢ ܚܰܝ̈ܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܐܳܦ ܡܶܬܒܰܣܰܡ܀
The one who sustains their daily fast with God, the temporal hunger will not squash them, for God is their sustenance.ܐܰܝܢܳܐ ܕܰܣܡܺܝܟ ܥܰܠ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܒܨܰܘܡܶܗ ܟܽܠܝܘܽܡ. ܠܳܐ ܫܳܚܶܩ ܠܶܗ ܟܰܦܢܳܐ ܕܙܰܒܢܳܐ ܕܗܘܽܝܘܽ ܚܰܝ̈ܰܘܗ̱ܝ܀
May the Church worship the Father Who crowned her with the crown of fasting and her children give thanks unto the Son, who fasted for our sake.ܬܶܣܓܘܽܕ ܥܺܕ̱ܬܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܟܰܠܠܳܗ݀ ܒܰܟܠܺܝܠ ܨܰܘܡܳܐ. ܘܢܰܘܕܘܽܢ ܝ̈ܰܠܕܶܝܗ݀ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܨܳܡ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܡܶܛܽܠܳܬܰܢ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin on Jesus Entering Jerusralem

Zechariah gave a colt to his Lord who rode it. He stood and cried out to the daughter of Sion, “Receive your King.”ܙܟܰܪܝܳܐ ܝܰܗ̱ܒ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܥܺܝܠܳܐ ܠܡܳܪܶܗ ܘܰܪܟܶܒ ܥܠܰܘܗ̱ܝ. ܘܩܳܡ ܩܳܥܶܐ ܠܳܗ݀ ܠܗܳܝ ܒܰܪ̱ܬ ܨܶܗܝܘܽܢ ܕܩܰܒܶܠܝ ܡܰܠܟܶܟܝ܀
Sion says, “If He enters me, I will crucify Him.” The prophet says, “His Cross is alive. It will extirpate you.”ܐܳܡܪܳܐ ܨܶܗܝܘܽܢ ܐܶܢ ܥܳܐܶܠ ܠܺܝ ܨܳܠܒܳܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܠܶܗ. ܐܳܡܪܳܐ ܢܒܺܝܳܐ ܨܠܺܝܒܶܗ ܚܰܝܳܐ ܗܘܽ ܥܳܩܰܪ ܠܶܟܝ܀
Sion says, “Why did He ride a colt and come to me? According to the law of kings, He does not bestride a mule.”ܐܳܡܪܳܐ ܨܶܗܝܘܽܢ ܥܰܠ ܡܘܽܢ ܥܺܝܠܳܐ ܪܟܶܒ ܘܶܐܬܳܐ ܠܺܝ. ܐܰܝܟ ܢܳܡܘܽܣܳܐ ܕܡ̈ܰܠܟܶܐ ܠܳܐ ܝܳܺܬܶܒ ܥܰܠ ܟܘܽܕܰܢܝܳܐ܀
Glory to the Father, Who willed to send His Only-Begotten. Worship to the Son, Who rode a colt in the streets of Sion.ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܨܒܳܐ ܘܫܰܕܰܪ ܠܺܝܚܺܝܕܳܝܶܗ. ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܰܪܟܺܝܒ ܥܺܝܠܳܐ ܒܫ̈ܘܽܩܰܝ ܨܶܗܝܘܽܢ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – Another Hymn on Fasting

The subject of fasting stirs me to talk about it. Let everyone open the door to their ears prudently.ܫܰܪܒܶܗ ܕܨܰܘܡܳܐ ܗܳܐ ܪܳܦܶܬ ܒܺܝ ܕܰܥܠܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܐܶܡܰܪ ܆ ܢܶܦܬܰܚ ܟܽܠܢܳܫ ܬܰܪܥܳܐ ܕܶܐܕܢܰܘ̈ܗ̱ܝ ܦܳܪܘܽܫܳܐܺܝܬ ܀
Fasting is a gate, through which one enters before God. Whoever does not love it, their prayers are always in vain.ܨܰܘܡܰܐ ܗ̱ܘ ܬܰܪܥܳܐ ܕܒܶܗ ܥܳܐܶܠ ܐ̱ܢܳܫ ܨܶܝܕ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܆ ܘܰܕܠܳܐ ܪܰܚܡܶܗ ܨܠܘܽܬܶܗ ܟܽܠܫܳܥ ܗܳܐ ܒܰܛܺܝܠܳܐ ܀
Immoral acts would never be committed by a person who loved fasting, for it expels a vile life from parts of the body.ܓܰܘܪܳܐ ܡܶܡܬܘܽܡ ܒܰܐܝܢܳܐ ܕܪܰܚܡܶܗ ܠܳܐ ܡܶܫܬܰܡܰܫ ܆ ܕܚ̈ܰܝܶܐ ܫܟܺܝܪ̈ܶܐ ܛܳܪܶܕ ܨܰܘܡܳܐ ܡܶܢ ܗܰܕܳܡ̈ܶܐ ܀
Glory to the Father, Who gave us fasting, for it is holy. Worship to the Son, Who, through His fasting, paid our debts.ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܝܰܗ̱ܒ ܠܰܢ ܨܰܘܡܳܐ [ܕܗܘܽܝܘܽ] ܩܰܕܺܝܫ ܆ ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܰܒܝܰܕ ܨܰܘܡܶܗ ܦܪܰܥ ܚܰܘ̈ܒܳܬܰܢ ܀
ܦܪܰܥ ܚܰܘ̈ܒܳܬܰܢ܀

Early Syriac Theology With Special Reference to the Maronite Tradition

Early Syriac Theology with Special Reference to the Maronite Tradition
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Short Biography

Seely Beggiani

Chorbishop Seely Beggiani, S.T.D. was Rector of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary from 1968 to 2013, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America from 1967 to 2014. He has researched and written on a variety of subjects including systematic theology, Maronite Church history, Maronite liturgy, Syriac theology, and Eastern Christian Spirituality.

His doctoral dissertation at The Catholic University of America in 1963 is entitled: The Relations of the Holy See and the Maronites from the Papacy of Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585) to the Synod of Mount Lebanon in 1736. His book, Early Syriac Spirituality: with special reference to the Maronite Tradition, was published by Catholic University Press in 2014. Among his published articles during the past 50 years are: “A Case for Logocentric Theology,” Theological Studies 32 (1971): 371-46, “Theology at the Service of Mysticism: Method in Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite,” Theological Studies 57 (1996): 201-23, “The Typological Approach of Syriac Sacramental Theology,” Theological Studies 64 (2003): 543-557, and “The Incarnational Theology and Spirituality of John the Solitary of Apamea,” Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 21.2 (2018):391-421. In retirement, Chorbishop Beggiani is preparing a manuscript for publication entitled: “A Thematic Introduction to Syriac Spirituality.” He continues to offer courses in Maronite and Syriac studies at the Maronite Seminary and to offer lectures to various audiences.


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 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 ܕܩܰܛܠܰܝ̈ܟܘܽܢ ܆ 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 ܒܰܪܬ 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 ܒܰܪܬ 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 ܕܘܽܟܳܪܳܢܳܗ̇ ܆ ܒܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܩܰܕܺܝܫܬܳܐ ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin on Mary

Mary, Daughter of David, who would not extol you, for all creatures marvel at your Child?ܡܰܪܝܰܡ ܒܰܪܬ ܕܰܘܺܝܕ ܆ ܡܰܢܘܽ ܕܠܳܐ ܢܩܰܠܣܶܟܝ ܆ ܕܟܽܠܗܘܽܢ ܒܶܪ̈ܝܳܬܳܐ ܆ ܒܝܰܠܕܷܟܝ 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.ܥܺܕܬܳܐ 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 ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin on the Cross

Leap for joy and rejoice, Church, and sing praise
to the power of the cross, for it is carrying your foundation so that the evil one could not conceal your truth.
ܕܘܽܨ ܘܰܚܕܺܝ ܥܺܕܬܳܐ ܆ ܘܰܙܡܰܪܝ ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ ܆ ܠܚܰܝܠܶܗ ܕܰܨܠܺܝܒܳܐ ܆ ܕܗܘܽ ܛܥܺܝܢ ܫܶܬܶܣܰܝܟ̈ܝ ܆ ܕܠܳܐ ܡܶܬܡܨܶܐ ܒܺܝܫܳܐ ܆ ܢܚܰܦܶܐ ܠܰܫܪܳܪܶܟܝ ܀
In Your Cross, I take refuge, our Savior.
By its wings, protect me from the evil one and his power. May Your Cross, our Savior, be for us a bulwark night and day, and at all times.
ܒܰܨܠܺܝܒܳܟ ܐܶܚܕܶܬ ܆ ܓܰܘܣܳܐ ܦܳܪܘܽܩܰܢ ܆ ܒ̈ܟܶܢܦܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܣܰܬܰܪܰܝܢܝ ܆ ܡܶܢ ܒܺܝܫܳܐ ܘܚܰܝܠܶܗ ܆ ܨܠܺܝܒܳܟ ܦܳܪܘܽܩܰܢ ܆ ܫܘܽܪܳܐ ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܰܢ ܆ ܒܠܺܠܝܳܐ ܘܒܺܐܝܡܳܡܳܐ ܆ ܘܰܒܟܽܠ ܥܶܕܳܢ̈ܺܝܢ ܀
May your Cross, Lord, become a bulwark and a house of refuge for the souls who are invoking Your Holy name. We are calling you, Messiah, our Savior. Have mercy on our lives and do not disregard us.ܨܠܺܝܒܳܟ ܡܳܪܝ ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܆ ܫܘܽܪܳܐ ܘܒܶܝܬܓܰܘܣܳܐ ܆ ܠܢܰܦ̈ܫܳܬܳܐ ܕܩܳܪ̈ܶܝܢ ܆ ܠܰܫܡܳܟ ܩܰܕܺܝܫܳܐ ܆ ܠܳܟ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܩܳܪܶܝܢܰܢ ܆ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ ܦܳܪܘܽܩܰܢ ܆ ܪܰܚܶܡ ܥܰܠ ܚ̈ܰܝܰܝܢ ܆ ܘܠܳܐ ܬܶܗܡܶܐ ܡܶܢܰܢ ܀
Praise is due to Your justice, eternal Father. Adoration is due to Your Cross, merciful Child. Thanksgiving is due to Your mercy, compassionate Spirit.ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܟܺܐܢܘܽܬܳܟ ܆ ܐܰܒܳܐ ܡܬܘܽܡܳܝܳܐ ܆ ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܨܠܺܝܒܳܟ ܆ ܝܰܠܕܳܐ ܡܪܰܚܡܳܢܳܐ ܆ ܬܰܘܕܺܝ ܠܰܚܢܳܢܳܟ ܆ ܪܘܽܚܳܐ ܡܪܰܚܦܳܢܳܐ ܀