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܀
Fornication 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܀

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 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܀