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Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
#416325 09/28/16 03:23 AM
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Hello all!

I am brand new to the site and I'm very glad I found this resource. I have a question about Eastern Christianity, though not Byzantine, in regards to the public prayer of the West Syriac churches, i.e. Syriac Catholic and Syriac Orthodox. I understand that the Syro-Malankara Church and the Maronite Church (though not as obvious) are part of the same liturgical family.

1. Are the liturgies of the Syriac Catholics and the Syriac Orthodox identical?
2. Are the liturgies of the Syro-Malankara Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church identical (with the difference perhaps of Indian inculturation in the Syro-Malankara liturgy and the use of Malayalam)?
3. In regards to the Divine Office (Sh'himo), is the Office for the clergy and the laity identical? Or is the version for the laity abbreviated?
4. In regards to liturgical music for either the Divine Liturgy or the Divine Office, I understand that the foremost source is the Beth Gazo. Are its melodies standard? Or does every parish or region or country have its own melodies ?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416329 09/28/16 03:11 PM
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Christ is in our midst!!

Welcome to the forum.

That said, there are some of our members who should be able to answer your questions.

Bob
Moderator

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416333 09/29/16 11:13 AM
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Thanks for the welcome, Bob!

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416340 09/30/16 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by OpusRay
1. Are the liturgies of the Syriac Catholics and the Syriac Orthodox identical?

Unfortunately, no. The Syriac Catholic liturgy is heavily latinized. A significant difference is that the Syriac Catholic liturgy is celebrated facing the people and no curtains are used. The liturgy is also shortened.
Also, there is the use of western miters by Syriac Catholic bishops.


Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416342 09/30/16 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by OpusRay

1. Are the liturgies of the Syriac Catholics and the Syriac Orthodox identical?
Welcome to the Forum! On paper yes, in praxis no.
Quote
2. Are the liturgies of the Syro-Malankara Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church identical (with the difference perhaps of Indian inculturation in the Syro-Malankara liturgy and the use of Malayalam)?
Yes. The differences are slightly in translation, and the Thubden (Dyptichs) commemorate the Pope. The Malankara Syriac Catholic ones are usually more abbreviated (meaning, closer to the oldest forms). The Orthodox Churches added some of their saints to their Thubden, as well as use the extended Thubdens regularly.
Quote
3. In regards to the Divine Office (Sh'himo), is the Office for the clergy and the laity identical? Or is the version for the laity abbreviated?
There are no lay versions, they use the same as priests, if possible, minus incense. However, there are no official "complete" Sh'himo. They vary by region. Mardin, TurAbdin, Damascus, Pampakuda (monastery), and some Bishop's editions have slight variations. The extended Divine Office can only be used in a monastery due to it's length - the rest are all abbreviated to some extent.
Quote
4. In regards to liturgical music for either the Divine Liturgy or the Divine Office, I understand that the foremost source is the Beth Gazo. Are its melodies standard? Or does every parish or region or country have its own melodies ?
The Beth Gazo is a standard, there are regional differences. Indian versions also vary regionally.

The Syriac Catholic Liturgy's norm is to be facing East, but facing the people is certainly popular - even the Patriarch and bishops do it. It's much, much rarer among Syriac Orthodox - although not unheard of.
[Linked Image]

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416343 10/01/16 10:24 AM
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Michael_Thoma, thanks very much for the wealth of information. I started reading up on the Syriac churches after all the stories of the plight of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. It was only then that I became keenly aware of the Church in that region of the world that was neither Latin or Byzantine. As Metropolitan Kallistos Ware wrote in his classic "The Orthodox Church," "It is interesting to note how cultural and ecclesiastical divisions tend to coincide. Christianity, while universal in its mission, has been associated in practice with three cultures: Semitic, Greek, and Latin" (page 4).

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416348 10/02/16 06:10 PM
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You should attend a Syriac Liturgy.

The Syriac Catholic Eparch of Our Lady of Deliverance in based in NJ.

The St. Mary, Queen of Peace Malankara Syrian Eparchy is based in Elmont, Long Island.

There are also numerous Syriac and Malankara Orthodox parishes, both have Cathedrals in NY.

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416349 10/03/16 12:45 AM
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OpusRay, if I may recommend some reading, Sebastian Brock (if you're reading about Syriac, I'm sure you've encountered him) has written countless articles and books on the Syriac tradition and on St. Ephrem in particular. If you have not read them, his The Luminous Eye: The Spiritual World Vision of Saint Ephrem the Syrian and St. Ephrem the Syrian: Hymns On Paradise are well worth the read.

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416353 10/04/16 12:36 PM
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Michael_Thoma, thanks very much for the recommendation. I plan on attending a Syriac liturgy, either Catholic or Orthodox, soon.

MalpanaGiwargis, thanks! I've come across Prof. Brock's name multiple times in my reading so far. I just ordered "The Luminous Eye" and looking forward to reading it soon.

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416357 10/04/16 04:50 PM
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There is the indispensable West Syrian Liturgical Theology by Fr. Dr. Baby Varghese. I understand he is at work on an East Syrian Liturgical Theology.

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
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My brother, Msgr. Russo! I'm very happy to come across you here as well! I've seen Father Varghese's book referenced in a few places, but I can't seem to find a copy for purchase anywhere. I think I'll have to make a trip to the New York Public Library to look at it. I hope to see you again at Divine Liturgy at the parish one of these Sundays! --Father Raymond

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
Michael_Thoma #416365 10/06/16 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma

[Linked Image]


Thank you for posting the photo from L'église Saint-Éphrem-le-Syriaque in Paris. With its screen and curtain and the fact that the liturgy is celebrated ad orientem, this is the closest I've seen to the interior of a Syriac Catholic church looking almost like a Syriac Orthodox church.

[Linked Image]




Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
OpusRay #416387 10/12/16 09:27 AM
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Retired as of August 1. I've returned to my home eparchy (Newton) and parish (Church of the Virgin Mary). When you come to NYC let's get together!

Re: Syriac Divine Liturgy/Divine Office
Michael_Thoma #416458 10/28/16 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
Originally Posted by OpusRay

3. In regards to the Divine Office (Sh'himo), is the Office for the clergy and the laity identical? Or is the version for the laity abbreviated?
There are no lay versions, they use the same as priests, if possible, minus incense. However, there are no official "complete" Sh'himo. They vary by region. Mardin, TurAbdin, Damascus, Pampakuda (monastery), and some Bishop's editions have slight variations.


Sh'himo or Fanqitho?

Quote
The extended Divine Office can only be used in a monastery due to it's length - the rest are all abbreviated to some extent.


What does "extended" mean here?


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