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Coincidentally, I have just received be interlibrary loan a copy of _The Book of Common Prayer of the Antiochian Syrian Church_, translated by Bede Griffiths (New York: John XXIII Center, Fordham University, n. d. [1970]), xv + 356 pp. There is a great deal of beauty and profundity in the Syrian rites, all three of them. The Assyrian-Chaldean Rite is conservative in relying heavily on Biblical psalmody; in the West-Syrian Rite, there is more of an overlay of ecclesiastical poetry. It would be a fine thing if we had complete English version of the liturgical books of all the Eastern rites, but as we are not yet quite there (although now closing in) for the Byzantine Rite, it is not surprising that coverage of the other Eastern rites remains spotty.

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Wow, one Indian leaves and two replace him. Not bad, Byzcath, not bad. :p

I was lurking, saw this post, and had to respond. Acharya's Prayer with the Harp of the Spirit was given to me by none other than Dr. Alex Roman; for his gift, I have been most grateful.

Vols. 2-4 are the only translation of the Phanqitho into English of which I am aware. I haven't done a careful examination to check on the accuracy of the texts vis a vis the Malayalam, but in many places the services are abbreviated, in others hymns are replaced by substitutions derived from other sources, and in still others the Monastery wrote up stuff from scratch. While this works in the context of a given monastic community (and I don't think these books pretend to be anything other than the service books of a particular monastery), it doesn't always accurately reflect the texts of the offices of the West Syrian Church (one is referred to the notes in the back of each volume to learn more). With that understanding, the books are pretty good, can definitely be incorporated into private prayer, and I've even heard that portions have been used on feast days in order to use more English (particularly when it comes to the Proemions and Sedros).

Vol. 1 is another story. It is supposed to be a translation/adaptation of the Sh'himo, the daily offices for each day of the week (unlike the Byzantine system, which has eight tones, and consequently eight different sets of texts for each tone, the Syrian system has eight tones, and one set of texts which can be sung in all eight tones). Many more liberties were taken with this volume, since this is the one most often used (the other volumes are mainly for Sundays and feasts). Much material was omitted entirely. Other hymns appear in a translation different from the one originally done by Griffiths. A bit of "Indianisation" was done to existing texts, and Hindu religious texts with Christian allusions were incorporated alongside the Orthodox hymnography. Again, this was meant for the use of a particular monastery, not as something proposed for the use of the Church at large, so it is understandable to an extent, and the changes are duly explained in essays preceding the text, and footnotes after it. I would not use this, but rather I have begun to use the Griffiths translation, recently republished by Gorgias Press, referenced above. This is a faithful, prose translation of the Syriac text. SEERI is rumoured to be publishing a Sh'himo, with Griffiths' translation on one side, and the Syriac text on the other. I can't wait!

If one has Harp and can't afford Griffiths, I would use the former, but would be discriminating about what texts I used from Vol. 1. If one can afford both, use Griffiths plus Vols. 2-4 of Acharya, and put Vol. 1 away on the bookshelf.

My prayers for all of you, my friends, for a blessed Christmas season and a happy 2006.

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Brother Mor,
Why confine your wisdom and wit to a few forums, let it flow to many... wink

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Originally posted by Deacon Lance:
Alex,

I am glad I could be helpful. Prayers for success in making the Office part of your prayer life. If you have time please post an outline of the East Syrian Morning and Evening Prayer.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Dear Fr. Deacon Lance,

I feel indebted to your prayers, because they seem to have worked very well! smile When I first started to pray the East Syrian Hours, they "tasted" to me like olive oil and honey. That is perhaps a strange image, but I'm not joking -- the prayers tasted like honey and olive oil. That's how good they felt!

So, at long last, here is my outline of Evening, Night, and Morning Liturgies. All days start with sunset, as in the Hebrew tradition, which is why I use that order.

First, one general observation: The 150 Psalms, plus several Old Testament prayers, form the Dawidaja' ("David's book"). The Dawidaja' is divided into 20 Hullale and subdivided into 60 Marmijata'. Two or three psalms form one Marmita', and two or three Marmijata' form one Hullala'. Unfortunately, only the first 75 psalms (and none of the Old Testament hymns) were included in this translation � in order to save space. This wouldn't be so bad (because I can find the psalms in any Bible), but in the Dawidaja', there is a Qanona or antiphon at the beginning and end of every psalm. These are traditionally ascribed to the Patriarch Mar Abba (+536), and I wish I knew what the Qanone' are for the other 75 psalms. Also, because half of the Dawidaja' is left out of this translation, the order of psalms for each particular hour must differ from a more traditional ordering.

Now, the outlines:

Ramsa (Evening Liturgy)
  • Opening
  • Seraphic Hymn ("Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name; / Your kingdom come; / holy, holy, holy are You. / Our Father in heaven, / heaven and earth are full of the grandeur of Your glory. / Angels and men cry out, / holy, holy, holy, are You.")
  • Our Father
  • Seraphic Hymn
  • Prayer
  • Psalm of the Day
  • Prayer
  • Hymn of Incensing (only on Sundays and Feast days)
  • Prayer
  • Thuyai ("Lord of all, we give thanks to You; / Jesus Christ we glorify You. / You give life to our bodies / and salvation to our souls." I learned only yesterday that according to one tradition, Golgotha stood over the place where Adam was buried, and when the blood of Jesus fell upon Adam, he revived, and this is the hymn of praise that he sang!)
  • Prayer
  • Onita da-Qdam (a hymn that varies according to the season)
  • Prayer
  • Psalm 140(141):1-6
  • Psalm 141(142):1-6
  • Psalm 118(119):105-110
  • Psalm 116(117)
  • Prayer
  • Onita d-Batar (a hymn that varies according to the season)
  • Prayer
  • Trisagion (I very much like this translation, because it has good rhythm: "Holy, holy, holy God, / holy, holy, mighty One, / holy and immortal One, / Lord, have mercy on us all."
  • Prayer
  • Evangalion (the Gospel reading from the Qurbana of the day)
  • Karozuta I (karozuta is a kind of litany)
  • Karozuta II
    (In the Great Fast, Karozuta I is replaced by 2 longer karozutas, and Karozuta II become Karozuta III.)
  • Blessing Prayer
  • Onita d-Basilique (a hymn that varies according to the season Yes folks, the name struck me as interesting too. Apparently, this is the "Royal Anthem", which "happened to be related to the welcome accorded to the Emperor in the Byzantine tradition". Wow...)
  • Prayer (this one varies with the season, day of the week, saint's days, etc.)
  • Surraya (a portion of a psalm that varies according to the season)
  • Seraphic Hymn
  • Our Father
  • Seraphic Hymn
  • Prayer
  • Blessing
  • Huttamma (Sealing Blessing)


Lelja (Night Liturgy)
  • Opening
  • Seraphic Hymn
  • Our Father
  • Seraphic Hymn
  • Prayer
  • Marmita (in the night liturgy, the Dawidaja' is read through sequentially; if Marmita 4 is read tonight, Marmita 5 will be read tomorrow, etc.)
  • Prayer
  • Onita' d-Lelja' (a hymn that varies according to the season)
  • B-Endan (a fixed hymn)
  • Prayer
  • Subbaha (a portion of a psalm or canticle that varies according to the season)
  • Tesbohta (a hymn of praise that varies according to the season)
  • Engarta (the Epistle from the Qurbana of the day)
  • Karozuta (this litany varies with the season)
  • Prayer


You will notice that the night liturgy does not end with the Our Father and a Sealing Blessing, and that the morning liturgy does not begin with the Our Father. This is because at one point, the two were joined together. Now, however, the two are again prayed separately, and this has resulted in something that I find quite marvelous. Quoting from the Introduction:
Quote
"Today, as they are celebrated in night before retiring to sleep and at dawn as one gets out of sleep, the bodily rest and sleep come in between the Night and Morning Liturgy. The bodily rest and sleep are in fact a sign and symbol in the light of faith. They are the signs of eternal rest that we expect at the end of our pilgrimage on this earth. This vision of the Thomas Christians which has even changed the bodily rest and sleep in night to become part of their liturgical celebration is indeed something unique. It is the rest in the Lord."
Blessed sleep! Sanctified slumber! Liturgical rest! I love the idea that, by being sandwiched between the night and morning prayers, sleep itself becomes a part of the liturgy and a form of prayer itself!

Sapra (Morning Liturgy) for Sundays and Feast Days
  • Prayer
  • Psalm 100
  • Prayer
  • Psalm 91
  • Prayer
  • Psalm 104:1-14
  • Prayer
  • Psalm 93
  • Psalm 150
  • Psalm 116(117)
  • Prayer
  • Onita d-Sapra (a hymn that varies according to the season and the day of the week)
  • Mariam Bsulta (a fixed hymn; only the first part is sung on Sundays and Feast Days)
  • Prayer
  • Mar Aprem's hymn, whose stanzas begin with the letters of ISOH MISIHA (Thuyai)
  • Another Thuyai (hymn of praise, I think)
  • Hymn of the Three in Furnace (Thuyai -- from the Book of Daniel)
  • Prayer
  • Tesbohta (a hymn of praise; here the Tesbohta is the Gloria)
  • Prayer
  • Trisagion
  • Seraphic Hymn
  • Our Father
  • Seraphic Hymn
  • Prayer
  • Blessing
  • Blessing
  • Huttamma (Sealing Blessing)


Sapra (Morning Liturgy) for Ferial Days
  • Prayer
  • Psalm 100
  • Prayer
  • Psalm 91
  • Prayer
  • Psalm 104:1-14
  • Psalm 148:1-13
  • Psalm 150
  • Psalm 116(117)
  • Prayer
  • Thuyai (this is the same one as in the evening prayer, which Adam is reputed to have sung)
  • Prayer
  • Psalm 51:3-6 (in the Great Fast, verses 3-21)
  • Prayer
  • Tesbohta (B-Endan Sapra, a fixed hymn of praise, though not the same as the B-Endan in the night prayer)
  • Prayer
  • Trisagion
  • Seraphic Hymn
  • Our Father
  • Seraphic Hymn
  • Prayer
  • Onita d-Sapra (a hymn that varies according to the season and the day of the week)
  • Mariam Bsulta (a longer version of the hymn sung in the morning prayer for Sundays and Feast Days)
  • Prayer
  • Blessing
  • Huttamma (Sealing Blessing)


And, I am afraid that I cannot add much more than this, as it would get too complicated. Suffice it to say that I very much enjoy being able to pray (this limited version of) the "'Divine Praises' according to the East Syriac or Chaldeo-Indian Liturgical Heritage".

Thank you all, and especially Fr. Deacon Lance!


Yours in the Peace of Christ,
Alex NvV

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I have lying around somehwhere a Hebrew/Chaldean lexicon. How similar are they really? This is basically a hebrew book, that shows the lineage of words in the Hebrew Bible. I've often wonderd how similar they are..how would I go at a Chaldean liturgy if I have some Hebrew?

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Alex,

Olive oil and honey, excellent and not strange metaphors at all. St. Francis of Assisi and others used the honey metaphor. I am glad to hear of your success. Praying and enjoying the Divien Office is a great blessing. Thank you for posting the outlines.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Originally posted by Chaldean-rite Mar Thoma Catholic:
in the Dawidaja', there is a Qanona or antiphon at the beginning and end of every psalm. These are traditionally ascribed to the Patriarch Mar Abba
BTW, today is in fact the Memorial of Catholicos Mar Abba the Great. I don't actually know whether the two Mar Abbas are the same, but I'm guessing they are.

Mar Abba, pray for us! (Even if we disagreed about Christology when you were on this earth, we now believe that these disagreements were based on misunderstandings. I am sure you would agree.) Pray especially for the several Churches of the East Syrian tradition. Amen.


Peace,
Alex

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Over two years ago, I posted an outline of the Liturgy of the Hours in the tradition of the Church of the East (see above). This was according to Bless the Lord: The "Divine Praises" according to the East Syriac or Chaldeo-Indian Liturgical Heritage, by Prof. Varghese Pathikulangara, CMI. Not long after I purchased Bless the Lord, I bought a copy of East Syrian Daily Offices, translated from the Syriac and edited by Arthur John Maclean (originally published in 1894 and reprinted in 2003 by Gorgias Press).

I'm sorry I haven't had the time to revise my original outline earlier, but let's just say that Fr. Pathikulangara has shortened his edition quite a bit -- which has (I hope) made the East Syrian Liturgy of the Hours more accessible to the average Syro-Malabar layperson. For the sake of accuracy, however, I'm providing here the outline that Maclean includes in the introduction to his (much fuller) translation of the original Syriac texts:

Evening Service:
  • Glory be to God, etc. Kiss of peace. Lord's prayer, farced [i.e., placed between ("farced" with) what I called the "Seraphic Hymn" in my original outline].
  • Evening collect, different for (a) Sundays and festivals of our Lord ('feasts'); (b) saints' days ('memorials') and ferias.
  • First Marmitha (psalms), different for (a) the various days of the week, one for each; (b) for memorials falling on Fridays; (c) for other memorials; (d) for feasts and Sundays, Advent to Epiphany; (e) for other feasts and Sundays.
  • Second Marmitha, ferias only, varying with the day of the week.
  • Collect, (a) Sundays and feasts; (b) memorials (not ferias).
  • Prayer of incense, said by all, farced (not ferias; on feasts five times, on Sun. and mem. thrice).
  • Collect of the censer (not ferias).
  • Lakhumara (ascription of praise, said by all), farced, with collect preceding and following.
  • First Shuraya (short psalm), varies (a) on ferias with the day of the week, and according as the week is 'before' or 'after'; and (b) with the number of the Sunday in each Shawu'a (division of the year) (not feasts and memorials).
  • First Anthem, (a) varies on ferias as first Shuraya; (b) is fixed for Sundays (not said in the fast).
  • Fixed collect, four invariable psalms [141, 142, 119:105-112, 117], and another fixed collect.
  • Second Shuraya, varies as the first.
  • Second Anthem, varies as the first.
  • Karozutha (Litany) in two parts, said by the deacon, with special suffrages [i.e., petitions] on Sundays, feasts, and memorials.
  • Fixed collect. Deacon's interjection. Holy God, said by all, farced with Gloria. Collect, (a) Sundays and feasts; (b) memorials and ferias. Deacon's interjection, etc.
  • Suyakhi (additional psalms), with two collects, feasts and memorials only.
  • Collect, (a) feasts; (b) Sundays and ferias.
  • Royal Anthem (Sundays, feasts, memorials), proper for the day, the last two verses being the same for each Sunday of a Shawu'a; or Evening Anthem (ferias), varying according to season, or only according to the day of the week.
  • Collect, (a) on ferias fixed, but distinct ones for Wed. and Fri.; (b) on Sundays, etc., proper to season or day.
  • Letter psalm (portion of cxix.) (M., T., Th., Sa.), or Third Shuraya (Sun., W., F., feasts, mem.), varying according to day or week on ferias, and according as week is 'before' or 'after'; otherwise according to season.
  • Lord's Prayer, farced [with the "Seraphic Hymn"]. Two fixed collects.
  • Suba'a (Compline), on memorials and in the fast, with one collect preceding and two following.
  • Martyr's Anthem (in practice, ferias only), one for each day of the week, and two collects.
  • One or more fixed collects for help, according to the number of priests present, one for each; three fixed collects; Blessing, Kiss of peace, and Nicene Creed.

Night Service:
  • Glory be to God, etc. Kiss of peace. Lord's prayer, farced. Deacon's interjection.
  • Collect (a) Sundays and feasts; (b) ferias and memorials, and two fixed collects, with response after each of the three.
  • The Psalms (one-third of the psalter on ferias and Sundays, one-seventh on memorials, the whole on feasts), with appropriate collects. On feasts, the psalms are said in three portions, with parts of the Motwa between, and a proper Canon, Tishbukhta, and Karuzutha, with collects and Madrasha (doctrinal hymn).
  • Qaltha (short psalm), on days when the liturgy is to be said, preceded by fixed collect (but not feasts and memorials).
  • Collect, (a) Sundays; (b) feasts and memorials; (c) ferias.
  • The Motwa (anthem sung sitting) varies with the season and day, except on Wednesdays, when special anthems are said, one for weeks 'before', one for weeks 'after', but the ending is the same for both weeks. On other ferias the last verse is invariable.
  • Proper collect, Canon, Tishbukhta on memorials; on Sundays collect of the season, three fixed Tishbukhyatha.
  • Proper Karuzutha and Madrasha, with collects (Sun., mem.).
  • Suyakhi (two additional hulali), on Sundays, with collects.
  • Qali d'Shahra, and additional hulala on Sundays, feasts, and memorials (as noted in Geza), with collects prefixed to each Marmitha.
  • Night Anthem, with collects (Sun., feasts, mem.) proper for day, the two last verses on Sundays being invariable.
  • Collect and Shubakha (short psalm, proper for the day), on Sundays only; collect and Canon (proper for the day), on feasts and memorials; collect and Shubakha, on ferias, one for each week-day.
  • Tishbukhta, on Sundays fixed; on feasts proper; on memorials as on ferial Fridays; on ferias, one for each week-day.
  • Karuzutha, (a) Sun., feasts, mem. and in the fast in the 'weeks of the mysteries; (b) ferias. On some days a special Karuzutha is appointed.

Morning Service:
  • Two collects, (a) Sun., feasts, mem.; (b) ferias.
  • Nine fixed psalms [100, 91, 104:1-15, 113, 93, 148, 149, 150, 117], with three collects, two of which are different on ferias and Sundays, feasts, memorials. The psalms are farced more simply on ferias than on other days.
  • Collect and Morning Anthem proper for day, with last verses invariable (Sun., feasts, mem.); collect and Lakhumara (ferias).
  • Collect and Ps. li. 1-18 (ferias).
  • Collect and fixed Tishbukhta (a) Sun., mem., feasts; (b) ferias. No collect on ferias.
  • Another Tishbukhta (Sun., feasts, mem.).
  • Benedicite (Sun., feasts, mem.).
  • Collect and Gloria in Excelsis (Sun., feasts), or collect of the season and proper Tishbukhta (mem.)
  • Collect, (a) Sundays and feasts; (b) memorials; (c) ferias.
  • Deacon's interjection, and Holy God, said by all (farced); Lord's prayer (farced). Kiss of peace (not ferias?).
  • Two collects, (a) Sundays and feasts; (b) memorials and ferias, with an extra collect on Sundays when the Martyrs' Anthem is said.
  • The Martyrs' Anthem. one for each morning of the week (in practice, ferias only).
  • Two fixed Morning Anthems (ferias).
  • Two collects when the Martyrs' Anthem has been said.
  • One or more fixed collects for help, and the rest as at the Evening Service.

I'm sorry that's so complicated and hard to read (especially with all the Syriac terms). I just wanted to give a more accurate picture of what the East Syrian Liturgy of the Hours is (supposed to be) like.


Peace,
Alex NvV

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