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Author Topic: Are these Syrian prayers?  (Read 869 times) Average Rating: 0
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The young fogey
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« on: November 19, 2003, 02:26:37 PM »

A blog reader e-mailed me a link to a vagante site, where I found links to these beautiful prayers, many of which mirror Eastern Orthodox rhetoric.

My questions to the Oriental Orthodox and the scholars here are:

Are these authentic Syrian-rite prayers? If not, how are they different?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2003, 02:27:11 PM by Serge » Logged

Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2003, 05:05:25 PM »

Dear Serge,

Thanks for the link to the interesting site!  

A brief perusal of a few items on the site (Saint James, the Vespers prayers, etc.) shows me that they are indeed Syrian rite prayers, although in some instances there are abbreviations (e.g., during the diptychs sung during the Liturgy, which are supposed to be much longer than you see on this page), and in other places, borrowings from Byzantine rite usages (e.g., the final blessing of the Anaphora of Saint Basil, which is not how it is done in our churches).  I cannot comment on things like the rites of ordination because I am not all that familiar with them.  

For legitimate liturgical prayers of the Syrian rite, try:

http://sor.cua.edu/Liturgy/Anaphora/index.html
http://sor.cua.edu/Liturgy/SimplePrayer/index.html  

I am sure that comparing these prayers to the prayers found on Rik Turner's site (I'm presuming that it is his site) will be helpful to you.  In any case, the prayers at SOR are official texts of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2003, 07:32:27 PM »

Many thanks, Phil. They seemed authentic.

What fascinated me was their order for morning and evening prayer strongly resembles what I do and what the Anglican BCP does. IIRC they go through the psalter in a month using two offices a day.

Is that really Syrian-rite practice or is it these people's own creation?
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2003, 08:33:22 PM »

I think it is their own creation.  The structure of the Office in the Syrian rite makes use of fixed Psalms (50, 140, 141, a section of 118, and 116 for Vespers, 90 and 120 for Compline, 133, a section of 118, and 116 for the beginning of the Midnight Vigil, 132, 148, 149, and 150 for the Fourth Watch of the Vigil, and 50, 62, 18, 112, 148, 149, and 150 for Matins [LXX numbering]) but there is no place in it for reciting the whole Psalter in, say, a week, like most other Orthodox rites.  There is nothing like the  kathismata assigned to offices on particular days of the week, for example.  I don't think there is any problem in adding this to the celebration of the Office in private, or in public for that matter, but it is not strictly a part of it (although it is most probably an encouraged practice, and something that the monks, at least, probably do).
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