Monday, October 31, 2022

Met Antonios (el-Souri): Pastoral Concerns: Revival

 Arabic original here.

Pastoral Concerns: Revival

"That the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!" (Numbers 11:29)

The Church is the people of God and the New Israel. She is the new creation in Christ Jesus the incarnate Son of God. Every member in the body of Christ shares what belongs to Christ from God the Father "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me" (John 17:8). Jesus gave us the commandment that is from the Father and this commandment is the path of eternal life for the believer: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68).

Revival is the believer's repentance, his return to the Church, that is, to his life as a member in the body of Christ. Every member in the body has a role and the roles of the members compliment each other in coordinating the building-up of the body, so that all may be in the fullness of the stature of Christ.

The baptized Christian acquires three attributes from Christ the Lord, because in baptism he puts on Christ and so becomes one anointed for God, that is, a king, a prophet and a priest. Revival is our living our sonship to God in the attributes of the only-begotten incarnate Son which we have been given on the day we were born from the baptismal font.

*     *     *

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).

The role of the believer is to "proclaim the virtues" of the One who has enlightened his life with the truth that is in divine love. The virtues are none other than the attributes of God which the believer must live by the power of the One who raised him up from the old man to life in the true new man, the New Adam.

One who does not revive constantly from oldness to newness and from death to life by living in the new humanity that is in Christ Jesus risen from the dead and glorified at the right hand of the Father does not belong to Christ.

The believing Christian cannot but be in constant, continuous revival because he is a child of the divine commandment and constantly moves forward in renewing the mind, thought and heart, reaching toward Christ by emptying himself of everything that is attached to something other than Him in order to remain chaste and faithful to the divine Bridegroom.

A person revives and becomes an evangelist of truth and life when his mind and heart are changed and when his life and priorities are turned around. His purpose with everything comes to be that God be glorified because the glory of God is the life of man according to the image of Christ. A revivalist is one who combats his passions, uncovers them, lays them bare and fights them in order for his nature to be purified and liberated from any other nature contrary to the man Jesus Christ.

Therefore, revival is a movement of prophecy that starts in the heart "to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). That is, to destroy the idols that possess man and to build him up as a temple of God's Word.

There is no revival without the divine word being sown in the heart and without it being watered with the tears of repentance that are from the grace of the Holy Spirit. The word is not sown in earth that is not good or on cultivated earth. The earth must be cleansed, tilled and everything in it must be removed. This is repentance.

Thus the revival starts with repentance, that is, with self-knowledge, and self-knowledge is achieved by familiarity with the divine word, which is "living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

The spirit of prophecy flows out upon those who are in Christ in the Holy Spirit and therefore it purifies one upon whom it is poured out, first so that he may see by the uncreated light his true reality and know the path that he must follow and die to everything that is not from Jesus in order to seek Jesus in every soul that breathes. There is no revival without prayer "without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17), that is, without mad devotion to God.

*     *     *

Beloved children, we are all called to be in the image of Christ and to live by His Spirit, because if we follow another path, we lose our salvation since at that point we are living for ourselves, "for 'who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?' But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Revival is for us to know the Lord through our knowing His mind first, that is, through our being inspired by His word and being nourished by it to fullness. Then we enter through the mystery of the word into the mystery of the Spirit and become speakers of the word of the Spirit, which purifies us and creates us anew in the birth of constant repentance until God Himself speaks in us and we become His word to the world, which does not come back to Him empty, but accomplished what pleases Him and prospers in the thing for which He sends it (cf. Isaiah 55:11). "Seek the Lord while He may be found,call upon Him while He is near..." (Isiah 55:6).


Metropolitan of Zahle, Baalbek and their Dependencies

Met Antonios (el-Souri): Holiness at a Time when Uncleanness is Made Legal

 Arabic original here.

Holiness at a Time when Uncleanness is Made Legal

"For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness." (Romans 6:19)

In the 20th century, between the end of the 60s and beginning of the 70s movements of sexual liberation began and the idea of a "sexual revolution" started to spread. During the 60s broad changes started to occur in Western societies, particularly society's attitude toward sex, which aimed to "liberate" sex from predominant religious, social and ethical constraints, leading to new legislation about the sexual behavior of an individual in society, much of which is still in effect today.

These movements and legislation led to various issues and tendencies in different societies, among them sexual liberty regardless of whether a person is married or not, contraception and birth control pills, public nudity, the homosexual liberation movement, demands for the freedom to choose abortion, women's rights, the women's liberation movement or feminism, etc... The new sexual freedoms that were legislated and promoted were exploited by large financial and commercial investments seeking to exploit society for material gain and to spread ideas associated with the sexual revolution. An example of this is the fact that pornographic and obscene materials have started to appear in the open. With development in media and social media, everything connected to sex has come to be exploited for greater commerce and profit. The most important and most dangerous thing is that it has become easy to market and obtain through the use of modern technology such as smartphones, etc.

*     *     * 

What is called "civilization" today is based on what is called "human rights", which make licit corruption and the corruption of morals with regard to God's commandment. In many countries of the world, this has introduced new legislation permitting homosexuality, abortion and sexual relations outside of marriage... All of this is on the basis of the belief in man's right to do what he wills since everything is relative and that he can live as he wants on a personal level and no one has any authority over him with regard to his individual choices, since his body is his property... or so they argue.

Making such things licit is none other than man's return to paganism and submission to animal, impulsive nature, which was unrestrained before the Law. The devil has mastery over the world through lust (for money, authority, sex) and the great catastrophe that destroys humanity in the name of humanity is permitting man's submission to the lust that corrupts the image of God that is in him in the name of the freedom of his will, this lust that man can make into an art by amplifying it and taking pleasure in it to a degree without any limit apart from man's utter collapse, since he is a rational being with a free will. God does not constrain man's freedom, even if he commits error, sin or crime, because He will judge him for what he does, on the basis of the faith he embraces, by right of love and the blood of the Son of God which was shed for the life of the world, because out of love He wants us to come to Him since we have known Him. Man defines his relationship with God: either he is someone who wants to be a son, and therefore returns in repentance to his loving and tender Father or he comes to be under the Law since he lives in rejection of the Lord's Messiah.

*     *     *

Beloved, do not be deceived or dazzled by the lights of 'false truth' that Satan promotes in the name of reason, freedom, progress, civilization and culture... These are false lights, inasmuch as they do not bear the light of truth, the light of Christ who revealed to us who God is and who man truly is. Everything that separates man from what the Lord Jesus Christ has revealed to us about the substance of humanity is from the evil one. There is no mixing of light and darkness. The light condemns the darkness and "this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

Do not give credence to those who would lead you to believe in the name of freedom that the legalization of uncleanness is a human right. Everything that distorts and debases the image of God in man is uncleanness. Sex is unclean if it is not in the blessing and grace in love consecrated by God in marriage between a man and a woman, since only then does it become a bond of unity, a language of mutual address in the spirit between lovers and a shared gift for pleasures within the framework of an integrated path of life, through good times and bad, towards holiness.

Any relationship between members of the same sex is a sin that is destructive of man's spiritual, psychological and physical being because it reveals man's submission to impulse and the devil who corrupts minds and souls and destroys hearts. Thirty years ago and earlier, psychology generally considered homosexuals to be mentally ill, but today concepts have been reversed in psychology, starting with laws that permit every corruption, so that today through education in the schools the principle of deviance is introduced into the minds of students, since those whose ages aren't any greater than the number of fingers on your hands are given the freedom to choose their sex and to live according to that without the family having any right to treat this issue under penalty of law. This is the "great farce of freedom" in what is called "the civilized world", which by legalizing such deviance has become the dying world, requiring chastisement, indeed, divine punishment as happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, tomorrow soon to be seen... unless humankind returns to its true reality written in nature by creation and to the image of God in it, since everything is called to holiness.

+ Antonios

Metropolitan of Zahle, Baalbek and their Dependencies

Met Antonios (el-Souri): The Priest and Pastoral Care

 Arabic original here.

The Priest and Pastoral Care

"For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 9:2)

At the ordination of a priest, the bishop hands him the lamb and says to him, "Preserve this deposit until the coming of the Lord for you shall be asked about it." The body of Christ, which is the Church-the parish, the rational sheep belonging to Christ, is placed in trust into the hands of the priest. They are not his: they are Christ's. The seal of the priest's mission is the parish, whose members' souls he will be asked about on Judgment Day: Did he lose one of them? Did he call one to stumble? Did he hurt one? Was he a father to them? Did he cause them to know the truth and bear witness to it among them? Did he take them out of error and was he a model for them?

The priest does not belong to himself. He belongs to Christ and Christ to God. Therefore the priest must offer to God an account from now about his work and his service for the parish. The priest is not a hireling with God, but an extension of Christ in the parish. He must be a son to the Most High, bearing the attributes of his Teacher, having no mind of his own but the "mind of Christ."

The priest and his family must be models for emulation in faith, piety, prayer, fasting, service and humility. The priest is neither a leader nor a chief. He is the washer of the parish's feet according to the example of the one who washed the feet of His disciples and by this He becomes for him a guide on the path of salvation.

*     *     *

The priest must be constantly present to serve the members of his parish because he serves Christ in them and therefore he does not have the right to neglect to serve in all liturgical, pastoral and canonical ways. He must be free of love of money and seeking it because the Lord who said "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33) is faithful and suffices him.

With all this, as the shepherd pastors the flock, the flock must pastor him. Therefore the Apostle Paul says to the Corinthians:

"If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?" (1 Corinthians 9:11). Here he talks about the livelihood of the servants of the word, stating that it is the responsibility of the faithful to secure for them what they need for their life, since it is not permissible for one who serves the altar, that is, performs the mysteries of grace for the salvation of souls to be in want or need of necessities. For this reason, there is a need for complimentarity in the service of love, each according to his role, his talent and his responsibility. Does someone who will be asked about the salvation of your soul and be held accountable for it before the Lord not deserve to be provided with the material things that he needs to live with the dignity of the children of God?!

*     *     *

There is no doubt that one "who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully" (2 Corinthians 9:6), whether he is a priest or a layman. The priest's sowing is the faithful who must bear fruit in the life of holiness and virtue. When the priest is free in the truth that is in Christ, he cannot he cannot but sow blessings. The priest's sowing is preaching the word of God and not his own word, visiting the sick and weak, being a support for the afflicted and the weak, a consolation for the sorrowful and an embodiment of the words of the Apostle Paul, "Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn?" (2 Corinthians 11:29). The priest is a father in every sense of the word and therefore he must know the sheep of the flock of Christ by name.

All this means that the priest lives a state of being crucified with God's love in this world in service with humility and meekness, with firmness and resolve. The priest cannot go along with people at the expense of Christ's truth and the canons of the Holy Church. His duty is to teach them all of this. Otherwise, he falls short of love for them and is liable for judgment before God because he treats the holy things lightly.

There is no bargaining in the priest's way of life. Of course, we are all humans subject to the weakness of nature, but the way of reform and reconciliation is given to us in Christ, which is the mystery of repentance and confession. How can the priest teach people repentance if he does not repent? How can he teach them humility and reforming their way of life if he does not confess his sins and seek guidance from a spiritual father?! The priest is not perfect. Only Christ is perfect. Therefore he must follow the path of repentance and confession in order to be a model for the parish.

A priest who does not search his conscience in the face of the greatness of the mystery of the priesthood, Christ's sacrifice on the cross and the reality of his service as a servant of God's salvific mysteries falls short, because self-reflection with regard to the requirements of the service and the mystery is likely to energize the priest and bring back to his heart the fear of God and the experience of His divine, consoling grace, which grants him new starting-points, renewed in Spirit and truth in the service of the Lord with an upright heart and in His purity by the fire of divine, cleansing love.

The priest must be in the image of the Lord Christ and just as Christ obeys the Father, the priest obeys Christ and thus is God's prophet and apostle to the rational sheep.

+ Antonios

Metropolitan of Zahle, Baalbek and their Dependencies 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Met Antonios (el-Souri): Let Us Be Apostles of Christ

 Arabic original here.

Let Us Be Apostles of Christ

"For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16)

An apostle in the Church is one who was a disciple of the Lord during His life on earth among us. The Lord Jesus, in the Gospel, chose twelve people from among His disciples and called them apostles: " And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles" (Luke 6:13). They lived with the Lord during His travels and preaching. They were eyewitnesses to His miracles. They saw Him in His divine glory and in His ultimate humility upon the cross. They touched Him living, risen from the dead, and they learned from Him after His resurrection for forty days. They looked upon Him ascending into the heavens and they received from Him the Holy Spirit and the authority to loosen and bind in heaven and on earth.

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life..." (1 John 1:1), the experience of those apostles was given to us through them and through the Church over the course of the centuries. Therefore, our faith is based on the testimony of witnesses, the apostles who endured hardships, persecution and killing (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:4-10) in order to preserve a correct witness to faith in the Lord risen from the dead and so our faith is preserved in surety and truth because its price is the blood of the apostles and martyrs...

 Therefore, the Church's mission is to be apostolic, to preserve the "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (1 Jude 1:3), since she is built upon the foundation of this faith and the Church is apostolic since she is asked to constantly preach the Gospel until there is no one left unevangelized...

*    *     *

Today, we are called to be apostles of Christ. Christ was sent by God the Father (cf. John 5:30, 36, 37, 39...) and He sent His disciples into the world (cf. John 20: 21) and sends us today by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses to Him unto the ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8).

The apostles evangelized the Jews first, and then the gentiles, and this is asked of us today too. That is, the Good News must reach every person, so that the world may know God's salvation and His love for His creation through Jesus Christ.

The responsibility to evangelize is incumbent upon every believing Christian, "for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). If God gave His only-begotten Son for the life of the world, then our responsibility as believers in the incarnate Son of God is to preach Him so that the world may know Him, lest people perish in their sins.

How can we make people know the incarnate Son of God, the Savior? When His word and new commandment is embodied in us: "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).

Christian love is divine love, that is, an icon of the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Therefore it is the gift of divine grace when a person accepts to empty himself. That is, for the I to become the divine thou through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. We cannot live this love and acquire it if we do not experience it in the mystery of communion in the mystery of the Eucharist where in Christ we become one with God and among one another in the experience of the indwelling of God's Spirit within us and His being poured out upon us.

*     *     *

From the wellspring of grace, the joy of the resurrection and the peace of the Kingdom of God comes the power of evangelism among believers. Our preaching the Gospel of Christ risen from the dead is a personal and collective experience. The person that does not have this experience and the group that does not know this mystery can by no means evangelize and preach the achievement of victory if they do not participate in it at all. Hence the weakness of witness in the Church, because we have become estranged from the "first love" (cf. Revelation 2:4).

Discipleship is the answer to the weakness of our preaching, evangelism and witness. If the Church does not return to the experience of discipleship, that is, teaching through accompaniment and shared life, in order to teach the faith and its experience by osmosis between those who are experienced and those who are learning, then the preaching of the good news will turn into scientific, literary, proverbial, historical or imaginary words... If we do not have saints with us, then we will not learn holiness. If we do not find those who have experienced the life of grace, then we will not taste it. If we do not rub shoulders with the penitent, then we will not be trained in repentance. If we do not see people praying with our own eyes, then we will not be attracted to prayer...

This does not mean that God is unable to give people all these things if they strive alone and do not find anyone to learn from. The Lord does what He wants and gives what He wants to those He wants, but the general rule that the Lord Jesus and the apostles after Him taught is the model of the teacher before the disciple: "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19), "Learn from Me, for I am [f]gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29), "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet" (Matthew 13:14), "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Today the world is in need of Christ in order to escape from the persistence of spiritual death that it is experiencing and from the arbitrariness in the shadow of the domination of the spirit of consumption, individualism and false, distorted freedom. Christ put the Church in the world to be an icon of His unity with humankind and of their unity with each other through Him, so that she may reveal the life of the age to come in light of the acquisition of eternal divinity in pious believers and saints, which dwells in them and is active by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

God lights in our hearts the fire of His love to consume the thorns of our passions, our egotism and our pride, that we may be purified and become lamps that bear the light of the Word for the salvation of the world.


Metropolitan of Zahle, Baalbek and their Dependencies

Met Antonios (el-Souri): Wealth and Poverty

 Arabic original here.

Wealth and Poverty

"Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (Matthew 8:20)

The greatest state of impoverishment is when someone does not have a place to rest his head-- no home, no one to ask about him, and no one to take care of him. The most difficult is when this person lives under the gaze of others and is neglected, outcast or despised. A person sometimes becomes nothing in the eyes of others, like he does not exist or is not loved... For you to exist in a state of not being loved means that you live in a state of being oppressed by people, that you are hidden from existence for them...

But does the Lord abandon man? Does He forget him?

"He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him" (Isaiah 53:2-3). This is the image of the Servant of God, that is, Jesus Christ our God who came and shared our wretchedness, our poverty, our suffering and our estrangement. People are estranged from each other and the believer is a stranger on earth. Christ came to gather those who were scattered into one, to adopt strangers and make them the children and heirs of God.

*     *     *

In general people think their existence and its value is tied to what they own, that is, to their earthly wealth. The popular saying goes, "With you a cent is worth a cent." On the basis of possessions you merit honors. This is the logic of the world.

The essential question, however, is: from where is man's value? And from where does he derive his importance?

The answer in Christianity is that man's value and importance come from the image of God that is in him and from the extent of his resemblance to his Creator. That is, man's reality and being are not separate from God's reality and man's greatness as head of creation comes from his being distinguished in creation from all other beings, since he derives his life from the Spirit of God, that is from God Himself: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being" (Genesis 2:7). Man is dust from the earth and spirit from God. For this reason, the reality of man is that he is an earthly-heavenly being. That which is earthly is transitory and that which is heavenly is eternal. He who seeks transitory things lives in the clay of mud, the black foul-smelling clay, and is destined for dust. He who seeks heavenly things has his heart above and lives below, and so becomes an extension of the Kingdom on earth.

*     *     *

Beloved, he who seeks wealth, let him be rich in the Lord and he who is poor let him be poor for the Lord. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).

What is the use of what we own if it is not for living the mystery of communion, because God is communion of love in the mystery of unity? Man cannot rejoice if he is not rich in the Lord. That is, filled with Him. He will not rejoice in the Lord if he does not enter into communion and unity with man and with the universe. And he will not enter into communion with anything else unless he is impoverished to himself. That is, unless he lives self-emptying. And he will not live self-emptying if he does not love God first and his neighbor as himself.

Wealth is for you to gain the kingdom from this moment in communion with God and others and poverty is for you to gain the world and lose your soul...


Metropolian of Zahle, Baalbek and their Dependencies 

Met Antonios el-Souri: The Light of Repentance

Arabic original here.

The Light of Repentance

Saint Gregory Palamas constantly repeated this prayer: "O Lord, enlighten my darkness," seeking God's mercy and enlightenment.

Man cannot know his sins unless the Lord enlightens his heart. The condition of repentance is knowledge of sin, not intellectually but existentially, as a sickness where man is eaten away from within, and a realization of the risks of this sickness becoming exacerbated by the shriveling of his will, starting off from the pain resulting from the hatred of sin. This grants man the inner capacity in his own will to cooperate with divine grace in order to regret and desire to be freed, healed and have a change of life.

Sin darkens the mind, "for roving desire perverts the sound mind" (Wisdom 4:12). Man walks without guidance, floundering randomly along the path of self-destruction. Some or most may lie to themselves, justifying their intentions, thoughts and actions, cloaking them in the guise of obedience to God's word when they are the result of the will of their ego and their pride, so they destroy themselves instead of building themselves up and they ruin their life instead of setting it aright.

*     *     *

During the time of fasting and abstention, one tries to discern the motions of his soul in his body by refraining from heavy food and having patience in hunger and thirst in order to train his will by taming the body through obedience to God through the Holy Church's teaching and recommendations. This helps to liberate the will from the rule of the ego so that God may become our ego though His word which dwells in us and is translated into intention, thought, word and deed.

The passions that deeply-rooted in man darken his body and spirit together, since the body becomes lethargic in struggling to do God's will and enthusiastic to respond to his lusts and the spirit flees from listening to the divine word (even if it practices prayer), because it places a barrier of refusal between the mind and the heart, since prayer passes through the mind and does not descend into the heart and thus remains at this level of superficiality, the goal of which is not stability, but rather the fulfillment of sin's need to silence the conscience with a false rationale.

*     *     *

"But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:23). How can that be?! When man returns to the light of the divine image that is in him by nature and attributes it to himself, deifying himself through his self, doing without God, the source of light. The light of human nature is an image that remains unrealized unless it is through the divine grace that comes down upon us in and through Christ. Man has within himself a luminosity that is not extinguished so long as it is united to the uncreated light that the Lord gives to those who repent and seek His mercy with all their hearts, power, mind and intellect.

Loving repentance is the repentance that God has for us when He forgives us our mistakes, our shortcomings and our betrayals of His love. He is "repentant" for the sins of humankind, but it remains for us to repent to Him with faith active in obedience to His will, so that the heart may be purified in praxis and theory and so become enlightened by the uncreated light that permeates his entire being, radiating from him into the world. In this way man is united to God and so God becomes "all in all" present and manifest through His glory in the life of man in light... 


+ Antonios

Metropolitan of Zahle, Baalbek and their Dependencies

(Originally published in al-Karma on Sunday, March 24, 2019) 

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Open Access: Antioch's Last Heirs: The Hatay Greek Orthodox Community between Greece, Syria and Turkey

 Ioannis N. Grigoriadis, "Antioch's Last Heirs: The Hatay Greek Orthodox Community between Greece, Syria and Turkey." Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies (2022).



This study explores the identity dynamics of the Arabic-speaking Greek Orthodox community of the Hatay province of Turkey. Citizens of Turkey, members of the Greek Orthodox church and Arabic speakers, members of this small but historic community stood at the crossroads of three nationalisms: Greek, Syrian and Turkish. Following the urbanization waves that swept through the Turkish countryside since the 1950s, thousands of Hatay Greek Orthodox moved to Istanbul and were given the chance to integrate with the Greek minority there. The case of the Hatay Greek Orthodox community points to the resilience of millet-based identities, more than a century after the demise of the Ottoman Empire.


Read the whole article here.


Monday, October 3, 2022

Open access: Fr Andrew Wade- Byzantinised or Alexandrianised—Or Both? Vespers in the 13th c. Melkite Alexandrian Arabic Horologion

Andrew Wade, "Byzantinised or Alexandrianised—Or Both? Vespers in the 13th
c. Melkite Alexandrian Arabic Horologion Sinai Arabic 232." Religions 13 (2022).


 This paper presents an annotated English translation of the rite of Vespers contained in
the Melkite Alexandrian Arabic Book of Hours (Horologion) found in the 13th century Christian
Arabic manuscript Sinai Arabic 232. Most of the texts comprising this service have been identified
from the contemporary Greek Horologion, the Constantinople Euchologion and the Coptic Agpeya.
This very unusual combination is discussed. While further research on Sin. Ar. 232 and other Arabic
Horologia is necessary before we may draw more definitive conclusions, enough seems clear at this
point to suggest that the Egyptian Melkites originally used a Hierosolymitan type Horologion and
that this, in due time, was both Alexandrinised and Byzantinised. We can therefore say that Sin. Ar.
232 is an Egyptian redaction of a Middle Byzantine Horologion with archaic Hierosolymitan features.
No other Arabic Horologia have been studied to date, and no earlier Melkite or Coptic Alexandrian
Horologia are known. Considerable further research on Arabic Horologia is needed.


Download the pdf here.