His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II reviews future Holy Qurbono Service Book

Oct 24, 2016. Paramus, NJ.
A draft of the forthcoming edition of the Service Book of the Holy Qurbono was reviewed by His Holiness Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II at the Mor Aphrem Center, the seat of the Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church of the Eastern US Archdiocese and Patriarchal Center in North America. His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho and a delegation of members of the Malankara Archdiocese of North America--Rev. Fr. Jerry Jacob, MD; Rev. Fr. Joel Jacob, MD; Rev. Dn. Shiryl Mathai, Chevalier Babu Jacob Nadayil and Dr. Thomas Joseph, editor of the Service Book--met with His Holiness. The Secretary to His Holiness Rev. Fr. Rabban Joseph Bali also participated in the review, along with Deacon Dr. George Kiraz, Director of Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute.
His Holiness spent over 3 1/2 hours in an excruciatingly detailed review of the draft. The English translation in the edition was first introduced to  His Holiness on Apr 26, 2009, while he was the Archbishop of Eastern USA,  coincidentally at the same location. His Holiness had given the editor directions on including a more complete order of the Divine Liturgy than is typically included in a Service Book for the laity. Moran reviewed the prose translations against that in the 2009 Eastern Archdiocese edition, sang the English hymns along with the recording after comparing the Syriac text with the English translation, tried other prescribed melodies, and directed certain changes. In each instance, His Holiness provided an explanation of his rationale.
In certain cases, His Holiness compared the modern practice in the Syriac Orthodox Church with that of the ancient churches like the Coptic Church, and directed modifications, also made in the 2009 edition, to restore authentic traditions.

"A line by line review" - The photo shows HH running his finger across a sentence and represents his attention to detail so well.

Where Rev. Fr. Abraham Konat's (1948) Pampakuda Syriac edition, the source text for the modern Malankara tradition was used, and differed slightly from that of the contemporary Suryoye text, His Holiness requested the source for verification and provided necessary directions. It was simultaneously a master class and an oral exam.
His Holiness found much amusement in singing the Malayalam hymns with the aid of the Manglish text, and asking, "How is my Malayalam?" In some instances, His Holiness even deciphered the Malayalam text and provided directions in aligning the English and Malayalam translations with the Syriac source or with his directions.
Despite many demands on his schedule and ignoring many interruptions, His Holiness dedicated an entire evening without a break from 7:15 pm to 10:45 pm to conduct this detailed review. Rev. Fr. Rabban Joseph Bali and Dn. Dr. George Kiraz offered their perspectives based on their expert knowledge during the review.
Moran's stewardship of the holy liturgies and sense of responsibility in transmitting the voice of our fathers faithfully to future generations was evident in the undivided attention given to the review. His Holiness requested the final draft with corrections and will provide the imprimatur for publication after verification.
The forthcoming edition has been in the making for eighteen years. The effort began in 1998 at the St. Mary's Church in Los Angeles, motivated by the desire to improve upon the fidelity of translation in the extant editions used in Malankara parishes in North America. Dr. Thomas Joseph and Mathews Tom Chakkanakuzhi worked on the translation of the essential hymns in the liturgy. The translation was guided by Deacon Dr. George Kiraz and represents the first collaborative effort across the Suryoye and Malankara community in producing liturgical texts for the English speaking diaspora.
The original contribution of the forthcoming edition is the translation of hymns directly from the Syriac source texts to contemporary English that is as faithful as possible and comprehensible when read as prose, yet can be chanted in the prescribed Syriac melody. The text is laid out in four columns with the English translation, Syriac source text in transcription, Malayalam, and Malayalam transcription (Manglish) spanning facing pages. Scriptural references are provided in footnotes, while excerpts from the commentaries of the Fathers are provided in end notes. The edition highlights the tri-lingual heritage of the Malankara diaspora and attempts to bridge the generational and linguistic chasm between the first generation immigrants and the generations who have been born and raised in the West.
A draft English edition with the revised translation of essential hymns was approved by Archbishop H.E. Mor Clemis A. Kaplan for use at the St. Mary's Church, Los Angeles in 2000, when His Eminence was the interim Bishop of the parish. Subsequently, many additional hymns were translated and the text typeset to include the three languages.
Chevalier. Babu Jacob Nadayil assisted with the preparation of the Malayalam text and Mr. Jolly Malayil coordinated pre-publication activities with the press in Kochi. Archbishop H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho reviewed the drafts in detail over many sessions from 2012 to 2016 leading up to the review with His Holiness. Many scholars of the Church were consulted in the course of its preparation, including H.E. Mor Polycarpus Aydin of The Netherlands, and Dayroyo Roger Akhrass, Principal of the Patriarchal Seminary in Damascus.


Draft copies have been distributed to all parishes in the Malankara Archdiocese for review and feedback; many clergy and lay members across the archdiocese have shared their feedback. The response to the feedback is in preparation. The edition will thus represent the collective effort of many across the archdiocese.
With the imprimatur of His Holiness and spiritual direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho, it is hoped that the forthcoming edition is widely adopted across the Malankara Archdiocese of North America as the principal edition approved for liturgical use.


Publish Date: 
Mon, 2016-11-07 00:15