Patriarchate News

On April 27, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the Funeral Service of the Thrice Blessed Archbishop Mor Timotheos Aphrem Abboudi, at the Virgin Mary Cathedral in Atchaneh, Bikfaya – Lebanon.
 
He was assisted by their Eminences: Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Timotheos Matthew, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education.
 
His Beatitude Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, was represented by Rev. Fr. Habib Mrad, Syriac Catholic Patriarchal Secretary,
 
His Holiness delivered a eulogy in which he spoke about the zeal of the blessed thrice Archbishop Aphrem to the Church and humans. He divested himself from worldly possessions not caring for property or money, but had full faith that the Lord will always take care of him until the hour of His death. His Holiness also recalled his love and service for the Holy Church in India, where he served the church during days of hardship; he encouraged the faithful and strengthened them, affirming them in the love of the Lord God and the Holy Church, and loyalty to the throne of Antioch. His Holiness expressed his deep sorrow and offered condolences to the Holy Church and the family of the Late Archbishop.
 
At the end of the service, the thrice Blessed Mor Timotheos Aphrem Abboudi was buried in the tombs of the Archbishops in Atchaneh.
May his memory be eternal.
 

On April 27, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the Holy Qurobo celebrated by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, on the occasion of the ‘Sbartho’ Saturday, at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral, Damascus.
 
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, also attended.
 

On Good Friday, April 26, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the Midday Service of the Friday of Passion at St. George Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma.

 
The service was attended by their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, as well as the priests, monks, and deacons of the patriarchate.
 
His Holiness held the cross on his shoulder in a procession inside the Cathedral in remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ’s carrying the Cross from Pilate’s palace to the Golgotha. During the procession, the clergy and faithful chanted hymns expressing sorrow and melancholy.
 
As His Holiness was reading the reading from the Holy Bible, the left candle (symbolizing the thief crucified to the left) was put out.
 
This service represents one of the stages of the crucifixion and is celebrated on Midday as a symbol of when the Lord Jesus was judged.
 

On April 26, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the service of the worship of the Cross at St. George Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma in Damascus.
His Holiness was assisted by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, as well as the clergy and the monks of the Patriarchate.
 
St. Aphrem Patriarchal Choir in Damascus chanted the special hymns for the occasion.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about redemption and crucifixion. He also spoke about the humility of our Lord Jesus Christ Who accepted death for the sake of the salvation of the human race. His Holiness also talked about the thief who was crucified to the right side of our Lord.
 
After the completion of the service of the worship of the cross, His Holiness led a procession with the Holy Cross and blessed the faithful. He then completed the rite of the burial of the Crucifix in the holy altar.
 

On April 25, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the service of the washing of the feet at St. George Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma, Damascus.
 
During this service, His Holiness called twelve young people who represent the twelve Apostles and washed their feet following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ Who washed the feet of His disciples. It is a lesson in humility where we learn how serving others is greater than being served.
 
The service was attended by their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education.
 
At the end of the service, His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury gave a sermon, in which he spoke about the Lord Jesus teaching His disciples that to be great is to be humble and become a servant for others. He also explained the meaning of this service.
 

On April 25, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo on Maundy Thursday at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma – Damascus.

Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, attended the Holy Qurobo.

In his sermon, His Holiness reminded the faithful of the greatness of the deed that the Lord Jesus Christ did during the Last Supper, when He gave His body and blood to His disciples.
He also spoke of the Old Testament Lamb of Passover which symbolized the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

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On April 21, 2019, the eve of the Passion Week, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the special service of the Nahire (Lights) at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus.
Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, attended the prayer.
 
All the lights of the church were turned off and the faithful, deacons and clergy held candles in a procession followed by special prayers of the rite of the Nahire.
 
At the end of the rite, His Holiness cried out thrice: O Lord, O Lord, O Lord, open to us thy door; during which he asked forgiveness for all the congregation.
 
Then, His Eminence Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub gave a spiritual sermon in which he spoke about enlightement and repentance. He also talked about the difference between the wise and foolish ones.
 

On April 21, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo on the occasion of Palms Sunday at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma, Damascus.
 
Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, assisted His Holiness during the Holy Qurobo.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness considered that our Lord Jesus Christ – Who is the Prince of Peace and King of Kings – came to the Jews to fulfill the law, yet they rejected Him; He came to stand in the face of exploiting the poor and the widows, yet they hated Him; He came to make it clear that God does not care for appearances but for the salvation of mankind, yet they persecuted Him and laid hands on Him and arrested Him; He is the Messiah Whom they waited for centuries, yet when He came they despised Him. As if Jesus was asking them: Until when will you remain hardhearted and non-believers? Until when you reject the Grace of God and His salvation? Yet, they did not believe in Him despite their knowledge that He has fulfilled all the prophecies.
 
His Holiness invited the faithful to be like the children who were shouting and glorifying God; he said: Let us have the courage of those little children, so that we declare God as King of our lives, and follow Him to the Golgotha, that we may reach His Resurrection.
 
At the end of His sermon, His Holiness prayed for peace to reign all over the world; he prayed for the freedom of the two abducted archbishops of Aleppo Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, who were kidnapped six years ago.
 
During the Qurobo, His Holiness presided over the special procession and rite for the occasion.
 
At the end of the Holy Qurobo, the band of the Syriac Patriarchal Scouts of Damascus performed beautiful Syriac songs and hymns.
 

On April 19, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the staged play “The Bridge”, organized by the Patriarchal Center for Christian Education, on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the Center.

He was accompanied by their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affair and Religious Education, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

The play was attended by the reverend priests, representatives of the Church organizations in the Patriarchal Vicariate of Damascus, as well as a large crowd of people, including the parents of the children of youth of the Center.

The play was about optimism in life, and having faith in the Lord, and being certain that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8: 28). The play included various performances including acting, singing, playing music, and dancing, put altogether in a play written, prepared, directed, and presented by the servants and members of all ages in the Center.

At the end, Miss Lina Shlon gave a word in which she presented the success of this work for the glory of God. She spoke about the work of the center over the past 38 years.

Finally, His Holiness spoke to the children and youth who partook in the play; he congratulated them for the very nice work they presented. He emphasized that their talents are gifts from God, and they should only use them for the glory of God, and the growth of His Holy Church. His Holiness considered that being part of the Center is a great grace and blessing for the lives of the children and the youth, for they learn about our Lord Jesus, and the Holy Syriac Church. He then thanked the parents for raising their children to love the Lord and lead a life of holiness. He also expressed his great love towards all the servants at the Center for their devotion in ministering to the children and the youth. At the end, His Holiness wished the Center years of blessings and prosperity to come for the glory of God, and the service of the Church.

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On April 16, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the meeting of the general assembly of Antioch Syrian University, at Sayfo Hall at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

The meeting was attended by their Eminences: Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, Dr. Rakan Razzouk, President of ASU, as well as the members of the assembly.

His Holiness presented an overview about the strategic plan of ASU, its vision, mission, and values. Dr. Razzouk also talked about the stages that ASU passed through since its establishment, as well as its relation and collaboration with other local and international universities. He also spoke about the Academic programs of ASU and future plans. Members of the assembly discussed then the agenda of the meeting.

Click to view slideshow.