Patriarchate News

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Beatitude Joseph Absi, Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, at the Patriarchate headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
His Beatitude conveyed Easter greetings to His Holiness. They discussed together the recent developments in Syria after US, France and UK strikes.
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Deacon Imad Syryany attended the meeting.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited His Beatitude Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus.
During their meeting, His Holiness conveyed to His Beatitude Easter greetings and discussed several church issues.
His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Deacon Imad Syryany.
The meeting was also attended by their Graces Patriarchal Assistants Bishop Moussa El-Khoury and Bishop Luka El-Khoury.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo on Easter Sunday at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma Damascus.

Their Eminences Archbishop Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Archbishop Armash Nalbandian, Armenian Orthodox Archbishop of Damascus, assisted His Holiness in the Holy Qurobo.

His Excellency Mr. Hammouda Sabbagh, Speaker of the Syrian Parliament, attended the Qurobo along with his family.

In his sermon, His Holiness declared to the faithful that “Christ is truly risen to give us victory against our spiritual enemy, and to assure to all of us that we are no more enslaved to Satan, but came back to the level of children of God as we were in the Paradise.” He then emphasized that “the importance of resurrection is in being an act of God; it is an initiative from heaven unlike what humans are used to in their various religions, i.e. trying to please God in order to receive His blessings for their lives.”

His Holiness considered that the freedom we receive through the Resurrection of Christ is a “responsible freedom, in which we lead a life of holiness moving closer to God; at the same time, it is a freedom which reminds us of our responsibility towards our all humans, and through which we see them as children of God and brothers and sisters for us no matter what differences are there between us.”

His Holiness added that celebrating the Resurrection of Christ is a chance for us to “forget those things which are behind and reach forward to those things which are ahead, by renewing ourselves through good deeds, not turning back to our old deeds, thus do not hate anyone but love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us.”

At the end of his sermon, His Holiness also prayed for peace in Syria and in the Middle East.

During the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness led the procession of the Cross as well as the special prayers for the Resurrection.

The Holy Qurobo was followed by a performance of the Syriac Patriarchal Scouts.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the Holy Qurobo on the occasion of the Evening of Resurrection Sunday at St. George Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma.
Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub celebrated the Holy Qurobo.
His Holiness announced the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and presided over the special service for the occasion. He headed the procession of the cross and blessed the faithful who came to celebrated the Resurrection.
 

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. He was assisted by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar at the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus and the monks of the Patriarchate. St. Ephrem Patriarchal Choir in Damascus chanted the special hymns for the occasion.

In his sermon, His Holiness explained that we do not worship wood or metal, we worship God Creator of heaven and earth”. He added that we do not worship a simple human being, but God the Lord Who was driven by His love towards mankind to become like us in everything except sin.”

His Holiness emphasized that the Lord Jesus Christ knows our suffering on this earth and that “it was God’s love that moved Him to save Man, and since sin is against God, it was necessary for God Himself to redeem mankind”.

His Holiness pointed out that all the prophecies were fulfilled on the cross. He added that the Lord does not want us to weep over Him, but over ourselves, our sins and our fall into this world of pain and suffering”.

His Holiness called the faithful to follow Christ and love their fellows and always ask God to forgive them. He said that “today starts a new covenant between God and us, a covenant that He is our God, father, brother and friend, because we are in deep need in this world for a brother and a friend like Christ”.

At the end of his sermon, His Holiness asked the faithful to pray for peace in the world and that the peace of Christ enters the hearts of all people. He prayed for Syria and for the safe return of the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim. He also asked the Lord to strengthen the faith of the Christians in the Middle East so that they remain witnesses of His resurrection despite the persecutions they are enduring. He concluded praying that we can all be true disciples of the Crucified, and worship Him as the Crucified and Risen 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.

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

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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.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke Humility; He said: “Our Lord Jesus has put humility at the top of all virtues, just after love, for because of pride man fell into sin.” He then explained that Christ came to heal us from this sin that came to existence because of the first human. “Jesus came to heal us from the sin of pride” His Holiness said, “only if we throw away pride we can return back to the stage of children of God.”
He alerted the faithful that “we still fall on a daily in this great sin, though with different types and names, this is why we should love one another.” He added “it is sorrowful that we, as disciples of the Divine Master, cannot humble ourselves before one another! We always prefer our own benefit, what is good for ourselves, our homes and family only.” He considered that “this is the reason of wars and troubles in our world; it is also the reason behind natural disasters, for by our greed, we unbalance the environmental equilibrium.” His Holiness added “millions of people suffer hunger because, on the other side, millions are not satisfied with what they have! Only if humility fills the hearts of all humans, our world shall live in peace and security.”
His Holiness recalled that “the voice of Christ still calls us today to wash the feet of one another; not physically but through loving one another as we love ourselves. This way only can we be called real disciples of Christ.”
At the end, His Holiness prayed to the Lord, who humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross, to “strengthen our faith and provide us with His support when we try to become humble.”
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo on Maundy Thursday at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma – Damascus.
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar at the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus was present.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the Passover lamb which was a symbol for the salvation of the Jewish people from the slavery of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. “The lamb” His Holiness said “depicts the symbol of Christ Who completed the Passover lamb at the upper room and showed His disciples that He is the Lamb of God Who came to be killed thus taking away the sin of the world.”
His Holiness reminded the faithful that “whenever we gather in the church to celebrate the Holy Qurobo, where bread and wine are presented, we believe, that they become the Body and Blood of Christ in a miraculous way which we cannot humanly understand.” His Holiness added: “This way, Christ becomes our Passover, our Bread, our Life, for He said: ‘I am the Bread of Life.'”
His Holiness then emphasized that “Christ gave us His Flesh, not something similar to His Flesh; How can some assume that they only participate in the commemoration of the Flesh of Christ? This indeed is an incomplete faith! Communion is essential for our life, for through it, we become one with Christ, through Whom we live, exist and move.”
At the end of his sermon, His Holiness beseeched the Lamb of God to “give us strong faith, that does not fail, in His Person, confessing that He is God who was incarnate, died and rose again for us.”
 

His Holiness Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited his brother in Christ His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia for the Armenian Orthodox Church, in the Catholicosate headquarters in Antelias, Beirut.

His Holiness was accompanied by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

His Holiness congratulated Catholicos Aram I for the Easter, and invited him to the meeting of the heads of the oriental orthodox churches which will be held at the new patriarchal residence in Atchaneh.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Mr. Talal Barazi, the Governor of Homs, at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Homs. His Excellency welcomed His Holiness in the city and conveyed greetings for Palm Sunday and the coming feasts. His Eminence Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Metropolitan of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, was also present.

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