Monday, August 21, 2006

CD Review: Holy Liturgy According to the Rites of the Syriac Orthodox Church

For those that enjoy truly rare liturgica, of whatever sort, I wanted to mention a rarer sort of recording that you won't run into just anywhere. It is a recording which is sold by Gorgias Press, and is of the Syrian "Holy Liturgy", which is chanted in Aramaic, the language of Christ and His apostles.

When one listens to it, while you likely won't understand the Aramaic, you will be struck by the very arabic, middle-eastern flavour of the liturgical chants, including in some cases, the use of some middle-eastern instrumentation -- though mainly it is sung a cappella.

Very often when we think of the liturgical rites of the Church, we think of the two halves of the late Roman empire, the Roman West and the Byzantine East. But beyond the borders of Byzantium lay this whole other variety of traditional, ancient Christian worship. Indeed, it is very different sounding to our Western, even Byzantine, ears, and it may even be off-putting at first, so foreign can it sound.

Regardless of one's personal preference, it is representative of that more Oriental tradition within Christianity, and would help fill out any library of a liturgical audiophile.

Link to Product