Thursday, September 30, 2021

Follow-up on Maronite Liturgy: An Example from the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

Earlier this week I spoke of the corruption of the Maronite liturgy under the influence of the errors of the cancer-phase Liturgical Movement. I thought it would be helpful to give a very clear example of a liturgical text that has been eviscerated.

On June 24, the Maronites, as do other rites, celebrate the Birth of John the Baptist. Below is a comparison of the texts for the Hoosoyo (Prayer of Forgiveness). The left column represents the Syriac source text and the right is the current English version in the 2005 missal.

Without extended commentary, several severe issues leap to attention. The first is the obvious textual impoverishment. Beyond simply removing large portions of the traditional text, the poetic language is completely excised and replaced with banal indicative statements. The attempt at retaining any dumbed-down poetry actually comes close to creating problems (to put it lightly): the new text claims that John is the conclusion of the old covenant and the beginning of the new (which we know is not John but Christ). Lastly, the new text betrays an unfamiliarity with the parts of Syriac prayer. The incense offering is intended for God, yet the new text oddly interjects the mention of incense in addressing John in the second half of the sedro.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: