The period of Advent in the Syrian Orthodox Church, celebrating the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, is much longer than that of the Western Church. It consists of the eight weeks prior to Christmas, the first Sunday of which marks the beginning of the ecclesiastical year.
During this period, the Church prepares for the coming of Christ. The first Sunday is dedicated to the Sanctification of the Church (Qudosh cIdto), while the second is dedicated to the Renewal of the Church (Hudoth cIdto). Both Sundays emphasize the importance of the Church in the life of the faithful.
The five Sundays that follow commemorate the following events which took place before Christimas:
The eighth and last Sunday of the Advent is simply called the "Sunday before Christmas" in the liturgical calendar. A selected hymn for five of the eight Sundays follows.
Sunday of the Sanctification of the Church
Qolo: bacrubto brishith
God called upon Moses from the bush,
Note: The word `Tabernacle' (Syriac mashkan zabno) is used with two meanings: It is the portable sanctuary in which the Jews carried the Ark of the Covenant through the desert. It is also a small case which is placed on the Church altar containing the consecrated host and wine of the Eucharist.
Sunday of the Renewal of the Church
Qolo: mshiho ethiled
Blessed are you O Daughter of the Nations [i.e.,
Note: The Syrian word for "habitation" here is shkinto which is derived from the same root of mashkan zabno (see note to the previous hymn).
Sunday of the Annunciation to Zachariah
Litany. Qolo: neqyo hwith
Today, the vigilant [i.e., angel] announced
to Zachariah the priest,
Sunday of the Annunciation to Mary
Qolo: enono nuhro shariro
While Mary was standing in prayer,
Sunday of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
Hutomo. Qolo: hablan moran
[Elizabeth said:] Who shall grant me this?
That my Lord and His mother shall come
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|Last Update: November 1, 1998|