The Rite of Consecration of the Church According to the Syrian Orthodox Tradition

  • Ayub Silvanos

Student thesis: Phd


AbstractFrom ancient times it has been the practice of humankind to build structures in which to worship God. People built centres of various shapes and sizes in which different kinds of worship were conducted. Within the Christian Church, even though the basic concept of worship is the same, there are different doctrines and customs in different Church traditions. In this thesis I attempt to shed some light on the consecration of churches in the tradition of the Syrian Orthodox Church; this is a relatively uncharted field. It is prefaced by an overview of dedication in the early Christian period and of the Jewish liturgical traditions on which the worship was based. Next I consider some Syriac literary works, the importance of Syriac literature and liturgy, and the liturgical books of the Syrian Orthodox Church. I then describe house churches of the first centuries and their gradual development into today's magnificent and artistic churches. An important part of my work focuses on the Holy 'Myron', which is an integral component used in the consecration of Syrian churches. I discuss the importance accorded to 'Myron' in the church and the different types of anointing involving Myron and other oils. The main part of the thesis focuses on the construction of a church from its very beginning until its consecration once it has been completed, referring to biblical and symbolic interpretations. This includes a detailed description of the different tools and utensils used in the Syrian Orthodox Church (some illustrated) with an explanation of their relevance and meaning.The views of the church fathers such as Aphrahat, Ephrem, Moses Bar Kepha, Dionysius Bar Salibi and Jacob of Serugh, and the references and allegories from the Acts of Thomas and the Sugitho on the Church of Edessa are also included in my work.The main sources for this study are my translations of the Vatican Borg. manuscript Syriac 57 and Paris manuscript Syriac 110. The official version of the church consecration used in the Syrian Orthodox Church is a copy of Vatican manuscript 51. The Syriac texts with translations are provided in chapter two.
Date of Award31 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJohn Healey (Supervisor)


  • Syrian Orthodox church consecreation
  • West Syrian Liturgy

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