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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Publication of Manual of Latin Liturgical Hymns in Arabic

JERUSALEM – The Liturgical Commission of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem published this summer a new edition of a Manual of Latin Rite Liturgical Hymns in Arabic. The book is now in use among many Arab-speaking parishes in Palestine, in Israel, in Jordan and in the USA.

The Commission had worked diligently for five years to come out with this very important book. It is a revised copy, a second edition of the book of hymns published back in 1995. Members of the Commission decided it was necessary to update this Manual which enriches Liturgical life within a large number of local parishes run by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

As regards format, this new version is characterized by a well presented hard cover, colour : purple red. A high quality of paper was chosen by the Commission for printing.

As regards contents, the book is composed of 700 pages, classifying the 565 hymns corresponding to the different stages in the life of the Church, according to the different times of the liturgical year. In the beginning it contains the Ordinary of the Latin Rite Mass in Arabic, as well as a selection of prayers and popular devotions. The book is axed around four indexes. The 1st classifies the hymns according to sections of the Mass and to different liturgical times. The 2nd classifies the hymns in alphabetical order; the 3rd classifies them by theme; the 4th classifies Psalms by theme.

Hymns are either composed at a local level, or translated from foreign languages, or else inspired from impressive Lebanese Maronite traditions.

In his introduction, His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal wrote : “ Singing is in itself a prayer accompanied with music, which the people of God delightfully tastes, for it is likely to revive in the hearts  thinking, feelings and noble emotions. Out of this melodious prayer we can reap many profits: if melts the heart away through this harmony of voice ; it elevates spirit and heart towards God through the charm of music ; and radiates joy among the congregants. A chanted prayer drives the Dogma and the Word of God deeper in the hearts of the faithful, and encourages them to lead a Christian life. That is why we hope that this book will help to strengthen Faith. We sing what we believe in; we believe in what we pray”.

Always in the spirit of Christian singing, the Patriarch went further saying : “it is not enough that the melody be impressive or the words be eloquent, but it matters that the music corresponds to the word, that the word corresponds to the religious reality, in order to reflect the beauty of God and the coherence of the Revelation”.

The Commission will soon publish the same Manual in smaller format (without melodies). A booklet that will hold more prayers and devotions, but will be sold at an affordable price.

Firas Abedrabbo

Source: http://en.lpj.org/2014/11/12/publication-of-manual-of-latin-liturgical-hymns-in-arabic/

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