The Liturgy

It is an established fact that the language spoken by Jesus and by many generations B.C. and early Christianity, and until the 5th century A.D. was Aramaic. Furthermore, Jews wrote some of their holy books in Aramaic or in Aramaic characters, as evidenced by the dead sea scrolls discovered in 1974 by His Eminence Mar Athanasius Yeshu Samuel, then Archbishop of Jerusalem (Archbishop of the United States and Canada at present). Thus, it becomes evident that the disciples and their early successors spoke Syriac. Therefore, it is only common sense that their worship be conducted in Syriac. Since the evangelists who preached the Gospel in Antioch came from Jerusalem where worship was in Syriac, it would only be natural that Syriac be the Liturgical language of the church of Antioch, and that she uses the Syriac liturgy of St. James the brother of the Lord and first bishop of Jerusalem. It is well known that the church of Jerusalem used St. James's Liturgy until the days of the last of the first fifteen Syrian bishops. However, when envoys from Constantinople started assuming its leadership, they replaced, St. James's Liturgy with that of Baselios of Caesaria 379 A.D. and St. John the Chrysostom 407 A.D. translated into Syriac. St. James's Liturgy, nevertheless, remained in the church of Antioch. That is why the Syriac Liturgy is called the Liturgy of Antioch. To this Liturgy are traced all church Liturgies. The church of Antioch, therefore, is proud that her Liturgy is in Syriac, the language made holy by the Lord's divine tongue, and honored by the tongue of His mother Mary and his Apostles. In this language, St. Mathew wrote his Gospel, and in this language evangelical events were proclaimed first in Judea, Syria and neighboring regions.