by Fr. Geoffrey Abdallah, Director
This new website is provided by the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission as an official resource for the Maronite Catholic Church. The Commission was established in March 2008 by the four Maronite Bishops of the English speaking eparchies (dioceses) - Bishops Gregory Mansour and Robert Shaheen (USA), Bishop Ad Abikaram (Australia) and Bishop Joseph Khoury (Canada) - in response to the decision at the annual Maronite Bishops' Synod at Bkerke (Lebanon) to establish an inter-eparchial committee to work on one English translation of the Maronite Liturgical texts.
The demanding task of accurately translating and adapting over 250 Maronite Chants of the Qorbono (Mass) into singable English, while remaining faithful to the original Syriac melody, is now omplete. The Entrance Hymns, Qoleh, and Mazmooreh for the whole Liturgical year are available on this website. The hymns for the Proper of the Mass, such as Glory to God, Pre-Anaphora Hymns, Peace Hymns, Fraction Hymns, Communion Hymns, etc., have also been placed on this website. This will allow parish choirs time to begin learning the new texts/hymns prior to the arrival of the new Mass Books.
The new English translation of the Book of Offering (Mass Book) has been approved by the Maronite Bishops of the English speaking eparchies and has been promulgated by the Maronite Patriarch, His Beatitude Bechara Peter Rai. It is in the process of publication. Since the work of any Music commission is always a "work in progress," this website will be constantly updated. It will provide Maronite Hymns in English, articles about Maronite Music, recordings and other resources to make the richness of our authentic Antiochian Syriac Maronite tradition available to future generations in the English speaking world.