In message #453, "V Thomas" <vthomas@t...> wrote:
> Do we (syrian orthodox church) have any procedure for canonisation?
> How we have declared the earlier metropolitans as saint?.
The Syriac Orthodox Church does not have the rigorous and formal
procedure of canonization or beatification as practiced in the Roman
Catholic Church. The fathers of the church were not compelled to
establish such formal processes most likely due to the reluctance to
establish parameters for "holiness" best left to judgment in the
sight of God. In practice, the holiness of a saint is recognized by
popular acclaim and over time the more prominent of the holy ones are
commemorated as saints in the liturgies. Today, from a liturgical
perspective, the formal recognition as a saint comes with the
authorization to use the quqalya of the zadeeqe (hymns for
intercession of the righteous) in his or her commemoration at the
tomb or on the memorial day. Given the widely variant list of local
saints in the calendars of different monasteries in the Middle East,
I suspect that such recognitions of sainthood were made rather
informally by the abbots of monasteries. In recent times, the
Patriarch as the spiritual head of the Church grants such
authorizations with the consent of the Holy Synod. However, given the
fact that the fifth diptych (Syr. toob-deyn) read universally has
undergone no changes since it was authored by Mor Ya`qub of Edessa
(c. AD 633-708), it is unlikely that any Patriarch since has formally
declared anyone a universal saint. (Note that even the encyclical
from HH the Patriarch No. E265/87 dt. Oct 20, 1987 permits additions
to the diptych for use only in Malankara).
In my humble opinion, the Church should remain true to its traditions
and shy away from formal bestowals of sainthood. It is up to the
faithful to seek intercession of whoever they consider holy in the
sight of God. After all is said and done, those who have a 'confident
stand in the presence of God' are the ones who are holy.
Thomas Joseph, Ph.D.
Web Master, SOR (http://sor.cua.edu)
Technical Editor, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies