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Re: Seven Times Prayers of the Orthodox System

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  • Fr.Dr.BIJI CHIRATHILATTU MARKOSE
    Dear moderator / Jose Kurian Puliyeril See what Bar Ebroyo says about the times of prayers in his books Ethicon and Hoodaya canon. More details could be given
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2003
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      Dear moderator / Jose Kurian Puliyeril

      See what Bar Ebroyo says about the times of prayers
      in his books Ethicon and Hoodaya canon. More details
      could be given on request.

      Bar Ebroyo says that there are six times of canonical
      prayers a day and quoting the Canons of the Holy
      Apostles,[1] especially that of Paul, he explains
      why one should pray so many times. In the morning,
      after getting up from the sleep and washing the face
      each believer and female believer should pray, before
      starting his / her work. A believer should not pray
      even at home with a hearer[2]or with a heretic.
      "Perform prayer in the morning because the Lord has
      brought light; at the third hour,[3]at which our
      Lord Jesus was sentenced; at the sixth because at
      that hour he was crucified (John 19:14-16), at the
      ninth hour because at that hour everything was shaken
      and shuddering (Mt. 27: 51); in the evening because
      of the rest of the night; at the crowing of the cock,
      because it is the hour which announces the coming of
      the day. And the excellent teachers (of the Church)
      have added a final prayer of Compline, in order that
      it would be fulfilled 'Seven times a day I praise
      you for your righteous judgements (Ps 119:164)',
      as it was said by David."[4]
      -----------------------------------------------

      [1] The Canons of the Apostles were borrowed from
      the Octateuchus Syrus, Book VI. The text of these
      canons were edited and translated by A.VÖÖBUS in
      The Synodicon in the West-Syrian Tradition I. Cf.
      VÖÖBUS: Synodicon I, p. 75 (p. 87 transl.). There
      are various collections in the west-Syrian tradition
      under this title and Bar Ebroyo makes use of all of
      them in his Nomocanon. Also cf. SELB :Orientalisches
      Kirchenrecht II, p. 97, especially cf. pp. 92-98 for
      a brief description of them.

      [2] Nomocanon (ed. BEDJAN), p. 63. The term AtNh?has
      the following meanings; a.) "Hearer," "hearkner,"
      "listener"; b) "An official appointed to hear law
      suits"; c) "A pupil/ one under instruction." Cf.
      PAYNE -SMITH: Dictionary, p. 583; Thesaurus Syriacus II,
      col. 4216. In the ancient Church, the term denoted a
      group of people who have just heard about the Gospel,
      but not yet confirmed in the faith or baptised. They
      usually occupied the last place (Exonarthex) or the
      Narthex in the ancient Churches, which had fixed
      places for the Clergy, Baptised believers, To Be
      Baptised believers (catechumens) and for the Hearers.
      Cf. Benner et. al: Die Orthodoxen Kirchen, pp. 6-8;
      Thöle: Zugänge zur Orthodoxie, pp. 135-138. It is quite
      possible that Bar Ebroyo means here the group of people
      who have just heard the Gospel. But it is very dubious,
      whether the hearers still existed in the Church during
      Bar Ebroyo´s time also. It seems also viable to assume
      that they are mentioned here just because Bar Ebroyo
      is directly quoting from the Canons of the Apostles.

      [3] The seven times of prayer in the Syrian Orthodox
      Church are the following: Morning, Third Hour, Sixth
      Hour, Ninth Hour, Evening, Compline and the Night.
      As many of these times are directly related to the
      biblical events, the division of time according to
      the New Testament is taken over by the Church. In
      the New Testament times, the Day and Night were
      equally calculated into 12 hours, i.e., from sunrise
      to sunset 12 hours and from sunset to sunrise 12.
      So, in the summer, the hours of the day had more
      than 60 minutes and correspondingly the hours of
      the night were shorter. Therefore, it is necessary
      to know the date also to exactly calculate the New
      Testament hours. Approximately calculated, Third Hour
      means the time between sunrise and noon, the Sixth
      Hour means Noon and the Ninth Hour the time between
      Noon and evening. Cf. RIENECKER F: Stunde,
      pp. 1350-1351.

      [4] Ethicon (ed. TEULE), p. 21; Nomocanon (ed. BEDJAN),
      p. 63.

      With Love and Prayers
      Fr.Dr.BIJI CHIRATHILATTU MARKOSE
      Vicar of the St.Mary's Syrian Orthodox Congregation
      Vienna,
      Austria

      --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Jose Kurian Puliyeril wrote:
      > Seven Times Prayers of the Orthodox System.
      > (7 Yama Prarthanakal of Orthodox worship Order)
      >
      > First of all let us think what is prayer. Our Patron
      > Saint, St. Gregorios, who was practically a man of
      > prayer, has taught us "prayer is the enthusiasm of
      > the childhood, dependence of the youth, and peace of
      > the old age. Prayer is a golden chain which links
      > the world in different ways to the presence of God."
      > In short we must understand prayer is an essential
      > need to maintain the growth of our spirituality.
      > Our Church Fathers insist us to have prayer in standing
      > position, as it is the best way to express our respect
      > to God Almighty. So we are not supposed to do prayers
      > in the sitting position. More over we have been asked
      > to prostrate (to do Sashtangapranam== Kumbideel)along
      > with our prayers. Daniel 6:10 say that he used to
      > prostrate three times a day. (See Ezekiel 3:23, 46; 2,
      > Revelations 1:17, 11:16, 19:4, 22:9).
      >
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