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The '''East Syrian Rite''' is also known as the '''Chaldean Rite''', '''Assyrian Rite''', or '''Persian Rite''' although it originated in [[County of Edessa|Edessa]].
==History and origin ==
This rite is used by the [[Assyrian Church of the East]] and certain [[Eastern Catholic]] Churches -in Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Malabar- who have separated from them. The Syrian and Mesopotamian Catholics are now commonly called [[Chaldean Catholic Church|Chaldean]]s, (or [[Chaldean Assyrians|Assyro-Chaldeans]]); the term Chaldean, which in Syriac generally meant magician or astrologer, denoted in Latin and other European languages Syrian nationality and the Syriac or Aramaic language (especially that form of the latter which is found in certain chapters of Daniel), until the Latin missionaries at Mosul in the seventeenth century adopted it to distinguish the Catholics of the East Syrian Rite from those of the West Syrian Rite, whom they call "Syrians", and from the Nestorians. The
last call themselves "Syrians" (Surayi), and even "Christians" only, though they do not repudiate the name "Nestorayi", and distinguish themselves from the rest of Christendom as the "Church of the East" or "Easterns", as opposed to "Westerns", by which they denote Latin Catholics, Orthodox, Monophysites, and Protestants.
In recent times they have been called, chiefly by the Anglicans, the "Assyrian Church", a name which can be defended on archaeological grounds. Brightman, in his "Liturgies Eastern and Western", includes Chaldean and Malabar Catholics and Nestorians under "Persian Rite", and Bishop Arthur Maclean of Moray and Ross (Anglican) who is the best living authority on the existing Nestorians, calls them "East Syrians", which is perhaps the most satisfactory term. The catalogue of liturgies in the British Museum has adopted the usual Catholic nomenclature, calling the rite of the East Syrian Catholics and Nestorians the "Chaldean Rite", that of the South Indian Catholics and schismatics the "Malabar Rite', and that of the West Syrian Monophysites and Catholics the "Syrian Rite", a convenient arrangement in view of the fact that most printed liturgies of these rites are Eastern Rite Catholic.
The language of all three forms of the East Syrian Rite is [[Syriac]], a modern form of which is still spoken by the Nestorians and some of the Catholics. The origin of the rite is unknown. The tradition -resting on the legend of Abgar and of his correspondence with Christ, which has been shown to be apocryphal- is to the effect that [[St. Thomas the Apostle]], on his way to India, established Christianity in Mesopotamia, Assyria, and Persia, and left [[Thaddeus of Edessa|Adaeus]] (or Thaddeus), "one of the Seventy", and [[Maris]] in charge. To these the normal liturgy is attributed, but it is said to have been revised by the Patriarch Yeshuyab III in about 650. Some, however, consider this liturgy to be a development of the Antiochene.
After the [[Council of Ephesus]] (431), the Church of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, which had hitherto been governed by a [[catholicos]] under Antioch, refused to accept the condemnation of Nestorius, cut itself and the Church to the East of it off from the Catholic Church. In 498 the catholicos assumed the title of "Patriarch of the East", and for many centuries this most successful missionary church continued to spread throughout Persia, Tartary, Mongolia, China, India, developing on lines of its own, very little influenced by the rest of Christendom.
At the end of the fourteenth century the conquests of
[[Tamerlane ]] all but destroyed this flourishing Church at one blow, reduced it to a few small communities in Persia, Turkey in Asia, Cyprus, South India, and the Island of [[Socotra]]. The Cypriote Nestorians united themselves to Rome in 1445; in the sixteenth century there was a schism in the patriarchate between the rival lines of [[Mar Shimun]] and [[Mar Elia]]; the Christianity of Socotra, such as it was, died out about the seventeenth century; the Malabarese Church divided into Catholics and Schismatics in 1599, the latter deserting Nestorianism for Monophysitism and adopting the [[West Syrian Rite]] about fifty years later; in 1681 the Chaldean Unia, which had been struggling into existence since 1552, was finally established, and in 1778 received a great accession of strength in the adhesion of the whole Mar Elia patriarchate, and all that was left of the original Nestorian Church consisted of the inhabitants of a district between the Lakes of Van and Urmi and Tigris, and outlying colony in Palestine. These have been further reduced by a great massacre by the Kurds in 1843, and the secession of a large number to the Russian Church within the last few years.
In the late nineteenth century there was an attempt to form an "Independent Catholic Chaldean Church", on the model of the "Old Catholics". This resulted in separating a few from the Eastern Rite Catholics.
Qurbana, "the Offering"; udasha, "the Hallowing"
There are three Anaphorae; that of Apostles (Sts. Adaeus and Maris), that of Nestorius, and that of Theodore (of Mopsuestia) the Interpreter. The first is the normal form, and from it the Malabar revision was derived. The second is used by the Chaldeans and Nestorians on the [[Epiphany (Christian)|Epiphany]] and the feasts of [[St. John the Baptist]] and of the [[Greek Doctor]]s, both of which occur in Epiphany-tide on the Wednesday of the Fast of the Ninevites, and on Maundy Thursday. The third is used by the same (except when the second is ordered) from [[Advent Sunday]] to [[Palm Sunday]]. The same pro-anaphoral part serves for all three.
Three other Anaphorae are mentioned by Ebedyeshu (metropolitan of Nisibis, 1298) in his catalogue, those of Barsuma, Narses, and [[Diodore of Tarsus]]; but they are not known now, unless Dr. Wright is correct in calling the fragment in Brit. Mus. Add. 14669, "Diodore of Tarsus".
==Other sacraments and occasional services ==
The other Sacraments in use among the Nestorians are [[Baptism]], with which is always associated an [[Oil of catechumens|anointing]], which as in other eastern rites answers to Confirmation, [[Holy
Order]] and [[Matrimony]], but not Penance or Unction of the sick. The latter appears to be unknown to the Nestorians, though Assemani ("Bibliotheca Orientalis", pt. Ii, p. cclxxii) considers it might be shown from their books that its omission was a modern error. The Chaldean Catholics now have a form not unlike the Byzantine and West Syrian. The nearest approach to Penance among the Nestorians is a form, counted as a sacrament, for the reconciliation of apostates and excommunicated persons, prayers from which are occasionally used in cases of other penitents. Assemani's arguments (ibid., cclxxxvi-viii) for a belief in Penance as a Sacrament among the ancient Nestorians or for the practice of auricular confession among the Malabar Nestorians are not conclusive. The Chaldeans have a similar form to that of the Latin Rite. The Nestorians omit Matrimony from the list, and according to Ebedyeshu make up the number of the mysteries to seven by including the Holy Leaven and the Sign of the Cross, but they are now rather vague about the definition or numeration.
The only other rite of any interest is the consecration of churches. Oil, but not chrism, plays a considerable part in these rites, being used in Baptism, possibly in Confirmation, in the reconciliation of apostates, etc., in the consecration of churches, and the making of bread for the Eucharist. It is not used in ordination or for the sick. There are two sorts of oil; the one is ordinary olive oil, blessed or not blessed for the occasion, the other is the oil of the Holy Horn. The last, which, though really only plain oil, represents the chrism (or myron) of other rites, is believed to have been handed down from the Apostles with the Holy Leaven. The legend is that the Baptist caught the water which fell from the body of Christ at His baptism and preserved it. He gave it to St. John the Evangelist, who added to it some of the water which fell from the pierced side. At the Last Supper Jesus gave two loaves to St. John, bidding him keep one for the Holy Leaven. With this St. John mingled some of the Blood from the side of Christ. After Pentecost the Apostles mixed oil with the sacred water, and each took a horn of it, and the loaf they ground to pieces and mixed it with flour and salt to be the Holy Leaven. The Holy Horn is constantly renewed by the addition of oil blessed by a bishop on Maundy Thursday.
==Sources and references==
===Manuscripts and editions===
The authorities for this rite are chiefly in manuscript, the printed editions being very few
[[as of 1912 ]]. Few of the manuscripts, except some lectionaries in the British Museum, were written before the fifteenth century, and most, whether Chaldean or Nestorian, are of the seventeenth and eighteenth. The books in use are:
*[[Takhsa]], a priest's book, containing the Eucharistic service ([[Qurbana]] or [[Qudasha]]) in its three forms, with the administration of other sacraments, and various occasional prayers and blessings. It is nearly the [[Euchologion]] of the Greeks (see [[Rite of Constantinople]]).
For the Nestorians:
*The Takhsa, in two parts, by [[Archbishop of Canterbury]]'s [[Assyrian Mission]] (
[[Urmi ]], 1890-92) The [[Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge ]] has published an English translation of the first part of the Takhsa, both parts "unmodified except by the omission of the heretical names" (Brightman); * [[Dhaqdham wadhwathar ]], by the same (Urmi, 1894); Dawidha, by the same (Urmi, 1891).
For the Chaldean Catholics:
[[Missale Chaldaicum ]]'', containing the [[Liturgy of the Apostles]] in Syriac and [[Epistle]]s and Gospels in Syriac with an Arabic translation, in [[Carshuni ]] ( [[Propaganda Press ]] [[fol.]], Rome, 1767). A new and revised edition, containing the three liturgies and the lections, epistles, and gospels was published by the Dominicans at [[Mosul ]] in 1901. The Order of the Church Services of Common Days, etc., from Kthawa dhaqdham wadhwathar ( [[octavo ]], Mosul, 1866). *"[[Breviarium Chaldaicum in usum Nationis Chaldaicae a Josepho Guriel secundo editum]]" ( [[16mo ]], Propaganda Press, Rome, 1865).
* "Breviarium Chaldaicum", etc., [8vo, Paris (printed at Leipzig, 1886].
For the Malabar Catholics:
[[Ordo Chaldaicus Missae Beatorum Apostolorum, juxta ritum Ecclesiae Malabaricae ]]" (fol., Propaganda Press, Rome, 1774). *" [[Ordo Chaldaicus Rituum et Lectionum ]]", etc., (fol., Rome, 1775).* " [[Ordo Chaldaicus ministerii Sacramentorum Sanctorum ]]", etc., (fol., Rome, 1775).
These three, which together form a Takhsa and Lectionary, are commonly found bound together. The Propaganda reprinted the third part in 1845.
[[Ordo Baptismi adultorum juxta ritum Ecclesiae Malabaricae Chaldaeorum ]]" (octavo, Propaganda Press, Rome, 1859), a Syriac translation of the Roman Order.
The Malabar Rite was revised in a Roman direction by [[Aleixo de Menezes]], [[Archbishop of Goa]], and the revision was authorized by the controversial [[Synod of Diamper]] in 1599. So effectively was the original Malabar Rite abolished by the Synod in favour of this revision, and by the schismatics (when in 1649, being cut off from their own patriarch by the Spaniards and Portuguese, they put themselves under the [[Jacobite patriarch]]) in favour of the [[West Syrian Liturgy]], that no copy is known to exist, but it is evident from the revised form that it could not have differed materially from the existing [[Nestorian Rite]]\.
*[[West Syrian Rite]]