مراجعة الترجمة العربية للحسايات في صفحة الفناقيث (ترجمة الأب د. بهنام سوني).
ترجمة عربية مختصرة للحسايات، من وضع المطران مار غريغوريوس صليبا شمعون، لتنزيل الملف، اضغط هنا.
Husoyos for Sundays, Feasts, Lents and Passion Week and other occasions
The husoyos are propitiatory prayers in prose form recited in certain times. They are of two parts: the proemium, or the introductory prayer, usually brief; and the sedro, which contains the text of the prayer and is usually longer than the proemium. The propitiatory prayer, whether recited in the morning or evening, is preceded by an introductory prayer and followed by the prayer of the incense. Frequently, the sedro is recited jointly with a concluding prayer a usage by which the Orthodox Church has exclusively distinguished itself.
The propitiatory prayer, recited by the priests in their particular times and days, contains praise to God, who bestowed upon man the grace of existence and salvation. It also contains a description of Christ’s beneficence and love toward mankind, which He saved from eternal damnation and brought to the light of truth after it had been in darkness. The priest usually concludes this prayer by asking the forgiveness of the sins of the people and imploring God to keep the shepherds of the church, the priests, the deacons and the different categories of believers, to save them from afflictions and grant them and their dead, who slept in the hope of the faith and the resurrection, His abundant mercies.
In the husoyos prescribed for principal feasts, the authors describe the holy sacraments in which they were performed and which led to the glorification of these feasts. They frequently elaborated on the orthodox doctrines, such as the principles of the belief in the Trinity and monotheism, the two Sacraments of the Incarnation and Redemption and the sacraments of the church and their noble symbols, in order that these might become firmly established in the minds of the worshippers. In the days of fasting, the authors of these expiatory prayers exhort the believers to live up to the principle of fasting by comporting themselves in a manner free from sin, while holding fast to repentance. In the festivals of saints, they commemorate their struggles, praise their virtues and ask for their intercession. In commemorating the dead, they ask for their forgiveness and mercy. Finally, in the administration of the sacraments of the church, the authors confine themselves to the description of the sacraments and the discussion of related matters.
This type of prayer was contrived in the last decade of the seventh century by John III, Patriarch of Antioch, known as John of the Sedros (after the second part of the ḥusoyo). Soon this style of prayer spread tremendously; while in the beginning there were one or two ḥusoyos for special occasions, or for undesignated times, they were gradually increased until there were as many as five for just one Sunday or feast. Apparently church scholars followed the lead of the Patriarch in composing these prayers. Husoyos were appointed as follows: one for Sunday evening, two for the first and second nocturnal services, one for the morning service and the last for the third-hour prayer. In the church of Tur ‘Abdin we found precious old copies of husoyos with the names of their thirty-seven authors affixed on the margin. These authors are of three categories: the excellent, the mediocre and the bad.
The first category includes:
- John, Patriarch of Antioch (d. 648);
- Marutha, Maphryono of Takrit (d. 649);
- Severus II, Patriarch of Antioch (d. 683);
- Athanasius II, Patriarch of Antioch (d. 686);
- Severus Bar Kepha, metropolitan of Baremman (d. 903);
- Athanasius, bishop of Qallisura (d. 983);
- Patriarch John X Bar Shushan (d. 1072);
- Sa’id Bar Sabuni, metropolitan of Melitene (d. 1095);
- Dionysius Bar Mawdyana, metropolitan of Melitene (d. 1 120);
- Jacob Bar Salibi, metropolitan of Amid (d. 1171);
- Michael the Great, Patriarch of Antioch (d. 1199);
- Abraham, metropolitan of Amid, Edessa and Tālbsam (d. 1207);
- Basilius III or IV, metropolitan of Qartmin (d. 1254);
- John Bar Ma’dani, Patriarch of Antioch (d. 1263);
- The ascetic monk Abu Nasr of Bartelli (d. 1290).
The authors of this category wrote most of the husoyos mentioned in the oldest manuscripts. Abu Nasr was distinguished for being the author of ninety-four husoyos. However, quite a large number of these husoyos are of unknown authorship.
The second category comprises:
- Gabriel of Bartelli, metropolitan of the Jazira (d. 1300);
- The monk Yeshu’ Bar Khayrun (d. 1335);
- The monk Saliba Bar Khayrun (d. 1340);
- Thomas of Hah, the stylite ascetic;
- Metropolitan Abu al-Wafa of Hisn Kifa;
- Joseph Bar Gharīb, metropolitan of Amid (d. 1360);
- Patriarch Abraham Bar Gharīb (d. 1412);
- The priest Isaiah of Basibrina (d. 1425);
- The priest Simon of Amid (d. 1452);
- Patriarch Bahnam of Hidl (d. 1454);
- The monk Malke Sāqo (d. 1490);
- The monk Yeshu’ of Basibrina (d. 1490);
- The priest Addai of Basibrina (d. 1502);
- The monk David of Homs (d. 1500);
- Metropolitan Sergius of Hah (d. 1508);
- Joseph the Iberian, metropolitan of Jerusalem.
The third category includes:
- ‘Aziz of Faf (d. 1473);
- Patriarch Mas’ud of Zaz (d. 1512);
- Bishop Simon (?);
- Joseph of Hbob (?);
- John of Mardin, metropolitan of Jerusalem (d. 1577);
- Chorepiscopus Jacob of Qutrubul (d. 1783).
Some of these authors composed only one or two husoyos; on the other hand, some of the husoyos were mistakenly ascribed to the priest Samuel (the disciple of St. Barsoum), Jacob of Sarug, Philoxenus of Mabug and John Bar Aphtonia.
The husoyos comprise six volumes, five of which are very large books containing about six hundred and fifty husoyos. The first volume, the service book for winter, includes the period from the Sunday of the Consecration of the Church — which is also the first day of the church year — to the Sunday of the Dead. The second volume consists of the husoyos of Lent, up to Palm Sunday. The third volume contains the husoyos for Passion Week, from Monday night until the ninth hour of the Saturday of Annunciation. It also includes a husoyo for each service of the five days of Passion Week and four for the evening of the Friday of Crucifixion (Good Friday). The fourth volume, which is the service book for the summer, includes the husoyos of the twenty-four Sundays of the Resurrection, beginning with the daily husoyos of the week immediately following the great Sunday of Easter. The fifth volume is set aside for major feasts, as well as the festivals of the Virgin Mary, the martyrs and the saints. The sixth volume contains eight husoyos for remembering the dispensations of our Lord Christ in general, known as the mdabronutho. The shhimo (Service book for regular week-days) also contains seven brief husoyos recited between the services. Another small book in the church of Mosul contains brief daily husoyos, privately recited on certain days of the week for the commemoration of the Virgin, the cross, the saints, the martyrs and for repentance for the priests and the dead. Other orders of the mysteries have special husoyos whose authors are unknown to us.
The style of the majority of the husoyos, particularly those written by authors of the first category, is lucid and eloquent. Other husoyos especially those written specifically for the Divine Liturgy by John of the Sedros, Athanasius II and Jacob of Edessa, are distinguished by their remarkable style, richness of meaning and beautiful and smooth phrasing, which arrests the heart. To these should be added the husoyos by Moses Bar Kepha, John Bar Shushan, Athanasius of Qallisura, Sa’id Bar Sabuni and Abu Nasr of Bartelli. The husoyos of Bar Sabuni reveal his profound knowledge of the language and proficiency in philosophy, which appear vividly in his style. His mastery of eloquent expression enables him to subjugate the language to his own whim. If it were not for the few Greek expressions which he uses in imitation of the philosopher’s method, one might conclude that he is among the most famous masters of styles. Likewise, the style of Abu Nasr attests to his rich subject matter, writing ability and literary artistic elegance.
Quite different is the style of the authors from the second category, despite their smoothness, clarity and eloquence. The fault of some of these authors, like Abu al-Wafa, Yeshu’ of Basibrina and Joseph the Iberian, is their love of foreign terminologies, which evidently made their style stilted. Another fluent writer for whom the language became pliable was Joseph Bar Gharib. His counterpart, Patriarch Bahnam of Hidl, had the same literary qualities except for the few Greek expressions he used. As for the remaining authors, their style was marked by mediocrity. Jacob of Qutrubul, for example, exaggerated the use of forced style and poor rhymed prose in the five husoyos he wrote in commemoration of Malke the ascetic. The copy containing these husoyos was consigned to a church in Amid and was neglected. Other authors of husoyos forced the style of supplicatory prayers and made them alphabetical forward and backward, while some others inserted in them rhymed phrases whose combinations of letters indicate their names.
No small number of husoyos were composed and used in the author’s native land or the land neighboring it, especially the husoyos of the later authors of Tur ‘Abdin. These writers were fascinated by the description of the life stories of the known ascetics and martyrs in their country. The husoyos of the priest Simon of Amid were never used, but remained in the copy in his own handwriting. In the library of Boston, in the United States, we found a volume (MS. 4031) containing husoyos for the period from the Sunday of the Consecration of the Church to the Festival of the Cross, written in a thick, elegant Estrangelo script. The five services of worship are complete in this manuscript. This MS. was completed in the tenth or eleventh century, but apparently did not come into widespread use in the East. Therefore, Abu Nasr of Bartelli wrote most of the husoyos for the nocturnal and third-hour services and raised the number of the services of worship to seven. All copies which we have read in the churches of Iraq, Jazira and others contain these husoyos.
The oldest copy of the husoyos is the Paris MS. 70, called the Service Book of Priests. Completed in 1059, it is a very small book, written in beautiful Estrangelo script; it consists of three liturgies as well as husoyos for the whole year, followed by preliminary supplicatory prayers. The ancient British Museum MS. 14494 contains some husoyos, incense prayers and supplications recited between the parts of the Psalms. Some of these prayers were alphabetically arranged, while others were written by Quryaqos, metropolitan of Telia at the end of the sixth century. The Jerusalem MS. 55 (St. Mark’s Monastery) contains a sacerdotal written on paper in a good Estrangelo script by the priest Sa’id Shamli, the son of priest John of Hisn Ziyad, in 1171. This sacerdotal contains husoyos for Epiphany and the Sundays thereafter, Lent, Passion Week, the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, the mdabronutho or Dispensation of our Lord, the apostles, saints, the Assumption of the Virgin, festivals of some saints, namely St. John, St. George and St. Barsoum and others. It also contains diverse supplicatory prayers, recited before or after the husoyos or between the marmithos or psalms as well as husoyos for fasting, written in a Western script. The Paris MS. 167 contains a volume of husoyos in the handwriting of Patriarch Michael the Great, dated 1190, for use from the festival of the Consecration of the Church to the Pentecost, interspersed with the festivals of the Virgin, the apostles, the doctors and the martyrs. It contains copious prayers including groups of one, two or three husoyos for some festival days and Sundays, a few other husoyos for Lent and one husoyo for each day of Passion Week except Good Friday, which has three. These husoyos differ sharply in the number of their introductory prayers and texts and have only one sedro for the dispensation of our Lord and repentance, in addition to the compline and vespers prayers.
In the Monastery of the Cross, near the village of Defna in Tur ‘Abdin, we found a manuscript (transcribed in 1555) containing one hundred seventy husoyos. Another manuscript in the village of Meddo, transcribed between 1460 and 1480, contains three hundred and seven husoyos which fill four thousand medium-sized pages. Indeed, this volume is a great literary treasure which, because of its style, has a considerable place in Syriac literature. Moreover, when the Arabic language spread throughout the lands of the Syrians and supplanted Syriac, some of the later authors (from the end of the fifteenth century onwards) were forced to translate the majority of husoyos into Arabic. Thus a monk, David of Homs, translated some of them, sometimes well and sometimes in a mediocre style. Those who followed, especially in the eighteenth century, rendered the husoyos in very imperfect, poor Arabic and even distorted their meanings.
Source: Barsoum, Ignatius Aphram. The Scattered Pearls: A History of Syriac Literature and Sciences. Translated by Matti Moosa. 2nd revised. Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press, 2003, 77-83.