Syriac Chant is the authentic chant of the Antiochene Syriac Maronite Church.
The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council affirmed that pride of place should be given to Gregorian chant in the Latin Church, it follows that that same precedence must be afforded to Syriac chant in the Maronite Church.
Due to various reasons, there are slight variations in some of the Syriac melodies. Which versions has the Music Commission chosen? Following the official Hymnal released by the Maronite Patriarchal Liturgical Commission (Bkerke 2008), we have chosen the versions of the Syriac melodies published in the scholarly work of Fr Louis Hage OLM (Musique Maronite Vol IIIA and IIIB, Kaslik, Lebanon 1990, 1991).
It is important to note that when the Syriac melodies are sung in Syriac or Arabic, it is possible at times to use alternative versions of the same Syriac Melody, e.g. Bo’ooto dmor ya’qoob. However, due to the nature of English language/syllabification, this is not possible in the English versions. To ensure that the English pronunciation is not compromised, the Music Commission has chosen which versions are suitable for a particular hymn, and has added a suffix to the melody title to make the distinction between the versions.
E.g. Bo’ooto dmor ya’qoob (Epiphany),
Bo’ooto dmor ya’qoob (Lent),
Bo’ooto dmor ya’qoob (Departed) etc.
To assist parish organists and music/choir directors, an MP3 recording of one verse of the different Syriac Melodies used in the Book of Offering (Mass Book) has been recorded.