Liturgy of John Chrysostom


This 18th-century manuscript contains the Liturgy of John Chrysostom, one of the early church fathers and archbishop of Constantinople, who lived circa 347–407. Directions for the priest and deacon are in Arabic, while what is read aloud is given in parallel columns of Greek and Syriac. The Syriac script is of the variety known as Melkite, which is rather more angular than the more commonly seen Serto script. The decorative title page has ornate writing in black, red, blue, and gold ink. Throughout the manuscript, the black ink has bled considerably, acid from the ink has obliterated some letters and words, and there is worm damage along the outer and inner edges. The cover is missing. The manuscript is from the library of the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, an Antiochan Orthodox monastery located on a plateau about eight kilometers south of Tripoli, in present-day Lebanon. Founded in 1157 as an abbey for French Cistercians, Our Lady of Balamand derives its name from the French bel mont (beautiful mountain). In 1604, the monastery came under the authority of local Orthodox monks.

Last updated: October 3, 2014