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Home Articles Articles The Suriani Christians' ritual prayer

The Suriani Christians' ritual prayer

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The Suriani Christians follow an original form of Christianity, and it is interesting to note the similarity to Muslim ritual prayer.  This description of the worship at Mar Gabriel, a Turkish monastery is taken from ‘From the Holy Mountain’ by William Dalrymple.

“It was still dark, with only a faint glimmer of dawn on the horizon.  In the church the lamps were all lit, casting a dim and flickering light over the early Byzantine mosaics of the choir….

…The entire congregation began a long series of prostrations: from their standing position, the worshippers fell to their knees, and from the rear of the church was a line of upturned bottoms.  All that distinguished the worship from that which might have taken place in a mosque was that the worshippers crossed and recrossed themselves as they performed their prostrations.  This was the way the early Christians prayed, and is exactly the form of worship described by Moschos in The Spiritual Meadow.  In the sixth century, the Muslims appear to have derived their techniques of worship from existing Christian practice.*  Islam and the Eastern Christians have retained the original early Christian convention; it is the Western Christians who have broken with sacred tradition.”

* We would say the origins of both forms are the same.


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