Consecration of a New Archbishop for Youth Affairs and Religious Education – Syriac Orthodox Church

Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate – 11/3/19

On March 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at Mor Severus Church in the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Bikfaya, Lebanon.

During the Qurobo, His Holiness consecrated Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub as Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar for the Youth affairs and Religious Education.

His Holiness was assisted in the Qurobo by their Eminences: Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi, Patriarchal Vicar in Canada, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.

Their Eminences: Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Severius Malke Mourad, Patriarchal Vicar in Brazil, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Gregorius Malke Urek, Patriarchal Vicar in Adiyaman and its Environs, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Timotheos Matthew, Mor Georges Kourieh, Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium, France and Luxemburg, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, also assisted His Holiness in the consecration rite, in the presence of His Eminence Mor Philoxenus Matta Chamoun.

Their Beatitudes Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, in addition to their Eminences and Excellencies Archbishops of the Christian Churches in Lebanon and Syria, and a crowd of the Very Rev. and Rev. priests, monks, nuns, deacons, and faithful.

In his sermon, His Holiness recalled the story of the Forty Martyrs of Sebastia, whom the Church commemorates today. He considered that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. He added that each one of us is a martyr (witness) for Christ, some by blood, others by words or deeds. Speaking about the consecration of a new archbishop, His Holiness said that today the Church presents a new martyr (witness) for Christ. The way of martyrdom, His Holiness added, is full of spiritual joy even despite all the troubles and hardship. At the end, he congratulated the new archbishop wishing him a fruitful service for the church, especially the youth.

During the Qurobo, according to the rite of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, the new archbishop declared his Orthodox Faith and signed it before His Holiness the Patriarch. His Holiness prayed the prayer of the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the laying on of the hand. He laid on his right hand on the head of Raban Jack and ordained him as an archbishop.

Then, His Holiness gave the new bishop his fatherly name (Anthimos), and started to put on him the bishopric vestments. The new bishop sat on the bishopric chair; His Holiness placed his right hand over the archbishop’s shoulder and declared thrice: “Axios (worthy)”, while the crowd of faithful repeated the same each time. The new bishop was then carried on the chair so he reads the special reading from the Holy Bible. At the end, His Holiness gave him the crosier (pastoral staff).

Before he continues the celebration of the Holy Qurobo, the new archbishop Mor Anthimos Yakoub, then gave a word titled “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (John 17:19), in which he said: “today, as I receive by grace the holy episcopacy by the laying on of hands of Your Holiness, I become a Nazirite for the Lord, and continue to sanctify myself for the sake of sanctifying my brethren”. He added “This I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me… by doing this, I follow Your Holiness’ example, for you have established a special department for Syriac youth ministry, who you always cared for, because you believe they are presence and future of the Church.”

His Eminence then thanked His Holiness, their Eminences the Archbishops, the Reverend priests, monks, nuns, his family members, and all those who supported him through his life and church service.

After the Qurobo, His Holiness, their Beatitudes, His Eminence the New Archbishop, and all their Eminences, entered the Patriarchal Hall where His Holiness put on the new archbishop the turban and the black robe with red hems, and gave him the small staff. Congratulations were then offered to the new archbishop.