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Syrian Orthodox Hymnology


This course is for both beginners and advanced participants in hymnology. The Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch has a rich tradition of hymnody and poems. Many great Fathers of the Church wrote and instructed the faithful using music and poetry. St. Ephrem the Syrian and St. Jacob of Serugh are two of the most famous hymn writers in the Syrian Orthodox tradition.

This course aims to provide participants with a practical and theoretical introduction to the hymnic tradition of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and invites the participants to partake in this great tradition.


Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will have (depending on level):


  • ability to identify key features, protagonists and characteristics that constitute the hymnic tradition of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch
  • developed the understanding to be able to describe the different parts of the liturgical commentaries of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch
  • developed the ability, independently and together with other students, to analyse, understand and translate Syriac hymns and liturgical songs of different levels.
  • capacity to relate the different liturgical books to each other in practice
  • competence to recite the Beth Gazo and other liturgical books with the basic tones and hymns on different levels



Students are expected to participate in all course activities, both by being present and playing an active role in scheduled course sessions, and by completing assignments to be done outside of scheduled lessons. If participants miss lessons, they may be required to do extra assignments in order to fulfill the participation requirements of the course. 80% attendance and participation (including completion of assignments) are required for the course to be considered to have been completed.

Additional Information 

Disposition of 50 % course on distance

Details of lessons, participation in discussions and contact with the teacher and other participants take place primarily through the teaching platform Canvas.

You will have two evening lessons each  week.

The first evening will be related to the specific subject that you have chosen – you will participate in the class and participate in discussion with your teacher and other participants in the course.

On the second evening, you will participate in an open lecture where you and all the participants within the Syrian Orthodox seminary participate and discuss important subjects within the Syrian Orthodox Church and society today. In this lesson you will have a significant influence on which subjects and discussions will take place. You will also, together with your fellow participants, present and actively defend your perspectives and solutions to questions that are raised. Within folkbildning teaching takes place not only between teacher and student, but also between student and teacher and between student and student. We learn from each other and together as a group. You will be encouraged to do the various assignments that you will be given together with other participants in the course. You will also have access to material, your teacher and other participants through the Canvas platform outside of the scheduled lessons. Your active participation is vital for the course!

If a course has a low number of participants you will be offered a place in another course within the seminary

Application forms available in:

Quick Facts

Length: 1-2 years

Study Pace: 50%

Type of Instruction: Distance learning
Language of Instruction: Swedish, English, and Syriac

Level: Seminary

Organizer: Sankt Ignatios Folkhögskola

In addition to the requirements stated in the course description, all students need to be at least 18 year old, be officially registered in Sweden and have a sufficient knowledge of the language of instruction.

Fees: Tuition at Sankt Ignatios Folkhögskola is free for everyone who is registered (“folkbokförda”) in Sweden.

Service Fees at Sankt Ignatios Folkhögskola:  Students are required to pay a service fee. The service fee for this course is SEK 400 per semester.