TURKEY: Syriac people in Tur Abdin celebrate feast of Mor Gabriel

TUR ABDIN, Turkey — Syriac communities, both in their homeland and the diaspora, continue to uphold their rich religious traditions and festivals, safeguarding a heritage passed down through generations. Recently, the celebration of the Feast of Mor Gabriel took place at the historic Mor Gabriel Monastery in the Tur Abdin region in southeastern Turkey.

This spiritual celebration attracted a diverse gathering of Syriac individuals from various villages in Tur Abdin, as well as expatriate Syriacs who returned to the ancestral homeland for the occasion.

The evening mass, conducted at the Mor Gabriel Monastery on a Wednesday, was led by Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Tur Abdin Mor Timotheus Shmuel Aktaş. He was joined by priests from Tur Abdin, as well as from countries like Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia.

During the ceremony, Archbishop Aktaş expressed gratitude to all the attendees, emphasizing the special significance of the Feast of Mor Gabriel in the hearts of Syriac people. The event also featured a documentary showcasing the life of Mor Gabriel and other revered saints.

The spiritual evening reached its crescendo with melodic church hymns performed by deacons and students from Mor Gabriel Monastery, filling the air with a sense of devotion. Following the ceremony, a communal dinner was hosted for all participants.

Reflecting the tradition of staying at the monastery, some attendees spent the night there, while others returned to their homes in Midyat and other villages across Tur Abdin.