Annual psalm tune...explain this to me, please!

Hello all,

I'm trying to learn the tune for the annual psalm, I've listened to 3 different recordings:

This one by Muallim Sadek(I think) this one,,_Liturgy_of_St._Basil_in_Coptic/Part_2.html

This one sounds like Ibrahim Ayad  ; "Litany of the Gospel" track @4:55

This one I know is Ibrahim Ayad

I have two questions:

1. How is it that the words in the psalm in the 3 cases are the same? Don't you say the day's psalm?

2. Ibrahim Ayad says it in a slightly different way than Mulallim Sadek, which is more "reliable"?

Thanks for any input


  • 1- it's Cantor Sadek and it is the quick annual is the text

    33@18 Naswou ni`;li'ic `nte ni`;myi@ ouoh `fnanahmou `nje `P[oic `ebol `nqytou tyrou.

    67@4 Ouoh ni`;myi marouounof@ marou;elyl `mpe`m;o `m`Vnou]@ marouounof qen ouounof.

    2-It's Cantor Ibrahim also with the quick annual psalm 
    3-Are you sure this is Cantor Ibrahim--doesn't sound like him but maybe the recording is just old and also here is the text for both (different then the above for the last 2 stanzas)
    33@18 Naswou ni`;li'ic `nte ni`;myi@ ouoh `fnanahmou `nje `P[oic `ebol `nqytou tyrou.
    33@19 `P[oic na`areh `enoukac tyrou@ ouai `ebol `nqytou `nnefloflef.

    Cantor Sadek is a little different in the ending of the 2nd stikhon but that's not really a big deal.
  • edited June 2014
    Thank you for your response!

    So the 3 psalms I listened to just happen to have the same first 2 stikhons? Or do you always say those 2 first?

    3. Yeah, I'm sure it's Ibrahim, he was introduced in the beginning of the liturgy. The recording is old though.

  • well both Ibarhim's recordings have the same psalm. Sadek's only the first 2. 
  • So you'd say the day's psalm, right?
  • @ JC_HMONAS,
    Of course you'd say the day's verses. Unfortunately for many cantors it's not straightforward to fit the tune on any day's verses so they take no risks and record what's been handed down from before them. We should however be smarter than this and be able to fit the tune on the day's verses although that's not very easy sometimes..
  • Trying saying it in English from the Katameros. Much more powerful and meaningful, I think...and the melody can be easily reproduced.
  • @ophadece

    Okay, thank you! I thought so.. what made me wonder is that it was 3 different liturgies with the same first 2 stanzas, big coincidence!


    Maybe... but it seems redundant to say in English twice, since you'll say it again when you read the Gospel. We were also always taught that you pray hymns in Coptic (as much as you can), while looking to the east, then transalate in whatever other language while facing the west.
  • @ophadece...thats how you'd know the deacon that knows the lahn well enough from the one who just studied once or twice or even just followed some hazzat. we ought not to be audio players of alhan but living beings that live the lahn and sing it from the heart, as Anba Youannis always say, 'We play the strings of our hearts all the days of our lives in the house of the Lord' (translating it from the arabic psalm he wrote on my psalmody :-)).

    @RamezM...I have done it didn't sound well enough for me to do it again. I feel like pronouncing the coptic is much easier, breaking into syllables sounds more 'acceptable' (to those who don't SPEAK coptic like me) than english or arabic. Also, we don't really have the best translation of psalms in katameroses (still fighting on what version to use or even if we should just translate it on our own)...also it's not in the best format to define the 4 stanzas. 

  • @minatasgeel,
    Very well said man
    Great to stick to that always and teach it to the young, but remember it's not that you face the west explaining the readings, but rather following the direction of the text. So Arabic is the opposite of Coptic in direction, but strictly speaking western languages should be read facing the east too, but who cares?
    Who needs Coptic anymore in the Coptic church?
  • @ophadece

    I'm sorry but what do you mean by the "opposite" of a language. Abouna says that if a language isn't Coptic then you face the west because you're translating the prayer to the people no matter what that language is. If it's in Coptic then you face the east because you're actually praying it. Forgive me if I'm wrong
  • JC,

    Your last post is the funniest thing I have ever heard! I can't believe that this is actually being taught in churches!
  • This is actually being taught in many churches. The standard response is always east for the readings in coptic as they are chanted prayer and west to the people when reading translations. I honestly don't know the real answer but I have seen the same practice in a Russian Orthodox Church but they may do it for a different reason.
    In the Coptic church things are done anti-clockwise and therefore the direction of the Coptic readings is that the reader faces the east. The pro Arabic boffins in their cleverness realised that the opposite would work for Arabic since the direction is opposite to that of the Coptic. Now with the spread of churches in the west nobody stopped to think and all assumed it's for translation and edification! As if Coptic isn't. So the practice wrongly carried on and now when you ask anyone the flawed reason is given! That's completely wrong and unacceptable as not only the reader is resembling Judas Iscariot but also church rituals are not understood correctly or adhered to. After pointing this out to you today let's audit how many churches change their practice. I know mine won't.
  • By the way we don't read things out just like that. We pray the readings, starting from the reader himself. 
  • So how would you determine which direction to face? I don't think I understand how a language can be an opposite of another language
    You read Coptic as well as the western languages from left to right, but Arabic is the opposite.
  • There are 3 tunes for the annual liturgy psalm, 2 tunes for annual raising of incense
  • St. Pachom, it would be great if you can provide some sources. 
  • edited June 2014
    St. Pachom,

    you are right in that there are 3 ways....kinda. The one for vespers and matins are the same tune but the Alleluia ending is different. The one during Liturgy is completely unique. 
  • edited June 2014
    There are indeed 3 tunes. Vespers and Matins starts with the tune of Je avsaji commonly heard during the fast/feast of St Mary and then the second half of the psalm follows the quick tune of the tawaf. In the liturgy there is the quick tune we are all familiar with but also the long version which borrows from the festal singary tune for part.
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