I tend to feel angry when I hear Arabic in any service in the Coptic Church in North America, especially during Vespers or Matins or the Liturgies, even though I understand it, but can not speak it fluently. Now I have children and I worry about their spiritual development in the Church which is very important and complements spiritual home life ...because of the heavy emphasis on Arabic.
I love the doxologies, but when the head deacon has every second verse in Arabic it irritates me and neither me nor my children can sing along continuously because of interruptions in Arabic.
I know that every language glorifies God, but we are not in Egypt or Saudi Arabia, we are in English- speaking and -living North America.
Many of our services are in Arabic and it seems English services or translations seem to be a concession... as though it were a disability that has to be accommodated...we are like a minority among a minority and this ought not to be so.
I visited a Church once in Covena, California and found that their Liturgy was beautiful...all English ...-and the Coptic was all in the right place...Tai Shori, Hitens, Agios, End if Service Hymn, Etc were still retained in Coptic. The Priest spoke/chanted beautufully with little or no accent. I wish all North American Churches were like that. Why are others so heavily dominated by Arabism even after nearly 4 decades in North America?
I love my church and I serve the youth in it and the priests do their best to chant in English though it seems difficult at times.....The priests try to integrate both English and Arabic but I feel that Arabic robs the English speakers of the full participation in Orthodox life. Humility is needed to know that others are benefiting from Arabic... but at what price?
Why not emphasize that English is the primary language in North America and ask those weak in it to keep learning it as opposed to expecting the English speakers to learn Arabic. Why not make Arabic Liturgies the concession and special times perhaps one or two days during weekdays or once a month for those who can't pray in English?
The North American Church in many parishes seem very heavily Arabic Culture dominated and it is increasingly bothering me. I want to participate fully with my children in worship, in meetings, in Bible study, in service, in fellowship in my English language in North America. If I were in Egypt, I would expect and accept services to be dominated by Arabic language and culture, but why must those of us suffer for Arabic in North America?
Has anyone felt likewise and what are the solutions?
Is it right to leave and go to another Coptic Church that has younger English speaking priests? These Churches, though seem to ve missionary Churches where even the Coptic hymns are forsaken.
I cant seem to find a parish that is English-speaking-dominated while retaining the Coptic Hymns.