General Funeral Service is in the Mournful Tune Again

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in its meeting this past week, has restored the General Funeral Service of Palm Sunday to be chanted in the mournful tune (Hazayni) rather than the annual tune.


  • Is there a summary of their decisions/what they talked about (that can be public)?
  • Well, the different committees of the Holy Synod met between Monday and Wednesday and they concluded with a general meeting of the Holy Synod on Thursday. However, the only decision that has really gone public was by the rites committee under Bishop Mettaous about the General Funeral Service. Other topics discussed included the pope selection by-law revision under Bishop Paula, and some other issues. I'm sure all their decisions will be made public in the next few days.
  • I would like to read a source for this.
  • I've spoken to someone in Cairo who was with both HG Bishop Beemen and HG Bishop Raphael last Wednesday and they both confirmed it. As far as the committee is concerned the changing of the Funeral rites to annual was an opinion of HH Pope Shenouda III but have looked into it further they believe the rite should be restored to how it is documented.
  • Dear aem581,
    Paula is a feminine name in all languages, the bishop's name is Bola.
  • So tell him that. He refers to himself as "Pola". I know where this is going so back to the subject. There is no mention of this decision on the Pope's web site where they summarized the topics.
  • Dear Mgabby1234, do you mean the bishop refers to himself as such?
  • H.G. Bishop Raphael confirmed it today personally.
  • Hi,

    Anba Pavlos, Bishop of Greece, visited our church last Sunday in the UK, and has confirmed to us that the decision to sing the General funeral in the annual team has now been officially reversed. 

    He stated that all the bishops agreed in the last synod meeting that the general funeral is to be sung in the mournful tune. The reasons he stated were:
    - How can you have a funeral in holy week which is annual?
    - It is similar to the case on Maundy Thursday where we sing the 11th hour at the end of the mass.
    - It is considered a completely separate service to the mass prior to it and shouldnt be considered a continuation of the mass.
    - No previous sources ever mention that the general funeral ought to be sung in the annual tune.

    He said that they Holy Synod in their last meeting acknowledged it was a mistake to have changed it to annual and decided to revert it back. He also said that one of the bishops then posed the question saying 'Would it not look bad if we revert a decision we recently made?' and the answer was 'No because the decision was a spur of the moment decision but when the rites were studied in depth we realised it was a mistake to sing it in annual so we reversed the decision.'

    In summary, the OFFICIAL RITES of GENERAL FUNERAL is now MOURNFUL again - confirmed by Anba Pavlos.
  • If someone can provide official documentation for this decision, it would be greatly appreciated.
  • I too was present last Sunday with PeterAsaad when Bishop Pavlos confirmed the above points. In turn it was first confirmed to me last November by Bishops Raphael and Beemen.

    Also worth noting is that the decision also states tyat the 11th hour prayers have been returned to the communion on Covenant Thursday and there is no longer an annual Tawzia. I asked him to propose to the Holy Synod that such decisions are made more public to those in the lands of immigration especially where we have no bishop.
  • @drewhalim @peterasaad

    Thank you. This was indeed a needed restoration of the original rite. If anyone has access to any of the bishops on the Rites Committee of the Holy Synod, I'd encourage you to ask him to publish this decision on the official website of His Holiness ( for wider dissemination.

    I, for one, can foresee resistance in reverting this rite without official documentation.
  • don't worry. it'll be spread online around the time of Palm Sunday.

    I still believe that the general funeral service should NEVER break the Distribution of Mysteries during Palm Sunday Liturgy short. The liturgy should fully be completed and then the service in its original form.

  • @minatasgeel

    I agree wholeheartedly. The General Funeral is a completely separate service. The Liturgy of the Fest of the Entrance into Jerusalem should be concluded with the dismissal of the Angel of the Sacrifice and the concluding canon, and the service of the General Funeral should begin with the priest praying "Have Mercy upon us O God the Father the Pantocrator, O Holy Trinity have mercy upon us..." and the Thanksgiving Prayer, as all services in the church.
  • Is there any documentation for this? Thanks!
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