Zefte Pentes

edited December 1969 in Hymns Discussion
Dear Tasbeha folk,

I'd like to know the following:

a) The Lyrics for this hymn?
b) A Good recording of it?
c) When is it sung? which occasions?

Thank you


  • Lyrics:


    I like this one:


    This is a glorification hymn for St. Mary, but I think you can say this in the annual time too for Communion.
  • > CopticFighter
    > Lyrics:


    I like this one:


    This is a glorification hymn for St. Mary, but I think you can say this in the annual time too for Communion.

    During the Fast of St. Mary this can be said as a shorter hymn than A-Tai Parthenos after Psalm 150.
    But I have heard that many churches say the made7as of their patron saints' after Psalm 150 as opposed to Pi-oik or Night of the Last Supper, etc., and I suppose you could say this, Sena-Etsho, Fai-pe eplemen, Rashi-ne, etc. as a communion hymn if you are in a church of St. Mary.

    Aripameui `m`P[oic,
  • You could do anything after Psalm 150 but that doesn't make it right or rite (i.e., an unofficial rite). The glorification rite is said only in Vespers or the liturgy of the Word, not the liturgy of the faithful or the communion. The only reason people say such hymns during communion is because many of these hymns are melismatic or long in duration, and communion usually takes a long time, so cantors have opted to say these long hymns during communion instead of extending the time in the liturgy of the Word or Vespers. 

    If people didn't complain about the length of the liturgy, we would have stuck with our ancient practice and sang these melismatic and long hymns in the original position of the liturgy.
  • As for the lyrics, this is another example of a Copt-Greek bilingual hymn that is so deviated from standard Greek that the Arabic translators guessed at the meaning. The Arabic translation is not accurate. 
  • Dear @Remnkemi,
    Are they to be said during the liturgy of the word? And if so when?
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • @ophadece, after the senixar
  • @minatasgeel,
    I thought that was uncannonical.. I thought abakran or the like is only allowed but not even akseya or any glorification hymns! Right?
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • Rites change through the years. The senixar was not really said during the liturgy of the word but it was a later addition. You also have to consider that the senixar as a book--a collection of commemorations of saints daily--was not a book that every church used. This was a local reading/literature in which local saints were mentioned. This is the same for many traditions and hymns.  
  • You also have to realize that the synaxarium is a 14th century development of the difnar. There are actually Sahidic difnar (fragments) that are predecessors of the Bohairic difnar, which shows some affinity to the Arabic synaxarium. It should also be noted that the Coptic difnar (Sahidic and Bohairic) have a somewhat close relation with the Coptic hagiographical stories. So we see the Coptic difnar give details of the saint that is taken from the Coptic biography of the same saint. Now we can see a progression from early hagiography/biography of a saint, which over time was read on the feast of the saint. This later was collated, combined with other biographies and collected into a volume of many saints which became the predecessor of the Coptic difnar. The Coptic difnar became a predecessor of the Arabic synaxarium now read in the liturgy of the Word. Eventually the rites were standardized throughout Egypt and into the final version around the 18th century.

    Regarding the glorification rite, we find a few hints that corroborate this liturgical development. First, according to Ibn Kabar, the glorification rite was said during Vespers. It did not mention specific hymns (at least that I am aware of). We can at least assume that a procession was done on the saint's feast day (we have other evidence to validate this assumption). We also can safely assume that the saints biography was read on his feast day (again we have other evidence). This then became a sort of two part unit: 1. a procession/glorification prayers and 2. a biographical/synaxarium-like story telling. When the Arabic synaxarium found its way into the Liturgy of the Word (which corresponds to #2), it is not far fetched to see why a glorification rite was eventually connected to the Synaxarium.

    The second hint is that we also have some hymns that are now shared between a saint's glorification praise and the liturgy. These include St John the Baptist's Oran enshosho, the Apostes' Enthoten ze and Niromi, St Antony's Apekran and other hymns we lost the tune for (I think there are some hymns for St Shenouda the Archimandrite and other monks that are shared in the two liturgical rites). Another hint is that some older recordings of the glorification rite (independently done from the liturgy) included a reading of the saint's biography between Axios and other saint hymn responses. Again, it is not far fetched to see how and why the glorification rite and the liturgy of the Word/synaxarium are associated.

    The trend we now find is people have forgotten the original rites (or they consciously chose to ignore them) and justify this by adding some sort of strange rationale (statements like "the liturgy should not have saint hymns" or "the Communion hymns focuses on Christ exclusively"). None of this is actually supported by liturgical practice from early manuscripts or the current/nearly recent practice from less than 50 years ago.

    Of course, we have to look at manuscripts and current practice as part of the whole liturgical practice and not forget how things develop. So even if all manuscripts say no glorification hymns during the liturgy of the word (which they don't), but the current practice since the 18th century is to allow glorification after the synaxarium, then we can't think like protestants and say "drop what we have been doing for 2-3 centuries and take out the glorification hymns from the Liturgy of the Word." Nor does it make any sense to say "modern times require us to constantly adjust our liturgical practice because the liturgy is outdated." It is a balance between staying true to the tradition handed down to us (and expressed in manuscripts) and the pastoral needs and time constraints of this generation. This is what the synod does. It's not up to us to add, take away or move hymns in and out of the communion or the liturgy of the Word or any other rite.
  • Time constraints of this generation? Why? Ah, because people entering the church don't really feel the presence of God and the heavenly but can't forget the earthly desires and commitments
    Oujai khan ebshois
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