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Acts Response
  • Hello,

    Does anyone know the meaning behind the acts response? i.e. why is it said?

    God Bless
  • I remember this being discussed on coptichymns.net years ago and I do not believe there was any concrete answer. In my view the responses are standalone hymns i.e. they refer to the season/feast that the church is celebrating and nothing more. They are definitely not a response to the Acts. Firstly because there is no relation between any of the responses and the readings of the Acts and secondly because it is chanted before the reading so to call it a response is not correct as if anything it's an introduction.
  • Drew, you are almost correct.

    Recent research has shown that in earlier sources (liturgical manuscripts, Abul-Barakat, Yuhanna ibn Sebaa...etc) the only acts responses mentioned are 1- Share Efnouti, 2- Tote Alethos 3- Any other image from the Sunday Theotokia. By inspecting the Deacon Service book published by Nahdet Al-Kana'es, you will actually find reference to Heg. Abdel Messih Al-Massoudi adding the acts responses in one of the book's earlier editions. This is the reason behind all the current confusion regarding the title and the function of this hymn. It is simply not meant to be a seasonal hymn, or to have any relation with the Praxis.

    Conclusion: The hymn before the Praxis is essentially analogous to Tai Shori / Entho te ti shori....etc. It is a hymn that expounds on the meaning of the censer and/or the use of incense. In the former case, the censer is St. Mary (Tai Shory or Tote Alethos), in the latter case, it is the theme of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, "Wherein God takes away, the sins of the people, through the burnt offerings, and the aroma of incense." (Share Efnouti). Making this a seasonal hymn completely misses the point. I think it is much more edifying and didactic to be singing "Therefore I do not err at all when I call you the golden censer" at the same time as the priest is offering incense with the golden censer during the second raising of incense in the Liturgy of the Word. A different but just as powerful a meditation can be seen if Share Efnouti is chanted, although I understand the possible clash this might cause at singing a "Lenten" hymn during regular days.
  • Thanks, you guys are great!

    God Bless
  • Seeing as you guys are very knowledgeable, and may God bless your efforts, I was wandering if anyone could tell me the reasoning behind the aspasmos hymns? I don't really understand why they are there...

    God Bless


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