General Funeral Prayer Rite

Hello everyone,

With Palm Sunday fast approaching, I was wondering if the Holy Synod still has the Rite for the General Funeral Prayer as Annual or changed it back to Mourning tune. Thank you.


  • It is back to mournful tune. This a very recent change.
    Pray for me.
  • edited March 2014
    can anyone provide proof or documentation for the sake of the clergy? Thanks!
  • I am with @Amoussa01 on that. 
  • There was a document that was posted in 2011 from a member of the HCOC about the General Funeral Prayer. Does anyone have it? There were two versions; one in Arabic and another in English. Thanks.
  • edited April 2014
    The documents that were posted were the funeral rite according to the annual rituals, which will no longer apply. I appreciate the Synod decision and decisions in general are not well documented but surely you are able to raise the query with any bishop who was in attendance at the Synod meeting last November. Even if the bishop was not in attendance I have been informed by one who was that every single decision is documented and signed by all those in attendance and kept at the Cathedral so he would at least have access to what was discussed and agreed upon.

    I believe Albeir has amended the funeral rite to annual in his third edition of the Deacons service book - another thing which will have to be undone!

  • This whole topic is understudied. It shouldnt be handled just by what the bishops are used to or what they think.  Even if the rite has been handed down mournful it may not be correct.There needs to be a whole study done on how this rite originated and when it was done. We have been handed down many thing especially about this specific rite of the funeral that have been altered.
  • According to a few bishops I spoke to the rite was researched thoroughly before the suggestion was submitted to the Synod to restore the original rite. I cannot see what is wrong with it. It is merely a tradition of a funeral service to replace any that may take place during Holy Week. HH Pope Shenouda himself once commented that in the lands of immigration this service may become redundant as we have the facility to store the body of a deceased until after Easter.
  • I mentioned this in a previous thread: it would be very helpful to have written verification of the reversion of the General Funeral back to its original rite, particularly for the clergy (as @AMoussa01 mentioned). If anyone has close communication with one of the Fathers the Bishops, would you please be so kind as to ask for this decision to be made publicly available in some form prior to the Holy Week of Pascha?

    Hope you are all enjoying the blessings of the final days of the Great Holy Fast.
  • the issue is not with the rite in its previous order. the issue is if we are to do it annual or hazayni as it was before.
  • @minatasgeel

    Naturally this is the question. I don't think anyone suggested otherwise. I still maintain that we require public documentation of this prior to Holy Week.
  • Hello,

    For those familiar with the books by Fr. Athanasius Al-Maqary on liturgical history and theology, here is a translation I did of his chapter on the general funeral prayers in his book, The Holy Pascha: The Ritual History / The Rites of the Prayers, Part I (Cairo, 2010).

    This may or may not answer the specific questions presented here. Nonetheless, I thought I'd share. Feel free to forward it to anyone interested. Rite of the General Funeral Prayers.pdf

  • @RamezM This is beautiful. It should be a good reading. 
  • Actually, do you have the arabic for this?
  • I don't have it scanned. Sorry!
  • However, Fr. Athanasius' website is

    I think he has this particular chapter available as PDF if you browse your way to the pascha book.
  • Anba Raphael commented in this:

  • @minatasgeel
    Thank you and God bless.
  • So no psalm 150 during communion on covenant Thursday, right? 11th hour of baskha?
  • @ophadece, that is actually the original rite. 
  • Of course @minatasgeel, and I hope it'll be observed. Unfortunately I don't think it will in our church, but I'll be interested to know the practice all other churches take up..
  • Here is a link to an image of a document issue by the Holy Synod Secretariat which confirms the restoration of the Palm Sunday and Covenant Thursday rituals along with other points discussed at the Synod meeting of November 2013. It is only in Arabic.
  • @ophadece, for the last couple of years we have been doing the 11th hour of thursday later at night to go with the beginning of Pascha.

  • We used to say the 11th of Thursday before the Lakkan because the priests felt that the evening service was already long enough.
  • Speaking of the service too long; We used to say the 11th hour of thursday right immediately after the liturgy (we would take 2 hours) then immediately begin the night service. So we would start Thursday at 6 am and not leave till 10pm. That didn't last too long. Now we do as Mina said. We take a break and attach it to the Friday Eve service (and not take so long). 
  • Yes we did this one year but again many people just left after the liturgy.

    Well now the rite is restored I suppose any issues are sorted.
  • I cannot wait till good friday and bright saturday! My favorite time by far, just hope I dont fall asleep this time
  • So the practice here is the same as is the case with all your churches with eleventh hour shifting to the Friday eve. To me it's an absolute and deliberate corruption to coptic rite, but who cares? I doubt it'll change because communion is associated with psalm 150 as people believe, even though, laqqan also is, and on bright Saturday it isn't.. oh wait, who am I to really even consider raising these points?
  • @ophadece, it's not about a connection between psalm 150 and communion but rather giving a feast day it's fitting time. you SHOULD NOT ever be sad when taking communion, acceptin Christ into you. 
  • I agree with Mina. The mindset of taking communion should be focusing on Christ and honestly its so distracting when people are reading prophecies during this time (and inappropriate). 
  • edited April 2014
    @minatasgeel and @Amoussa01,
    No no no.. I didn't expect that.. banowdy banowdy aren't festive parts in their own right either. They are prophecies. You are forgetting one very major issue, which is the original rite in the church derived from the Jewish one is that there's never reading blandly going through the words as we do in almost each and every single reading in the church nowadays, Arabic and English of course, excepting psalms attached to Gospels DURING liturgies. So the rule even evades vespers and midnight chants. After all prophecies are also the word of God. If it's only festive that covenant Thursday why should we start by other baskha hours at all? No.. the service is organised this way and for a very good reason, why change it? Oh, I tell why. Because reading prophecies is boring.. yes it is. And in truth no one even listens. No one wants to listen. Just do some jingles and tingles with your triangle and cymbals..
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