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Entrance of the Holy Family into Egypt
  • Does anyone have recordings of the changing hymns for this feast? eg doxologies, psalm response, verses of the cymbals, concluding canon, etc.
    Also, if anyone has a source for recordings of hymns for all of the minor feasts, please share. Most of the time, I make it up, and I don't like doing that. 
    For this feast specifically, I don't even know hot to do it. With the ascension responses and the entrance into egypt ones mixed together, there are just too many words.
  • Ekhrestos anesty,
    @lfahmy,
    I don't think you need to mix anything. The rites of the holy fifties trump minor feasts and indeed any other occasions..
    Oujai
  • I understand where you're coming from, but I hardly think that's the case. Even disregarding that Coptic Reader puts them "on top of each other," I hardly think that the Church would organize the rites in such a way that we completely disregard the feast. Maybe not internally, but externally this would be the case. We would essentially only celebrate this feast on the rare occassion that it occurs during the Apostles' Fast.
  • @ophadece

    Nevermind lol
    One of the priests at my church just told me that it's an issure dealt with in the diocese specifically. In mine, they've decided to focus mainly on the Entry into Egypt.
  • I was talking to Cantor Reda Barsoum in Cairo about this yesterday and the teaching agreed upon by Cantor Gad Lewis is that the readings remain the 6th Sunday of Pentecost and at most they would add the verses of the cymbals, doxology and praxis response. I argued that this is illogical as you either recognise the feast in its entirety or you don't. I personally would add all responses for this feast after the Ascension therefore adding additional responses and not removing or disregarding the Ascension.

    Another point which I wholeheartedly disagree with is this Egyptian view of major and minor Lordly feasts and as ophadece says above that the Resurrection "trumps" any other feast. I am not mocking ophadece for using this language as I hear it all the time but what I personally believe is that this is disgraceful and ridiculous talk. There is no such thing as major and minor Lordly feasts. Our Lord is one and the true Christ the Son of God and therefore EVERYTHING in His life is major and it is not for us to categorise events. The same Christ who entered Egypt as a child later resurrected and ascended and I see no problem in celebrating every event. In turn for us as Copts this feast has extra meaning as He entered our land which is additional honour to us and even more reason to worship and glorify Him.

    As Cantor Reda Barsoum agreed the Holy Synod needs to issue a decree in regards to the ritual as the question is posed every year without fail and it is quite rare that this feast falls outside of the Pentecost period and it cannot continue to go unrecognised by some and celebrated in full by others as there needs to be unification in rites and hymns within our church.
  • I agree with you @drewhalim. Although I think there should at least be a distinction between feasts that are necessary for salvation and ones that aren't. Either way, do you have a recording of how to sing it with the ascension and the entrance hymns together?
  • I'm sure that Ibrahim Ayad released his recording in 2000 for the major celebration and described how you add the responses after the resurrection.

    In regards to feasts necessary for salvation again this is a moot point in regards to terminology as we should not forget that Christ did not enter Egypt on holiday but rather to escape persecution and possible death so you could argue it was an important event to continue the course of salvation for us. Perhaps it's me but I keep hearing examples which are meaningless and will never convince me that there are major and minor events in the life of the incarnate God.
  • Ekhrestos anesty
    Dear @drewhalim and @lfahmy,
    Very interesting points you share here. However, I completely disagree with what Mr. Reda Barsoomaalludes to. How can one add verses to hymns when the readings don't refer to such an event. In regards to the division I believe it's necessary. I don't know if it's specifically related to salvation, or indeed how it came about, but it's actually required. This year in the holy week, and to be precise on Monday the synexarium reads the commemoration of the appearance of the Lord to Thomas. How major is this occasion? Indeed, if Annunciation, which in the synexarium coincides with the commemoration of the resurrection, fall on one of the days of holy week, or the Great Friday, how can we apply Mr. Barsoom's mix and match theory? Or cantor Gad's? By the same token people are celebrating st. Mark's, st. Athanasius' feasts amongst other saints because almost always their feasts fall in the holy fifties. It was Christ Who said who honours them honours Me. That's not strictly correct. I may actually argue that psychologically speaking Copts started to ignore focusing on the original rites because some people were so zealous on behalf of the saints. I wouldn't have thought the saints are this particular about their feasts! And what if my mother travels to heaven in the holy fifties? In the small church I serve in, I don't think anybody would mind or even care really if I choose to sing ajios in the sad tune!
    Bottom line is I completely see the need for the holy fifties to trump other feasts. I think it's very important to do so much during the whole year when it comes to feastly days and the saints and focus more scrupulously on the Lord during the holy fifties..
    Oujai
  • Ophadece I fully understand the impoetance of the Resurrection to the extent that it is a constant feast rather than a one off event. That is to say Christ entered Egypt as a one off historical event but we continue to live in the resurrection. However the majority of your post above falls into the same trap as many when discussing this topic which is you refer to the feasts of Saints. We must stay focuaed and acknowledge that saints are never to be considered equal to God and the fact and yes I mean fact still stands that the events I refer to involve the same person which is Christ the saviour and it is not for us mortals to analyse His life and decide which events are minor and which are major. Also the feast was clearly established in our church but is fairly meaningless if it is to be celebrated so rarely.

    Strangely I have no issue with saints feasts during the Resurrection. I know the focus is on Christ but in turn saints are due their honour. We spend all the Geeat Lent saying we are fasting as Christ did and it is not "appropriate" to celebrate saints' feasts and then we come to the resurrection and continue with the same thought. Can we really disregard Saints feasts for over 100 days of the year? The Greek/Russian churches in contrast allow celebration of saints at all times including the resurrection but forbid marriage during this time as they believe the joy of the resurrection is above everything else yet we allow marriages throughout the whole 50 days.

    In conclusion you will always find differing opinions so there needs to be an imposed rule for all to follow.
  • Ekhrestos anesty,
    Of course I can see your point, but to answer the first paragraph I would say who are we mere humans who disregard the commandment of the Lord? He said who honours them honours Me. So we have to celebrate saints' feasts during Lent, as well as during the holy fifties. Of course that is not my position, but this is a counterargument along the lines of yours. To have a feast that is rarely celebrated isn't our fault! The readings are not focused on that feast. I don't know if there is any other example, but if we concern ourselves by changing the rites every few years (that is when the feast doesn't occur during the holy fifties), so in actual fact the general rule has become to celebrate entry into Egypt regardless of falling into the holy fifties or not!!!!! And what's wrong with that? We have 49 other days for a few years, and 50 in the year that the Resurrection feast comes early enough!!!! I don't think so. It is not that we are mortals judging which is more important, because as you said in your next to previous post, for the Coptic church this should be one of the iconic days throughout the year. No; it is about setting rules so that we can follow them throughout the ages (and Christ will not be upset about this of course). 
    Let's talk about saints, and I hope I don't upset people when I discuss this. What is a saint happy with? Mentioning their name in a mere hedan? Having antiphonarium read during vespers service? Having a procession in their name during vespers praise? Or even more during the liturgy? Or commemoration of the saints in midnight chants or the liturgy? Alas, we have no time to mention all the saints of the church! Indeed, we cut the commemoration short during the holy fifties during midnight chants (SURELY THIS MUST HAVE A REASON)!!!!!! NO NO NO. Our focus should be our belief that the saints and the angels are actually standing and praying with us. I don't think really that St. Athanasius will have been so upset and disappointed if we don't do a procession just because just like St. Mark, every year his feast occurs during the holy fifties. NO; on the contrary, they will be happy with the way that we praise Christ during the liturgy and he will pray with us, rather than wait for his procession to be happy. Of course I am not ignoring the many "miraculous" (for the lack of a better word) stories where saints do reveal they are happy during their processions, or their feast days, but this actually happens to people when they even don't attend the liturgy at all. It depends on the relationship between such a person and the saint, regardless of doing the procession or not. 
    Oujai
  • As I say in the absence of one official teaching it is left open to the interpretation of clergy and cantors which is what will continue until the issue is resolved.

    Out of interest which church do you serve in Ophadece?
  • Ekhrestos anesty
    That's exactly what I am totally against. There must be clear "official" teachings but unfortunately cantors sometimes use their position to volunteer opinions which they take as right, and then we come to have various teachings. But I do agree with you and I hope all such issues are resolved. I serve in Newcastle church. 
    Oujai
  • Next time you are in London let me know it would be good to put a face to the name.
  • Ekhrestos anesty
    @drewhalim,
    Thank you, I'll do that, but I have an inkling you may know me by face already. I used to live in London between 2006 and 7, and came to st. Mark a few times, at times messing up your hymns by my gruff untidy voice and the less than neat style of my singing.. hehe.. but in any case it'll be an honour for me to meet you in person.. thank you
    Oujai
  • Probably too late for those in UK, but for the record...

    For those looking for an official church decision, the Holy Synod has indeed decided on this matter in its session on June 6th 2009. The decision was to read the readings of the 50 days but chant hymns for both Resurrection (or Ascension) and the feast whenever appropriate. 

    Now I think that may be permissible in things such as Doxologies, but I don't think that makes much sense with Gospel responses, which are meant to be responses to the reading. At any rate, here is your official decision.
  • Ramez, you rule man. Is there any way I can get this and show it to the priests and mu'allimeen at my church? Like documentation or something? And on that note, how can I know about decisions of the Holy Synod at all times?
  • Ekhrestos anesty,
    @RamezM,
    I completely agree with you. And that's how the meaning of the rites are gradually lost and ignored and other inventions are built upon similar principles. Starting to make exceptions so for people who don't know they'll think it doesn't NECESSARILY have to do with readings especially more so if cantors in some churches do it DURING the liturgy. And therefore it'll happen again in a few years and the exception becomes more generalised..
    Oujai
  • Thanks for this Ramez that's actually what we did. Do you have a link or source for the decision? I have to be honest although Albeir writes a lot of the decisions in his Deacons service book, having spoken to many Bishops they have never heard of these decisions and some are even surprised.
  • drewhalim, u in uk?
    gonna send you pm.
    :-)
  • Sorry for the delay...

    Here is the text of the decision:

    الاحتفال بدخول السيد المسيح إلى أرض مصر إذا حدث في الخمسين تقرأ قراءات الخمسين ولكن تقال ألحان
    € . القيامة وألحان العيد في المردات ويشار إليه في العظة

    I am attaching the small book containing the ritual decisions from 1988 to 2010, in Arabic.

    https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share?s=U1wftL3kQnwkmZ5MRTTYeE
  • Ekhrestos anesty
    @RamezM,
    How do I download it? Using an android mobile is the problem or what?
    Oujai
  • I am not sure...try it on a computer? You should see a download button to the top right.
  • I don't understand why there has to be so much confusion over the decisions of the Holy Synod. Can somebody enlighten me as to why there isn't some website where these decisions are posted for all to see?
  • While a website to you may be the easiest and most accessible way to find information, it is not necessarily the case for most Egyptians (although that is rapidly changing). What you are experiencing here is not necessarily confusion, but just the church slowly catching up with the needs and environment of the so-called diaspora, when until recently it has focused mainly on the needs and circumstances of those in Egypt.
  • @RamezM

    Thank you so much for the pdf. It will be very useful to keep as a reference. Is there such a summary available for the subsequent years up to the present time? If not, could someone kindly get on it! :)

    Thanks.


Memorial for HH Pope Shenouda

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