Difnar Usage/Content

Hello my brothers and sisters in Christ,

I have many questions regarding the Antiphonarium/Difnar, as I have never said it, nor heard it said (as I am new to many of the more obscure hymns of the church):
1- What exactly is it? I looked online but I don't think I fully understand it.
2- Is there a conclusion to it? I have seen that there is an *Adam* introduction in the Sunday Midnight Praises folder on this site.
3- Is there a Watos introduction? I saw there was a lengthy thread of this elsewhere on the forums, but I got very confused very quickly..
4- When is it said?
4.5- When is it not said?
5- Is it an uncommon/"dead" practice, like the reading of the Coptic gospel?

`Ari`vmeui `nje P[oic,


  • Dear @Daniel_Kyrillos,
    I am interested in knowing what your Coptic signature means..
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • Hi Daniel,

    The antiphonarium is considered part of a veneration of a particular saint and is chanted in vesper praise/midnight praise/veneration service. It has an adam/vatos introduction which is chanted antiphonally (meaning back and forth between different choruses). After the introduction, the reading is to be read (or chanted). You can think of it like the synaxarium but can be chanted, however most people only chant the introduction and read the rest. If you have the coptic reader app it will show you the reading of the day under the section 'readings.' Anyway, from what i remember, this is chanted right before the conclusion of the theotokia's.

    I made a video a while ago describing the structure of the praises. This video was done completely in english for simplicity's sake... if you watch it you will find out the tunes (keep in mind that there are several tunes depending on the occasion of the church). I believe also that there are two annual adam "ways"...though these are mainly based on region. What i mean is that alexandria says the adam different from how Cairo would say the adam (annual intro). 

    Here are the links: 

    God bless
  • oh and this is not a very common practice 
  • edited July 2016
    @ophadece "Remember me before/in the Lord" (rough tranation.. also I realized it should be Aripamevi.. whoops)
    @amoussa01 Thank you so much, God bless you. But I have a sort of follow up question regarding the Watos introduction. I stumbled upon the Watos intro under the Psalmody>Weekday Theotokias, but the audio recording link is broken. Is there a Coptic source for this recording?
    God bless,
  • Dear @Daniel_Kyrillos,
    In in Coptic is khan and before is embamto. Nja means that is. You had better say aribamawi khan ebshois
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • 1-Its basically the Senixar in Tasbeha. It has the stories of saints (not all--mostly a saint or 2 a reading) but in a poetic form rather then just a reading. Sadly it has been abandoned a while back and therefore many of it's text has many myths and incorrect info about stories...even some words that may be considered curses in arabic these days--that's compared to the Senixar that the Church tries to keep pure of mistakes and updates. I can also go as far as saying there are little sources for the coptic and there is one specific one where it's mostly arabic. I think the reason for that is at some point of time, when Church books began to be printed, the publisher only picked some coptic paragraphs (mostly two) and the rest is the arabic. This follows the intention to chant the coptic and read/"fassar"=explain in arabic (or any other language). This is a very hated practice though among researches-to publish or scribe a translation without the source since this may allow the writer to add whatever he wills in the translation without us reading it realize. 

    2 and 3- I haven't seen a conclusion anywhere. There may have been but it might of been lost--probably with many tunes too. There is a Watos and an Adam introduction. There are few surviving tunes for either since the reading mainly survived in monasteries.
    --Adam annual tune is recorded
    --In Kiahk saturday vespers praise (a long tasbeha with many long hymns), there is a recording for the Great Commentary (tarh). The hymn includes the two intro paragraphs followed by the commentary of the week. Cantors took the short tune of that lahn to be the way to say the watos intro on annual days.
    --There is also Chi-o-oinee, the commentaries of the Resurrection Feast which should be said in the feast's liturgy after the gospel (most feasts commentaries should be said then--reference Bright Saturday matins, Hosanna Sunday vespers...etc). In books it's written for that commentary to be said in "tarh el-fa'ala" tune, that's the Commentary of the Laborers/Workers/Doers that is said in Kiahk Midnight Praise. We have a recording the paragraph part of "tarh el-fa'ala" (about 3 min recording). Some cantors took that tune and said chi-o-oinee into or just the quick part of it. The interesting thing though is that tarh el-fa'la is an adam commentary while chi-o-oinee is a watos--it's weird that the tune fits both.
    One more thing, everyone agrees on the assumption that the difnar and commentary tune are the same.

    4-Difnar is always said after the theotokia of the day (with it's lobsh) and before the conclusion.

    4.5-I would like to say it is "replaced" by the commentaries if one exists, but there are some occasions where you say the commentary followed by the difnar.

    5-I wouldn't call reading the coptic Gospel or readings in general dead...but i can call the difnar practice used very little in church. St. Moses Abbey published a version of the difnar with english and it's also available on Coptic Reader. Despite the many mistakes in it, that's a good step towards restoring the practice and purifying it of errors in the future. 

  • Dear @minatasgeel,
    Who said shiwaini was a watos tune?
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • @ophadece...The Psalies & Commentaries book say that this tarh is Watos. Most other books don't say it's watos or adam. There is one more book in church i want to check--The Rite of Holy Week by Fr Attalla Arsanius El-Maharaqi. It may have some different. Actually, that's the book that said you say the Bright Saturday book in Chi-o-oinee and tarh elfa3ala tune. I'll see if i can check it this week. 
  • @minatasgeel @ophadece Thank you guys so much. God bless.

    `Ari`vmeui `nje `P[oic,
  • @minatasgeel,
    I never heard of such a book. To me it sounds Adam not watos..
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • @ophadece. I think it just sounds unique. Many do the mistake of saying it like khen oshout, but it's not. 
  • @minatasgeel,
    Counting the syllables it is more of an Adam tune than a watos one..
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • haha...OB of GB syllables?! because there are 8  on the first stanza....not that i believe that the number of syllables is THAT crucial to the process of chanting in.
  • @minatasgeel,
    You don't believe in that but it is the whole point of differentiation. Also it borrows verses from Adam hymns too..
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • This is the only coptic I found for the commentary:
    {iouwini [[email protected] `w pitwou `nte [email protected] `vma
    `n;wou] `[email protected] etses`c;oinoufi.
    Ef,y qen toumy]@ `nje [email protected] `eta pi`c;oi
    `[email protected] mah ni,wra tyrou.
    {iouwini [[email protected] `w ni`apoctoloc e;[email protected] je
    afsai `nje `[email protected] `n}`anactacic.
    E;be vai ten]`wou [email protected] enws `ebol enjw `[email protected] je
    `k`cmarwout `w Pa[oic [email protected] je aktwnk akcw] `mmon.

    Ethve fai is a watos response. What i am saying is the lahn is unique enough to be on either watos or adam "parts"
  • @minatasgeel,
    There is no such a thing as watos AND/OR Adam tune. It's either this or that. Atba bai is borrowed from a Bekhrestos bannoudi for resurrection an Adam tune..
    Oujai khan ebshois
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