Lessen Arabic Influence in North American Orthodox Churches



  • The amount of times I have seen dedicated Chinese, Venezuelan, white, and second and third generation Egyptians sitting lost through Arabic Sermons, doxologies, revivals, vespers iver and over again infuriates me out of zeal for what they are missing... they want to participate.. to open their mouths to feel yhat they too can off the right glory (Orthos and Doxa) to God consistently ... bit they will never be fluent in formal Arabic....I HAVE EVEM SEEN THESE PEOPLE CHANT IN COPTIC but they will not do it in Classical Arabic... and mo one should force them to.
  • @qawe,
    You hit the nail on the head. If any church should choose to abandon Coptic then she should cease to be Coptic and be called something else. There are British orthodox churches, French orthodox churches, and others under the auspices of the see Of st. Mark.. I agree
    I'm sure you're well aware that St Paul wasn't referring to live languages. I just hope it's a genuine mistake someone of your calibre has unintentionally made
  • Is it worth depriving them of the joy of chanting to Christ or when their hearts are at their heights with God to suddenly switch to Arabic and they lose their focus and they are suddenly dropped from heaven to the ground? Perhaps, yo be fair this is how Arabs feel when the priest or deacons suddenly switch to English. Unfortunately I think the solution is for separate services. I know in some Churches that have an English Liturgy and an Arabic Liturgy on separate Alters in the same Church building. But they are still not equal... in my experience you have to start the Liturgy at 6:30 Am and finish quickly by 9:45 AM so that the Arabic liturgy can start at a comfortable 10:00 AM. It used to be that the main altar of that Church was used for Arabic and the smaller side Alter was used for the earlier English liturgy. Now in that Church it has been corrected to alternate, but the English liturgy is still the very early one, which is a blessing in itself but many youth complain of the early time.
  • @metouro,
    I hope you are not addressing me as I have or will never oppose abandonment of Arabic altogether not merely to lessen it..
  • edited September 2014

    2 Cor 3:6,  "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life"  I am no theologian, but I believe St. Paul is admonishing individuals who speak/preach in a language that is not understood by the recipient. St. Paul even admonishes how the individual himself would speak in tongues and perhaps not even understand what he himself is saying. Therefore, this rule (concept)  embraces "live languages." 

    This may be hard to imagine, but imagine if I don't know meaning of any words in chinese but I know how to read it. Imagine if I go to church and start singing. Neither myself nor the congregation understand it. That's tongues or more precisely as st paul says praising without understanding. The spirit is applicable if the literal interpretation doesn't align with the argument.  

    I personally love Coptic and believe it should be retained as it is our identity. But to properly retain our heritage is to speak and understand the dialect as Fr. Shenouda Maher does. However, this is not what is important for the church these days, rather preaching and educating the congregation the proper Orthodox Faith. May I ask you a question? What intrigues you more the Coptic dialect or the Alexandrian church theologians?  Let's be frank with one another I am more concerned about preserving our christian identity than our coptic identity. 
  • @meenaHanna,
    I think you're not correct in your interpretation of St. Paul. I believe in what my forefathers say, I'm proud of the faith of the saints of my church and those who my church acknowledges from any nationality. I will learn Coptic for the church as well as tasbeha and hymns for the church. She's the bride of Christ. I will ask others to come to my church give them translation books and after a while Of saying dan tanou, psalm 150 they will have learnt a huge amount of Coptic vocabulary maybe more than me. Then I encourage myself to learn more and deeper..
  • +

    Peace and grace.

    I was not just isolating the Arabic, but the Coptic, too. Language is an issue and it has to be addressed. I do think that praying in another language even with a translation can be very problematic. It's one thing to do it out of necessity, and it's another thing to do it because there's a belief that it's "right" to do that. Doing it out of necessity is an act of love. For example, there's one priest and there are many in the congregation from Egypt and the local community, in such a case, it's an act of love. It's another thing to be in America or Canada, where you do all your dealings in English, raise your kids in English, and then force everyone to speak another language because this is somehow seen as "right". Why? When the Jews were in Alexandria long enough, they translated to Greek. When there were enough Copts speaking actual Coptic, we translated to Coptic. So what I'm battling is a concept of there being a "right" language to use. Our heritage is not in culture, it's in religion. Our inheritance is the strong Church of Alexandria - her faith, her teachings, he stalwart resilience to heresy, and her love for Christ, even when faced with death. Those are my two cents.

    Regardless of your personal views of how much should be preserved or the sarcastic tones used, I'm differentiating  two different things:
    - The cultural aspect of the people
    - The Salvific role of the Church

    The people can discuss all they like with full freedom, just understand that culture is not the Church. The Church's duty is not toward a culture but to the people who are members of *a* culture.

     As a priest, my job is not to teach languages, it is to bring the sheep to the True Shepherd, it is to save souls.

    So you can discuss to your heart's desire (and I'm really not being sarcastic, honestly) how much you, personally, love the language, but you cannot claim that the Church ever has any kind of cultural obligations. People are what form a culture, the faith is expressed in it. The church's role is to navigate through culture to teach the Truth.

    I will not debate with you anything about my personal views on the amount of Coptic or how much I love Coptic myself (I haven't posted that anywhere). I am but pointing out that what many people think about praying in all English is not necessarily sound. So if you would like to discuss your concerns about the Church's role and potential problems praying in the language of the people, then by all means express that and I would with much love and affection be willing to discuss. 

    Requesting your prayers,
  • Granted, I have no calibre. I simply read and share what I read. But I purposely made the reference to show a correlation. Yes, to speak in tongues means to speak miraculously to someone of another language who does not understand you.  In fact, St. Peter shows this to us, by speaking, and everyone hearing him at the same time to believe.

    However, it's useless to perform this gift with people who already believe.  This is an edification unto God, that is acknowledging God's gift, but not unto believers (and also unbelievers), who want to comprehend the gospel and the praises.  And that is key:  comprehension.  We no longer comprehend Coptic as a language.  It's more of a heritage, where we are able to take the ancient Coptic writings and translate it into something we can all benefit from.

    In fact, St. John Chrysostom even rewords the situation in the epistle to the Corinthians as, "if I say not somewhat that can be made intelligible to you and that may be clear, but merely make display of my having the gift of tongues;—tongues which ye do not understand, ye will go away with no sort of profit. For how should you profit by a voice which ye understand not?"

    So then, we have here tongues from St. Peter which all people understood, but then you perform the gift to others as a way of showing off, and you speak to them in something they do not understand.  That sounds like something we do today in the Coptic Church, even if it's not the same exact thing.  In fact, St. John Chrysostom later on in the same homily puts a twist what he means by "tongues" (that is an acquiring of speaking in a language that one was not able to speak before):

    "“For if I pray in a tongue,” saith he, “my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” Seest thou how by degrees bringing his argument to a point, he signifies that not to others only is such an one useless, but also to himself; if at least “his understanding is unfruitful?” For if a man should speak only in the Persian, or any other foreign tongue, and not understand what he saith, then of course to himself also will he be thenceforth a barbarian, not to another only, from not knowing the meaning of the sound. For there were of old many who had also a gift of prayer, together with a tongue; and they prayed, and the tongue spake, praying either in the Persian or Latin language, but their understanding knew not what was spoken. Wherefore also he said, “If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth,” i.e., the gift which is given me and which moves my tongue, “but my understanding is unfruitful.”"

    I tremble at this interpretation because what we do in our Coptic Churches is precisely what St. John Chrysostom describes, which we do not personally understand, and we edify no one by it.  Granted even when you are correct that the "tongues" that St. Paul talks about and the "tongue" that my calibre-less stupidity is referring to are different things, what difference does it make when one memorizes Coptic or gets a divine gift of sudden Coptic tongue skills?  I said earlier, small phrases are easy to comprehend, but when you make it compulsory that Coptic be part of the Orthodox gospel, you actually go against the teaching and prophesying of the gospel, and you make a language a gospel in itself.  That was the point of my sarcasm in the last post.  You worry so much that there will be no difference between us and other Orthodox churches (which is actually a good thing), and you sarcastically want to make a point that we would no longer be "Coptic".  Such arguments do not belong to a Church that desires to spread Orthodoxy.  
  • edited September 2014

    So why are you opposing this then? Some Coptic churches simply wish to cease to be Coptic Orthodox. They want to be American Orthodox instead. Though they may still be called 'Coptic Orthodox' for political reasons, they are functionally not Coptic - it is obvious to everyone despite their name. Still other churches may wish to be partially Coptic and partially American, ie to partially cease to be Coptic. This is closest to what metouro seems to be advocating. I don't understand why you would oppose this unless you think that an Orthodox Church may be Coptic or American, but it can't be anything in between, eg 'Coptic-American'. I don't know how you could sustain that argument since new cultures have been created throughout history. And if Coptic is fine and American is fine, how could a mix of the two also not be fine? Positive plus positive equals positive.
  • One of the things that I noticed, in the extreme early history of the Church, St. Clement of Rome, leaves us a hint of the type of ecclesiology they practiced:

    The church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the church of God sojourning at Corinth, to them that are called and sanctified by the will of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from Almighty God through Jesus Christ, be multiplied.

    The Church of God in Rome IS the Church of God in Corinth.  However, they do not define the Church as "Roman" or "Corinthian".  They don't even define the Church as "Jewish" or "Gentile" either, even though there was that slight racial schism between the two in the Church.  Instead, it uses the word "sojourn".  How many times have we felt "at home" in our own Coptic Church, and made others who visit feel like strangers?  Instead, we should all feel like strangers, and those who visit should feel at home in our church.  I already hear some beautiful stories of Coptic Churches who are not "mission churches" but in fact have converts in their church and make them feel at home.  How much more when we who are but sojourners in Egypt and in the US can we be a positive influence and a force to reckon with, as we throw the net of language into the sea of potential believers, and find that not only are we fishers of men, but the boat of the Church will be overflowing with them!  That is the glory of the Church of God whose children from the Church of God sojourning in Keme.

    It is ecclesiologically wrong to call ourselves the Coptic Church sojourning in LA or NJ.  The right thing to say is that we are the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church sojourning in LA or NJ.  This is the proper way to feel about our role.  Even when we are citizens of this land, we are sojourners, and where we are sojourners, we are like citizens of the land, as the epistle to Diognetus teaches us.  St. Paul teaches us, "To the Jew, I became a Jew, and to the Gentile I became a Gentile".  He did not say, "To the Jew, I pretty much acted like what I am, and to the Gentile, I showed him Jewish Christianity."  Let us learn where we should set our priorities as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, not merely a Coptic Church.
  • @antonypaul,
    As a Coptic servant I expect myself to attract people to Coptic through both English and Arabic, however difficult that is. Otherwise let's do what's easy, and stop attaching ourselves to the Coptic church. At the end of the day what's Coptic or American or Greek or Ethiopian when it comes to saving the souls?
    I think if you carefully read the quotes you provided you'll completely understand my point exactly. And also if one personally believes they are showing off their Coptic language without them really understanding they then should re-examine themselves but God may still use that for the edification of the church.
    I'm not against having both together. But if no-one likes to pray in Coptic anymore, why the false stance sticking to something not wanted? If it's both then there should be both..
  • edited September 2014

    Great. So this means you're OK with (1) Coptic Orthodox churches, (2) American Orthodox churches and (3) Coptic-American Orthodox churches.

    Metouro in the first post mentioned that he/she wanted some Coptic retained. That makes him/her a proponent of a Coptic-American Orthodox Church. Your statement of "no one likes to pray in Coptic" doesn't apply to metouro then, or only partially applies. So if you are Ok with Coptic-American Orthodox churches, then why did you object to metouro's post in the first place?

    It is true that some people do not want to pray in Coptic at all. But this is not the case for metouro. As for those people, they would be American Orthodox, and not "both" as you claim.

    If you agree with all what I've written, then that makes you in agreement with everyone else on this discussion. Therefore, discussion closed?
  • +

    I don't follow where you draw your conclusions from, but that's quite alright. I will express, though, that I do feel like you have totally missed the point of my post and that of others. 

    At any rate, I'm not uncomfortable disagreeing with you, as we are all simply voices in the church and all of us have views. I will say one thing, just because of the conclusions that you have drawn: I have a Bishop who is Coptic Orthodox and who was, I hope, not deceived by the devil, when he laid his hands on me. I'm open and honest with him with my views and understanding, and it seems to me that the Church trusts him and laid her hands on him as a bishop.

    Your question about what's "Coptic or American or Greek or Ethiopian when it comes to saving souls" is an excellent one. That's precisely what we were all discussing and what St. Paul talks about. There is no Greek, nor Jew etc... I believe is what he says, as well.

    At any rate, thanks for your time, I think I will agree to disagree with you, and with no baggage or annoyance or any ill-will of any kind. I'm confident that you love the Church and that you care also for the salvation of all, so it's important to remember that we are on the same team, even if we have cultural disagreements with one another. 

    If you desire to take this further, then please pm me or shoot me an e-mail! :D

    Pray for me.

    In the love of Christ,
  • @qawe,
    Of course I Do partially agree with some comments but not wholly. My issue was not with the original post but the ramifications and deductions others took the discussion away to.
    This is the second time father that you explain your position before replying to my points. I see no reason why you should have to say such things. On the internet I do come across as offensive, mean, and aggressive I know it, but in reality I am not like that at all. So please forgive me if I made you feel attacked by me. I'm awfully sorry. I don't believe that there could be a no division in denominations of the church because some are Chalcedonian and some are not, so until there is a time if it ever comes that all churches around the globe are in unison, then the land of America should house American churches, Egypt should do Coptic churches, England British, and so on. Until then I will continue to defend cultural heritage and influence of our rites and the absolute need for preserving some Coptic flavour in all our services. We Egyptians are the worst people to know the value of the heritage as evidenced by the incidents of pharaonic temples on the verge of being flooded over before the Nile high dam was built, had it not been for the foreign experts especially the Italians in disassembling whole temple structures and re-assembling them after the flood had abated. I was born in Egypt and lived there for 28 years before moving to the UK.
  • Great Britain is a good example of missions done wrong.  The British Orthodox Church was done as a Church to convert the British.  However, recently, the Coptic Orthodox Church also opened a mission for converts into the Coptic Church.  The lack of etiquette in building these missions when the Coptic patriarch already assigned the BOC as this mission is completely disgusting and out of Christian character.  The way this mission is described is offering the Coptic services entirely in English while maintaining the Coptic spirituality.

    This is what I alluded to earlier.  Before, we have ethnic divisions because of immigrants.  Now we have ethnic divisions of missions.  Here, we are telling the catechumen, "We have a wide variety of selections of Orthodox flavor to choose from: British, Coptic, etc".  This is stupid, unChristian, and anti-Mission.  What SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED was that Copts should have joined Fr. Peter Farrington and other BOC members in HELPING THEM spread Orthodoxy, rather than create a British/Coptic schism of converts.

    That is why I am very passionate about this situation.  Many will say, "well, they're not competing against each other, and there seems to be no friction or problems with each other."  Let me tell you something.  When you have humble, loving, BOC people who are not going to make a fuss about it, that only means they are keeping their grievances and complaints to themselves, and are only praying to God.  But when you read in between the lines of these clergy, they wish that there was no "other mission", but that Copts would help the BOC missions that already exist.
  • there are at least 8 million people in london.
    please send more missions.
    there is no schism, many people go to both missions as liturgies are only once a month each.
    they never happen on the same day.
    all missions have their strengths and weaknesses, so until we have 100 more missions, i won't complain about any lack of coordination.

  • I don't understand why every time I write a post, I have like a 2-word limit and minasoliman can post books and books of patristic references without a problem. Life is not fair. I attached my response as a file. Sorry for the inconvenience. 

  • I used google docs to post something huge once without taking too many posts.  I like it, it's nice.

    I think it's quite unfair to say that because certain people do not have certain English proficiency that this would be a deterring of using English.  And I don't mind using Spanish if we are at a community with majority Spanish, where everyone speaks Spanish.  Consider Bolivia.  Consider Mexico.  Consider even the Caribbean.  Abouna Shenouda Newman does not even know how to say "Eshlil".  He's the only priest under the auspices of the Coptic Church who I know chants "Pray!".

    The point is, do not enforce on a community something that is unnecessary.  10% Coptic is not unreasonable really; even converts will say so; and the 50/50 Arabic/English rule has always worked okay thus far accommodating for both people in the congregation.  I know what I say when I say "Hiten Ni" or "Agios o Theos" (latter being Greek anyway).  Those are not difficult at all.  Our "Kyrie Eleisons" are not at all a big deal.  That does not contradict my previous post.  But let's say a priest says the whole Thanksgiving Prayer in Coptic or I end up saying "Onof eMaria"...to be quite honest, my lips would be moving, but my brain would be somewhere else.  I may have the voice that could entrance a congregation, but my voice has no intellectual attachment to it.  It's as good as a chirping bird, or at best, an opera, where most of us know do not know anything they sing.

    If someone does not know what "meet and right" is, then that's wonderful.  Because we can explain it.  If someone does not know what a passage in the Bible is, are we going to say, "Well, if you like the Coptic, I'll give you that", or are you going to jump at the opportunity to teach.  But don't say that English wouldn't make sense just because a bunch of uneducated folks do not know the meaning of "supplicate".  I think that argument has no basis at all.  It's much easier to explain a few English words than every single Coptic word one prays.

    An example of a failing Church is the Armenian Church at the moment.  They refuse to use English in their services.  They have written translations, but strictly classical Armenian (not even modern Armenian) is used.  That had and still has huge repercussions in the Armenian churches, that is they are dwindling in their populations.  Some go out to be Protestants, some become apathetic, some become Catholic.  Using English is not something that is utopian or idealistic or theoretical.  In practice, it's working!  It's actually increasing numbers!  What amazes me more is entering a church that has the whole congregation not only chant, but cause an earthquake with their chanting.  We see that happening when a largely Arabic speaking congregation chants in Arabic, and we are starting to see that happening with English as well for the converts and the next generation.

    I know it is very difficult to let go.  Not to toot my own horn, but I love Coptic hymns, and I have a great voice for it.  But my concern is for the involvement of the congregation to pray with comprehension the beautiful hymns of our church.  Language should be the least of our problems.  There should be no argument about it.
  • edited September 2014
    Speaking about missions I recently heard a podcast on AFR of an Orthodox mission and Abouna mentions that a Monk visited. Does anyone know who that Monk is?


    The mission featured on the podcast is also featured in this YouTube video

    It also looks like they pray 90% in English (other 10% some Greek, Spanish, French, Romanian, and Slavonic)...I wonder why they don't find a need to use Christian Contemporary Music?
  • I contemplated on the non-use of contemporary music.  I think it stems from a need to give a certain music that stands out from the behavior of the society, just as a Christian is supposed to stand out in a society.  I don't think Coptic music was used when Egyptians were playing the same music, but when it became of an ancient relic that was renewed into Christian worship.  I think that is what is important.

    The other part that I have noticed in ancient history of music is the lack of instruments.  I think the important thing is that when the chanting done does not NEED instrumentation, that gives it a good basis of worship to God.

    At the moment, we are not to look for other music and allow the congregation to sing it.  That's not something we should do.  We should encourage the needs of the people, the food (as in the case of St. John the Compassionate Mission), the medicine, the shelter, a spiritual father or adviser, and the language.  The music is not a need.  It comes through God's grace on its own time.  The music we use at least with the language can be a life-changing moment, and there's no need for contemporary music to do this.

    I have a idealistic dream of a mission.  A mission that combines a shelter, a small clinic, a place to eat, a place to pray, and very importantly a place for the sacraments.  All of this done with a help of a community of willing missionaries, the members of the body of Christ, who sojourn in that area.  And the immigrants who come and pray, they too deserve to hear the prayers in their language, so I am not saying to do away with Arabic for them.  But let us not go against the grain where we find ourselves fighting to keep more in a certain language that no one speaks for the sake of those who need the service of the Orthodox Church.
  • edited September 2014
    This is a beautiful vision for a mission minasoliman.

    There was a panel on mission at St John's recently and some of the points brought up were:

    - "There's a big temptation for a church to serve itself and to live for itself, either individually or collectively, and we pat ourselves on the back for being orthodox and not letting anyone else in... Not even God will look down favorably at that..."

    - "How can a church call itself apostolic if it does not show the world to live the Gospel... The word apostolic means "sent out"

    - "The last thing another parish should do is try to replicate St. John's, every community is different and its people are different... The idea is to understand how the mission works here (i.e. develop an intuition) and then reincarnate the mission in a different place that works for the needs of those people (ie. Community and Neighborhood, the Rich, the Poor, the wise and the foolish)

    - "One question brought up is what makes an orthodox mission different from another christian mission, and one answer referenced that it boiled down to ethos... How do we see the people we "serve"... As a reflection of Christ or as a sinner who got themselves into poverty in the first place? As unrecognized saints in our midst or as people who've made wrong choices and need to be fixed in order to function in our expectations of societal normalcy"

    - "One Deacon alluded to an "orthodox group" that asked what's the point of the mission if people aren't converting to Orthodoxy... The response the mission had was a question: how can we put a price tag or a condition on compassion?"

  • @minasoliman

    In terms of the non-use of contemporary music or musical instruments, I agree, but what do you think of the following:
    “To praise God tunefully upon an instrument, such as well-tuned cymbals, CITHARA, or TEN-STRINGED PSALTERY, is, as we know, an outward token that the members of the body and the thoughts of the heart are, like the instruments themselves, in proper order and control, all of them together living and moving by the Spirit’s cry and breath. And similarly, as it is written that By the Spirit a man lives and mortifies his bodily actions, so he who sings well puts his soul in tune, correcting by degrees its faulty rhythm so that at last, being truly natural and integrated, it has fear of nothing, but in peaceful freedom from all vain imaginings may apply itself with greater longing to the good things to come. For a soul rightly ordered by chanting the sacred words forgets its own afflictions and contemplates with joy the things of Christ alone.” St Athanasius, http://www.fisheaters.com/psalmsathanasiusletter.html

    And even if you wish to sing and play to the harp or lyre, THERE IS NO BLAME. Thou shalt imitate the righteous Hebrew king in his thanksgiving to God. “Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; praise is comely to the upright,” says the prophecy. “Confess to the Lord on the harp; play to Him on the psaltery of ten strings". St Clement, http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/002/0020268.htm#fn_1404
  • @minasoliman

    Also, what do you think of the contemporary style of music composed by Fr Peter Jon Gilquist: (skip past the first minute or so)
  • Hi qawe I've heard that Fr Peter Jon Gilquist's compositions were developed for youth conventions...they're more folk sounding (think campfire music) than big rock band. Also I don't think they were written or intended as "worship" or "liturgical" music but as music with Christian themes. Sentimentalism is also not the focus of his songs.
  • edited September 2014

    Your dialogue and rationale about the Liturgy being in Arabic really is a clear manifestation of your intolerance to the Islamisation/Arabisation of Egypt.

    I think this is pretty clear. 

    Let's not go on and on and on about how a Church is meant to teach you Christ and not a language, when the real crux of your problem is the obvious humiliation you have that you come across as Coptic Muslims perhaps to your neo-evangelical protestant Christian neighbours , no doubt.

    Your arguments are foundless.

    Before the Egyptians spoke Coptic, which language did they speak? Greek? Before Greek, which language did they speak? Was it Heiroglyphic, or Aramaic? Or Latin? 

    I don't know, but all I know is that languages are JUST a means of communication; because of the violent history in which the Arabisation of Egypt came about does not lessen the fact that Arabic is the official language of Egypt and its also our language as a Church. We are the Church of Egypt, and today, Arabic is the language of our Country.

    You can go and hit your heads on the walls because you are upset that you have anything in common with Muslims, but that's just pure hatred. Arabic is a beautiful language, and I think the Coptic Church has already many official liturgical hymns in Arabic now (Ya Kol asseffoff for the resurrection, Efrahi Ya Mariam (for St Mary), Asalam laki ya Mariam (for venerations to St Mary) or any saint... or nearly 99.9% of all hymns sung during the 7/4 period of Kiyahk are in Arabic.

    Should these songs be sung in English? Sure.. but most likely songs made in the English language should be used instead as it is seldom that words in English will fit into middle eastern melodies. 
  • @zoxsasi, you are correct in saying that language is just a means of communication.   We are not discussing any particular language, i.e. Arabic. We are discussing the need to preach/sing/praise/worship in our native tongue. Here in the States/ land of immigration our native tongue is English. I am not advocating complete eradication of Coptic or Arabic. Rather I believe we as a church should move lean towards praising/preaching in English. The real thrux of our problem is that many people do not even know our Orthodox Faith. The Youth do not know Christ. It saddens me to see people memorize hymns like Omonogeneis and not understand the theological implications of referring to the second person of the trinity as the “Only Begotten.” It is not a matter of language, rather it is a matter of INTELLECTUAL BEING DISCONNECTED WITH OUR PRAISE.  When hymnology becomes tarnished, we must return to the basics and preach the One whom we praise.  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


  • @qawe

    I am not all too familiar on an in depth study of the Church fathers and musical instruments, but someone shared with me this research paper long ago to me that seems to show that sole vocals was superior in form to musical instruments liturgically (and at times even "morally").

    So if these two quotes clearly indicate another lesser known patristic view, great.  I simply see it this way.  Even if instruments are okay, chanting should be theoretically as good or better than without instruments.

    As for Fr. Peter Jon Gillquist, I had the same impression as Cyril's.
  • @Zoxsasi,
    Arabic is not the official language of the church. It's called the Coptic church for a reason not the Arabic orthodox church. Indeed the songs you refer to are exactly why I have a problem. They are mere songs, I'm talking about Kol el sefoof and Kiahk songs. These Do not qualify as hymns. Hymns have certain criteria, like iconography in the Coptic church, deaconate, and rituals. Unfortunately however due to complacency in one leading to complacency in another those songs or melodies found their way in the original Coptic praise and liturgies. That is not right.. let alone the numerous spiritual, theological and linguistic mistakes in them!
  • right... Because the fathers referred to themselves as "Coptic Orthodox" as opposed to the Orthodox Church of Alexandria.

    Identifying the place where Orthodoxy had arisen as opposed to the ethnic heritage of a particular people...
  • @MrPete33,
    Indeed when the apostles preached the Gospel everywhere they took into account their cultural beliefs and practices. They spread the Gospel in the language of the people. This is the whole point of this thread, how much is the church a missionary one vs doing so preserving the Coptic flavour.
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