Author Topic: Coptic Liturgy in Greek  (Read 632 times)

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« on: June 25, 2013, 12:48:30 AM »
A few years ago, I heard a recording (online) of the Coptic Liturgy sung entirely in Greek, but I can't seem to find it now.  Putting it on milk cartons hasn't worked, either.  Do you know where it is?!?!  :)
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Offline Severian

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 12:59:53 PM »
I would like to hear this too. Was it in Koine or Modern?
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Offline Cantor Krishnich

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 01:07:36 PM »
Are you sure that it wasn't in Coptic language. Some dialects of Coptic are Hellenised.
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Offline Romaios

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 01:26:27 PM »
Are you sure that it wasn't in Coptic language. Some dialects of Coptic are Hellenised.

Copts do use Greek - it's pronounced with some peculiarities, but it is 100% Greek. Some troparia are exactly the same as ours. Here's one of my favourites - Boulen proaionion, a stichera from the Vespers of the Annunciation, sung by Wagdi Bishara:

Quote
Βουλὴν προαιώνιον, ἀποκαλύπτων σοι Κόρη, Γαβριὴλ ἐφέστηκε, σὲ κατασπαζόμενος, καὶ φθεγγόμενος· Χαῖρε γῆ ἄσπορε, χαῖρε βάτε ἄφλεκτε, χαῖρε βάθος δυσθεώρητον, χαῖρε ἡ γέφυρα, πρὸς τοὺς οὐρανοὺς ἡ μετάγουσα, καὶ κλῖμαξ ἡ μετάρσιος, ἣν ὁ lακὼβ ἐθεάσατο· χαῖρε θεία στάμνε τοῦ Μάννα, χαῖρε λύσις τῆς ἀρᾶς, χαῖρε Ἀδάμ ἡ ἀνάκλησις, μετὰ σοῦ ὁ Κύριος.

Revealing to thee the pre-eternal counsel, Gabriel came and stood before thee, O maid; and greeting thee he said. Hail, thou earth that has not been sown, hail thou burning bush that remains unconsumed, hail thou unsearchable depth, hail thou bridge that leads to heaven, and ladder raised on high that Jacob saw. Hail thou divine jar of manna, hail thou deliverance from the curse, hail thou restoration of Adam, the Lord is with thee.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 01:30:00 PM by Romaios »

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 01:56:01 PM »
Are you sure that it wasn't in Coptic language. Some dialects of Coptic are Hellenised.

Well, the mp3 was named "Coptic Liturgy in Greek" or something like that.  And when I listened to it, it was Greek.  I haven't studied Coptic, but I have studied Greek, and I'm familiar enough with both to know when something in "Coptic" is really just Greek and when it's actually Coptic.  This seemed entirely Greek, although chanted in the Coptic style. 

I really wish I had downloaded it.  :(
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 01:57:23 PM »
I would like to hear this too. Was it in Koine or Modern?

Koine.  I haven't studied modern Greek, but I listen to Greek radio on the internet enough to tell the difference. 
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 02:23:14 PM »
Are you sure that it wasn't in Coptic language. Some dialects of Coptic are Hellenised.

Copts do use Greek - it's pronounced with some peculiarities, but it is 100% Greek. Some troparia are exactly the same as ours. Here's one of my favourites - Boulen proaionion, a stichera from the Vespers of the Annunciation, sung by Wagdi Bishara:

Quote
Βουλὴν προαιώνιον, ἀποκαλύπτων σοι Κόρη, Γαβριὴλ ἐφέστηκε, σὲ κατασπαζόμενος, καὶ φθεγγόμενος· Χαῖρε γῆ ἄσπορε, χαῖρε βάτε ἄφλεκτε, χαῖρε βάθος δυσθεώρητον, χαῖρε ἡ γέφυρα, πρὸς τοὺς οὐρανοὺς ἡ μετάγουσα, καὶ κλῖμαξ ἡ μετάρσιος, ἣν ὁ lακὼβ ἐθεάσατο· χαῖρε θεία στάμνε τοῦ Μάννα, χαῖρε λύσις τῆς ἀρᾶς, χαῖρε Ἀδάμ ἡ ἀνάκλησις, μετὰ σοῦ ὁ Κύριος.

Revealing to thee the pre-eternal counsel, Gabriel came and stood before thee, O maid; and greeting thee he said. Hail, thou earth that has not been sown, hail thou burning bush that remains unconsumed, hail thou unsearchable depth, hail thou bridge that leads to heaven, and ladder raised on high that Jacob saw. Hail thou divine jar of manna, hail thou deliverance from the curse, hail thou restoration of Adam, the Lord is with thee.

One thing I notice on the Tasbeha.org link, as well as in all my Coptic liturgical books is that, besides the irregular spelling, the editors often don't put a space between pronouns and articles and the following word, so that it looks like a single word. I was wondering about "CIKOPH", for example, until I realised it was "COI KOPH".

Offline Romaios

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 02:38:05 PM »
One thing I notice on the Tasbeha.org link, as well as in all my Coptic liturgical books is that, besides the irregular spelling, the editors often don't put a space between pronouns and articles and the following word, so that it looks like a single word. I was wondering about "CIKOPH", for example, until I realised it was "COI KOPH".

I guess this proves that they have a long indigenous tradition in copying Greek manuscripts... Also, they don't use the Byzantine diacritics (accents). IIRC Coptic uses lots of affixes with grammatical function, so that might explain what was in the mind of the Egyptian scribe who copied such a text, who might not have been proficient in Greek. It would be interesting to know just how long Greek survived as current liturgical language at Alexandria after the Arab conquest.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 02:58:34 PM »
I guess this proves that they have a long indigenous tradition in copying Greek manuscripts... Also, they don't use the Byzantine diacritics (accents). IIRC Coptic uses lots of affixes with grammatical function, so that might explain what was in the mind of the Egyptian scribe who copied such a text, who might not have been proficient in Greek. It would be interesting to know just how long Greek survived as current liturgical language at Alexandria after the Arab conquest.

The irregular spelling also reflects modern Greek pronunciation. "KAI" is often "KE" while in the text you quoted "COI" becomes "CI".

I was also thinking the affixes might be due to the scribes treating Greek as if it was Coptic, though I assume some of it also has to do with simple editorial error. The beginning of the Resurrection Apolytikion for Pl. 1st Tone, for example, is often written as "Ton sina anarchon" in Coptic books, rather than "Ton synanarchon".

I find the use of Greek in the Coptic liturgical tradition really interesting. I think it in some ways is a good model for liturgical celebration in other languages too: the longer prayer translated into the vernacular while repetitive responses and popular hymns remain in the original.

Offline Romaios

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013, 03:18:04 PM »
I guess this proves that they have a long indigenous tradition in copying Greek manuscripts... Also, they don't use the Byzantine diacritics (accents). IIRC Coptic uses lots of affixes with grammatical function, so that might explain what was in the mind of the Egyptian scribe who copied such a text, who might not have been proficient in Greek. It would be interesting to know just how long Greek survived as current liturgical language at Alexandria after the Arab conquest.

The irregular spelling also reflects modern Greek pronunciation. "KAI" is often "KE" while in the text you quoted "COI" becomes "CI".

Well, "ai" becomes "e" - in speech and often writing quite early (the first centuries AD): see how sebetai is spelled here. Also, in Latin ae practically disappeared in the Middle Ages, except in the endings of nouns of the first declension or where it had a precise grammatical function. Otherwise, the spelling follows the pronunciation.

I was also thinking the affixes might be due to the scribes treating Greek as if it was Coptic, though I assume some of it also has to do with simple editorial error. The beginning of the Resurrection Apolytikion for Pl. 1st Tone, for example, is often written as "Ton sina anarchon" in Coptic books, rather than "Ton synanarchon".

You're probably right. But think of the melismatic way it would be chanted - the Greek books with musical notation also multiply vowels and chanters would sometimes insert helping consonants (n's) or even syllables in a long melisma... 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 03:29:07 PM by Romaios »

Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2013, 03:30:44 PM »
Here you go:

http://www.coptichymns.net/modules.php?name=Coptic_Media&op=modload&file=index&p=Coptic%20Services%20and%20Liturgies%2FLiturgies%20of%20Saint%20Basil%2FLiturgy%20of%20St%20Basil%20in%20Greek

A few years ago, I heard a recording (online) of the Coptic Liturgy sung entirely in Greek, but I can't seem to find it now.  Putting it on milk cartons hasn't worked, either.  Do you know where it is?!?!  :)
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2013, 05:02:46 PM »
Awesome...thank you!  Didn't even know about this site to check it!
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Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Coptic Liturgy in Greek
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2013, 05:05:17 PM »
Awesome...thank you!  Didn't even know about this site to check it!

My pleasure!
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