Author Topic: Attending Coptic liturgy  (Read 1396 times)

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Offline Alpo

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Attending Coptic liturgy
« on: May 11, 2013, 01:58:53 PM »
For my pleasant suprise it seems that there are semi-regular Coptic liturgies in my home town. I've yet to email the priest but I'd like to attend liturgy at some point. Is there anything I should know or read before attending in order to avoid cultural shock? Is it anyhow similar with Byzantine or Roman liturgy?

Offline Cantor Krishnich

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2013, 02:07:03 PM »
I've been to a Coptic liturgy, its a little similar to Byzantine liturgy, very easy to follow. There shouldn't be any cultural shocks. Copts usually remove their shoes before entering the church and the church is sex segregated (women on the left, men on the right). 
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2013, 02:10:28 PM »
the church is sex segregated (women on the left, men on the right). 

I've been to churches in Greece where this happened as well.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 02:14:08 PM »
the church is sex segregated (women on the left, men on the right). 

I've been to churches in Greece where this happened as well.

That's customary in Finland too. It's not technically enforced by anyone but most of the people adhere to it anyway.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 02:39:23 PM »
The Coptic rites, being African/Alexandrian, are different from the Constantinopoitan rites. We both have Liturgies ascribed to St. Basil, but they are totally different. I really love the Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil. At least in America, the services are often in the local language. If the local Coptic Liturgy is in Finnish, please ask if you can make a recording sometime. I've heard it in English and it's a bit hard to chant all the melisma with relatively few vowels, but since the Finns stole so many vowels from the Georgians, the liturgical melismaniacs could really go to town. Also, Coptic Liturgies may be longer than Constantinopolitan ones.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 03:00:51 PM »
If the local Coptic Liturgy is in Finnish

Nope. AFAIK it's in English and Arabic.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 03:57:53 PM »
The Coptic rites, being African/Alexandrian, are different from the Constantinopoitan rites. We both have Liturgies ascribed to St. Basil, but they are totally different.

In the anaphora, Greek Basil and Coptic Basil are very similar, IIRC.  The latter may be a shorter version than the former, but I haven't studied it closely.  But in terms of the order of the entire Liturgy, they are quite different. 

Generally, each rite has a particular ordo for the Liturgy, into which anaphorae are inserted by rubric or choice.  The latter will affect a number of the texts prayed in the Liturgy, but not the overall structure and form.  For example, Greek Chrysostom and Greek Basil are different prayers, but not different rites. 

In this case, I think they are different rites, but not so much different prayers. 
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 04:47:36 PM »
The Coptic rites, being African/Alexandrian, are different from the Constantinopoitan rites. We both have Liturgies ascribed to St. Basil, but they are totally different.

In the anaphora, Greek Basil and Coptic Basil are very similar, IIRC.  The latter may be a shorter version than the former, but I haven't studied it closely.  But in terms of the order of the entire Liturgy, they are quite different. 


People say this, but I have heard and read both and fail to see any similarity apart from a phrase or two.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 04:56:18 PM »
I think it's Greek Basil and Coptic Gregory that's similar, not Coptic Basil.
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 05:35:10 PM »
Of the orientals, i've only visited the assyrians and the indians (malankara). but this city has churches of all others plus those under rome.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 06:49:23 PM »
Of the orientals, i've only visited the assyrians and the indians (malankara). but this city has churches of all others plus those under rome.
ASsyrians are not part of the Oriental Orthodox Church.  Syriacs are.  Syriacs, Malankara, and Assyrians have counterparts in Eastern Catholicism, which are under Rome, yes.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2013, 04:00:40 PM »
So basically it is different and unique and all but since I'm used to the Byzantine rite I shouldn't have any problem whatsoever with Coptic services?

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 04:04:48 PM »
So basically it is different and unique and all but since I'm used to the Byzantine rite I shouldn't have any problem whatsoever with Coptic services?

What problem might you anticipate? I think the role of the worshiper is much the same in Coptic and Constantinopolitan Rites.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 04:07:55 PM »
So basically it is different and unique and all but since I'm used to the Byzantine rite I shouldn't have any problem whatsoever with Coptic services?

What problem might you anticipate?

I'm not exactly sure. Maybe something like overall feeling that I don't know what is going on or where I am.

Offline mabsoota

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 04:19:09 PM »
i think it will be cool.
and u can tell us if it is not, so we know what to fix!

if u can say 'kyrie eleison', then that's half the congregation responses sorted.

i think the main difference is that the congregation join in with more stuff than with the eastern orthodox.
when i went to a greek church, i was joining in more than anyone else (i wondered if they were all quite new, hadn't realised it's 'normal' not to join in), and the lady next to me (eastern european) asked if i was greek!
just coz i can sing 'kyrie eleison' to almost any tune!
 ;)

they may have a projector so u can follow along, if not ask the guy next to u if there is a service book.

and please post yr impressions
 :)

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2013, 04:27:11 PM »
So basically it is different and unique and all but since I'm used to the Byzantine rite I shouldn't have any problem whatsoever with Coptic services?

What problem might you anticipate?

I'm not exactly sure. Maybe something like overall feeling that I don't know what is going on or where I am.

Ah, so it's just like an EO service. :)
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2013, 05:05:25 PM »
So basically it is different and unique and all but since I'm used to the Byzantine rite I shouldn't have any problem whatsoever with Coptic services?

What problem might you anticipate?

I'm not exactly sure. Maybe something like overall feeling that I don't know what is going on or where I am.

Ah, so it's just like an EO service. :)

Not really since I have the priviledge of being of the same ethnicity, culture and language as my local church is.

they may have a projector so u can follow along, if not ask the guy next to u if there is a service book.

I doubt both since AFAIK they're borrowing an EO chapel and I assume the priest just travels here once a month from abroad.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 05:09:00 PM by Alpo »

Offline copticmind

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2013, 06:38:05 AM »
So basically it is different and unique and all but since I'm used to the Byzantine rite I shouldn't have any problem whatsoever with Coptic services?

What problem might you anticipate?

I'm not exactly sure. Maybe something like overall feeling that I don't know what is going on or where I am.

If the priest is visiting from Sweden, and provided that you understand Swedish, you can ask him to bring a Swedish euchologion with him, there is even a fancy one with explanatory drawings above each piece of text.




The Coptic rites, being African/Alexandrian, are different from the Constantinopoitan rites. We both have Liturgies ascribed to St. Basil, but they are totally different.

In the anaphora, Greek Basil and Coptic Basil are very similar, IIRC.  The latter may be a shorter version than the former, but I haven't studied it closely.  But in terms of the order of the entire Liturgy, they are quite different. 


People say this, but I have heard and read both and fail to see any similarity apart from a phrase or two.

Archdeacon Roshdy wassef of the Coptic Church who obtained his PhD from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, did his dissertation about the common roots in both liturgies, I believe he has concluded that the Coptic liturgy of St. Basil is a primitive and a simpler form of the Byzantine one.
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Offline mike

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2013, 12:02:07 PM »
Of the orientals, i've only visited the assyrians and the indians (malankara). but this city has churches of all others plus those under rome.
ASsyrians are not part of the Oriental Orthodox Church.  Syriacs are.  Syriacs, Malankara, and Assyrians have counterparts in Eastern Catholicism, which are under Rome, yes.

Assyrians have two.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2013, 01:23:50 PM »
Of the orientals, i've only visited the assyrians and the indians (malankara). but this city has churches of all others plus those under rome.
ASsyrians are not part of the Oriental Orthodox Church.  Syriacs are.  Syriacs, Malankara, and Assyrians have counterparts in Eastern Catholicism, which are under Rome, yes.

Assyrians have two.

I think Malankara has at least two...one called Malabar and another called Syro-Malankara...or something like that.
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Offline mike

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2013, 01:25:14 PM »
The Malabar one is actually the second post-Nestorian.

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2013, 01:59:01 PM »
Yeah, the two that came out of the ACoE are the Chaldean and the Syro-Malabar. The Syro-Malankaran Catholics (maybe the newest Eastern Catholic Church, est. 1930) came out of the Malankara Orthodox (obviously not Nestorian).

Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2014, 12:41:33 PM »
Both popes of Alexandria are visiting Finland on this weekend. I get to attend two kinds of papal liturgies on the same sunday. How cool is that. 8)

Offline mabsoota

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2014, 12:57:36 PM »
no way!
please give details and i'll look up flights.
please post photos, i love them both so much
 :)

Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2014, 01:17:37 PM »
Welcome to Helsinki. The Coptic liturgy will start on 7am. The EO liturgy will start on 10am.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uspenski_Cathedral,_Helsinki

I'm someone will take lots of pictures and post them on our church's website. :)

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2014, 01:23:40 PM »
The Alexandrian council of Helsinki, two popes, two cultures, two liturgies, one building. Can your feet handle it?

(One a side note, how many times did Pope Tawadros travel to Europe, and somehow he doesn't have the "time" to make it to the Western Hemisphere?)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 01:24:40 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2014, 01:26:46 PM »
Lol just re-checked the timetable. The OO pope will arrive on friday and our pope will arrive on monday.  That's fairly historical too but not nearly as dramatic as I thought. Oh well. :P

His Coptic Holiness will leave on monday but hopefully he will meet His Greek Holiness before he leaves.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 01:29:23 PM by Alpo »

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2014, 01:27:42 PM »
Welcome to Helsinki. The Coptic liturgy will start on 7am. The EO liturgy will start on 10am.

Are you sure the early Liturgy will finish in enough time for you to attend the late Liturgy?  ;)
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2014, 01:33:25 PM »
Welcome to Helsinki. The Coptic liturgy will start on 7am. The EO liturgy will start on 10am.

Are you sure the early Liturgy will finish in enough time for you to attend the late Liturgy?  ;)

There's two altars within the same church. There's chapel of St. Alexander (Hotovitski) of Helsinki in the crypt. If the Copts get super-pious, we can start our own parties at downstairs.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 01:34:10 PM by Alpo »

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2014, 02:02:18 PM »
Welcome to Helsinki. The Coptic liturgy will start on 7am. The EO liturgy will start on 10am.

Are you sure the early Liturgy will finish in enough time for you to attend the late Liturgy?  ;)

There's two altars within the same church. There's chapel of St. Alexander (Hotovitski) of Helsinki in the crypt. If the Copts get super-pious, we can start our own parties at downstairs.

They're both in the same building?!  Awesome!  I have a passport, but no money (and no visa, if that's required), otherwise I'd love to be there. 
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2014, 02:03:38 PM »
chapel of St. Alexander (Hotovitski) of Helsinki in the crypt.

An aside: is this St Alexander Hotovitski the same one who served in America? 
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2014, 02:12:10 PM »
Welcome to Helsinki. The Coptic liturgy will start on 7am. The EO liturgy will start on 10am.

Are you sure the early Liturgy will finish in enough time for you to attend the late Liturgy?  ;)

There's two altars within the same church. There's chapel of St. Alexander (Hotovitski) of Helsinki in the crypt. If the Copts get super-pious, we can start our own parties at downstairs.

They're both in the same building?!  Awesome!  I have a passport, but no money (and no visa, if that's required), otherwise I'd love to be there.  

With faith and tsar's blingbling, everything is possible. The cathedral was built when we were part of Russian empire. So yes, they are both within the same building.

Btw, no visa is required. At least IIRC I wouldn't need visa if I wanted to visit the US and I guess it works the other way around too.

chapel of St. Alexander (Hotovitski) of Helsinki in the crypt.

An aside: is this St Alexander Hotovitski the same one who served in America?  

Yes. He served here as the rector of the parish for few years before moving to America.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 02:13:20 PM by Alpo »

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2014, 02:19:57 PM »
chapel of St. Alexander (Hotovitski) of Helsinki in the crypt.

An aside: is this St Alexander Hotovitski the same one who served in America?  

Yes. He served here as the rector of the parish for few years before moving to America.

Nice.  When I was in college, I attended an OCA parish which St Alexander served and helped to establish. 
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2014, 02:23:24 PM »
chapel of St. Alexander (Hotovitski) of Helsinki in the crypt.

An aside: is this St Alexander Hotovitski the same one who served in America?  

Yes. He served here as the rector of the parish for few years before moving to America.

Nice.  When I was in college, I attended an OCA parish which St Alexander served and helped to establish. 

How did you like the EO liturgy? Did you commune?

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2014, 02:35:43 PM »
Nice.  When I was in college, I attended an OCA parish which St Alexander served and helped to establish. 

How did you like the EO liturgy? Did you commune?

Then, as now, I "like" the EO liturgy just fine: the only difference was that I appreciated the repetitive litanies much less back then. 

When I first introduced myself to the priest in that parish, I didn't ask to confess or commune, but the priest asked the bishop if he could confess and commune me if I requested it, and permission was granted, so he told me I could do so whenever I wanted.  But in those years I didn't do so because there was a Coptic parish which met on Saturdays (they didn't yet have a full time priest), and so it wasn't like I couldn't receive the sacraments, I just couldn't do so on Sunday.  But sometime after graduation and moving back home, I went back for a visit, and since that was going to be the only Liturgy I attended that weekend, I communed.   
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Offline mabsoota

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2014, 02:57:56 PM »
hmm, if they're not there at the same time, i may plan a less expensive weekend trip instead.
(i was only half serious, anyway, but my instinctive response was to want to be there!)

i am glad you communed with EO, mor ephrem, i have also done that once.
it was only a short trip, but the nearest OO church was about 1,000 miles away, so i got permission from both sides and did it.

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Re: Attending Coptic liturgy
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2014, 09:11:35 AM »
hmm, if they're not there at the same time, i may plan a less expensive weekend trip instead.
(i was only half serious, anyway, but my instinctive response was to want to be there!)

i am glad you communed with EO, mor ephrem, i have also done that once.
it was only a short trip, but the nearest OO church was about 1,000 miles away, so i got permission from both sides and did it.

Huh, I did too. But I had no idea what it was. It was some kinda Orthodox and there were Copts there so I took communion. A bishop was present. It was at the National Jamboree camp out like 5 years ago so it was preformed in a gymnasium. I guess it was Greek rite because I heard kyrie eleison's
"I see the heavens opened up, and the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God"
-St. Stephen the Archdeacon and Protomartyr