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wayfarer
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« on: April 02, 2006, 10:50:15 PM »

Coming from a non-liturgical background, the subject of liturgy whether Holy Communion, the Liturgy of the Hours, etc. is a point of interest.

Comparing the Agpeya to the Horologion used by the Greeks, Russians, et al, and the Breviaries of the west, it seems to me that the Agpeya represents a more "primitive" practice - simple, and focused on the psalter.

Would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Wayfarer
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coptic orthodox boy
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2006, 11:07:41 PM »

Agpeya

While being Catholic, under the guide of my FOC, I practiced the Catholic hours (was actually intruduced by a Franciscan Friar on a retreat, by the name of Br. Nicolas CFR).  When I became Orthodox, I also prayed the Agpeya.  The thing is I quit praying the agpeya, and I gave my Catholic hours to a friend of mine when I left the Catholic church.  I've never been to found of liturgical prayers outside the liturgy.  They're too rigid in my opinion.  I personally enjoyed prayer the rosary and the Jesus prayer.  I find it more relaxing praying with a string of beads that with a book.  

But, yes, I would agree, the Agpeya is extremly easy to follow, and much more "primitive" (though "primitive" doesn't always mean it is better).  When praying the Catholic hours, I had to stop at the local Catholic shop to by the "year guide."  Unlike the Agpeya, the Catholic hours switch almost if not all the time, daily.  Actually, the Catholic hours is a collection of 4 books I believe, each for the different "seasons" within the Catholic church (ordinary time, lent, advent), and it's so darn hard to pray that by the time your done, you feel you've just fliped a bunch of pages other than communied with God.  

Well, just my 2 cent.  Got to go catch the end of UFC soon.

shawn
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yBeayf
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2006, 01:01:50 AM »

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Comparing the Agpeya to the Horologion used by the Greeks, Russians, et al, and the Breviaries of the west, it seems to me that the Agpeya represents a more "primitive" practice - simple, and focused on the psalter.

Eh, not really. The West certainly makes huge use of psalms, and if you've ever seen the Byzantine divine office prayed in full, with full kathismata, it's almost nothing but psalms as well. The Agpeya isn't the entire office, either -- for vespers and matins, the Copts have the psalmody, the "composed" post-Biblical hymnody, and the raising of incense separated into discrete blocs, (whereas the Byzantines and Latins have it all mixed together), and dealing with the changeable elements of Coptic services can be just as complex as dealing with those of other rites.
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wayfarer
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2006, 09:29:50 PM »

Eh, not really. The West certainly makes huge use of psalms, and if you've ever seen the Byzantine divine office prayed in full, with full kathismata, it's almost nothing but psalms as well. The Agpeya isn't the entire office, either -- for vespers and matins, the Copts have the psalmody, the "composed" post-Biblical hymnody, and the raising of incense separated into discrete blocs, (whereas the Byzantines and Latins have it all mixed together), and dealing with the changeable elements of Coptic services can be just as complex as dealing with those of other rites.

I think I chose my words poorly  Tongue

But you did answer the question I was trying to express in regards to the Agpeya in that there is more to it than the text I have at hand.

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Amdetsion
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2006, 10:58:10 PM »

The Agpeya is better appreciated within an 'eastern' mind.

It is consistent with the earliest, purest form of prayer structure.

The Coptics have a wealth of spiritual understanding which they use to enrich the Coptic faithful and others. Most RC never heard of the book of hours. Most Catholics do not fast or pray. Most RC do not believe in the teachings of the RC church.

Most RC I know follow (or agree with) secular wisdom and life style like Darwinism, evolution, homosexuality, pre-marital sex and the like. I have never met a RC that did not believe in divorce although the RCC does not teach divorce as a canon.

The reason I say these things is to support what happens when structured prayer is central to the faithful. This structure triggers not only a communication with the Lord but also is a means of maintaining solid life choices which are directed by a structured mentality a spiritual mentality.
 
Coptics and Orthodox people in general are less likely to accept secular wisdom as a way of forming opinions and decisions in life.

Also I have been praying the Agpeya for two years now and I always use prayer beads for the Kere-elie-son.
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
wayfarer
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2006, 10:49:37 AM »

The Agpeya isn't the entire office, either -- for vespers and matins, the Copts have the psalmody, the "composed" post-Biblical hymnody, and the raising of incense separated into discrete blocs, (whereas the Byzantines and Latins have it all mixed together), and dealing with the changeable elements of Coptic services can be just as complex as dealing with those of other rites.

Where would the hymns be placed within the Agpeya and is there an English language book of these hymns?

Wayfarer
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yBeayf
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2006, 02:44:55 PM »

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Where would the hymns be placed within the Agpeya and is there an English language book of these hymns?

From what I've seen, attending Coptic vespers and matins services, they come after the completion of the hour from the Agpeya. There were big thick service books in English, Arabic, and Coptic at the church, but I haven't seen them online.
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Jonathan
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2006, 03:29:24 PM »

Hi, the hymns aren't placed in the Agpeya.  The Agpeya is all you normally pray at home.  If there's a church service (Vespers, Matins, Midnight Praise, Liturgy) then the hours (in the Agpeya) for around that time are prayed first.

For example, if you go for Vespers on a Saturday night, first the 9th, 11th, and 12th hours in the Agpeya are prayed, then the Vespers Praise is sung (with or without a priest), then the priest comes for Vespers if he wasn't there earlier.

Often immediately after Vespers the Midnight house from the Agpeya is prayed, then the Midnight Praise is prayed.  In a monastery though you would leave the church after Vespers, and then come back during the night for the Midnight Hour and Midnight Praise.

Then Sunday morning you pray Prime from the Agpeya (either at church or at home first), then the Doxology of Prime or Morning Praise is sung, then Matins is prayed.  After Matins and before the Liturgy the 3rd and 6th hours from the Agpeya are prayed, then the Liturgy starts.

You can do Midnight Praise at home, but outside the monastary it's never done daily or anything.  The Agpeya on the other hand is prayed by all the faithful every day (in theory at least) according to each person's rule from their Father of Confession, but usually at least Prime and Compline with a reduced set of the Psalms.

If you want the text for the Praise (evening, midnight, and morning) pm me your email address and I'll email it to you on the weekend.  Recordings can be found at: http://www.stantonymonastery.org/psalmody.asp tasbeha.org and coptichymns.net

The hours in the Agpeya are the complete office, there's no seasonal stuff or anything.  The Psamody (praise) does have things that change daily and seasonally.  Besides these there's nothing else you can do without a priest, we don't have anything like a readers service for matins & vespers.  We believe that only priests can offer incense, and will never have incense in the home like some other Orthodox groups do.

Where would the hymns be placed within the Agpeya and is there an English language book of these hymns?

Wayfarer
« Last Edit: April 05, 2006, 03:36:26 PM by Jonathan » Logged
wayfarer
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2006, 09:20:57 PM »

Jonathan,

THANK YOU for the information regarding the Agpeya. This is a wealth of information!

Will PM you my email

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StBrigid
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2006, 05:19:23 PM »

There is a beautiful online English version of the Agpeya with some sound files at http://www.agpeya.org

Our church self-published the English Agpeya books along with other area churches.  You could contact a Coptic church in your area to get a book if you'd like, or they're being sold here.
http://www.stmark-la.com/book_list.html
https://www.orthodoxbookstore.org/product.details.aspx?ProductID=53
« Last Edit: April 12, 2006, 05:26:44 PM by StBrigid » Logged
Tags: Coptic Orthodox Church prayer liturgy online prayer online Oriental Orthodox prayers Agpeya 
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