Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Decision of the Coptic and Greek Language Committee
Formed from the Hymns Committee of
The Rites Committee of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church
Regarding the used pronunciation of Coptic texts and
Greek words and texts in hymns, praises, and liturgies
The committee headed by H.G. Bishop Demetrios of the Coptic language, formed of the Committee of Rites at the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and head of the Division of Coptic Language at the Institute of Coptic Studies along with:
a) For the Coptic Language
1. Fr. Gabriel Bernaba, Teacher of Coptic Language at the Institute of Coptic Studies and Didymus Institute for Cantors in Cairo.
2. Fr. Zakka Fayez, Teacher of Coptic Language at the Coptic Seminary of Cairo
b) For the Greek Language
1. Fr. Basilious Sobhy, Head of the Division of Languages ate the Coptic Seminary of Cairo
2. Dr. Mishil Badae Abdelmalek, Head of the Hymns Division and Coptic Music at the Institute of Coptic Studies, and teach of Greek Language (Ancient, Koine, the pronunciation used for the Holy Bible and liturgical texts) at the seminary schools and Institute of Coptic Studies.
For the studying of the pronunciation of liturgical texts used in the prayers and hymns of the Coptic Orthodox Church which have been circulated through the recordings of the Institute of Coptic Studies of Cairo and were recorded by the Late Dr. Ragheb Moftah, head and founder of the Music and Hymns Division of the Institute of Coptic Studies starting in 1927 from the most renowned cantor of the Coptic Church, the late teacher Mikhail Girgis El Batanouny, and the first direct generation of his disciples, Cantor Tawfik Youssef Elnaikhili Elmuharrai, Cantor Farag Abdelmaseih, and Cantor Sadek Atallah.
The committee has found that the pronunciation used in the recordings of the Institute of Coptic Studies is the primary source for using in all hymns and prayers of the Coptic Orthodox Church and it must be kept from tampering and distortion of pronunciation which our Coptic Church has settled on. The recordings of the Coptic Institute is the primary and only source for all hymns of the Coptic Orthodox Church whether in the pronunciation of Coptic text or in words and texts of the Greek Language which are in according to the old pronunciation of the Greek language (Attic, Koine) and not according to the modern Greek pronunciation which has no relation to the Greek words and texts used in the prayers and hymns of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The committee calls on all cantors of the See of St. Mark, those who teach hymns and praises at the Seminary Schools in Cairo, Alexandria, and all branches, teachers at the Didymus Institute for Cantors in Cairo and the Elmuharraq Monastery, cantors of the Coptic Church inside Egypt and in the land of immigration, choirs of deacons and those responsible for teaching hymns in churches, and those responsible for organizing hymns competitions at the Youth Bishopric, to adhere to the correct pronunciation of the Coptic and Greek languages for all hymns and praises of the Coptic Church, that which the church has settled on and documented and is recorded audibly through the recordings of the hymns by Musical Division of the the Higher Institute of Coptic Studies, which is considered the official primary and only source for all the hymns of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Fr. Gabriel Bernaba
Fr. Basilious Sobhy
Fr. Zakka Fayez
Dr. Mishil Badae Abdelmalek
H.G. Bishop Demetrios, Bishop of Malawi and Ashmonin
Monday, 2nd of Nasie, 1720 A.M, September 8th, 2014
H.H. Pope Tawadros II
March 16th, 2015
To the revered fathers, teachers, cantors that teach hymns, praises, and liturgies at the Coptic Seminary of Egypt and its official branches inside and outside of Egypt and other hymns institutes:
First, please adhere completely to the decision of the Coptic and Greek Language Committee formed from the Hymns Committee of the Rites Committee of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The decision was confirmed and signed by H.H. Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexanderia and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark and the dean of the Coptic Seminary. The decision states the "utter importance of the correct pronunciation of the Coptic and Green languages for all hymns and praises of the Coptic Church, that which the church has settled on and documented and is recorded audibly through the recordings of the hymns by Musical Division of the the Higher Institute of Coptic Studies, which is considered the official primary and only source for all the hymns of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Second, anyone who disobeys this decision risks questioning before board of the seminary and possible leave from teaching at the institute.
Dr. Roshdy Wassef Behman Doss
Teacher and Head of the Division of Worship and Liturgical Studies
Archdeacon at the Cathedral of St. Mark
Monday, February 16, 2015
Statement by the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark of Jersey City On the Murder of 21 Coptic Egyptian Citizens in Libya
For Immediate Release
The Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark of Jersey City condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Coptic Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIS terrorists. We offer our condolences to His Holiness Pope Tawadrous II and to the families of the Martyrs. We also offer our support to the Egyptian government, led by President El-Sisi in taking all necessary measures of adequate response and remedy. We grieve with all Egyptian people for our fellow citizens and children.
This deliberate killing of innocent people is the most recent of many atrocities perpetrated by extremist -affiliated terrorists against the Christians of the region and fills the cup of the cruel and evil actions being taken today by ISIS and the rest of their likes as a direct result of the wrong and misleading view of God and religion.
This heinous act underscores the urgent need for the peaceful teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian faith to be welcomed, considered and promoted in Egypt and all Arab Countries. Christians must have their freedom to worship, build their churches and preach the gospel with liberty and without persecution.
Although this recent act of cowardice and evil resulting in the deaths of 21 young men left the church with a heavy heart, the church will never be shaken by such evil acts. Our church is a church of martyrs with a longstanding history of overcoming persecution in a peaceful manner, namely by fasting and prayer. So once again as we begin the Fast of Great Lent, we fast and pray for the 21 young men, their families, for all Egyptian citizens, for all victims of evil acts, for peace and we entreat our God to protect His people. And as our Lord Jesus Christ taught us, we also pray for those perpetrators of evil “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”(Matthew 5:44,NKJV)
May the Lord protect all of us against all evil.
For donations to help the families of the victims, please donate through our website and under the Description/Memo, enter "Martyrs of Libya".
For comments and words of comfort, please visit our In Memorial page.
For press comments, please contact Mr. Joseph M. Ghabour, Esq., the Deacon of Public Relations at 201-333-0004. You can find more information about St. Mark’s at: