Thursday, January 26, 2017

How much Greek is there in a Coptic Liturgy

From the blog "Orthodox Christian Meets the World."

If you didn’t already know, the Coptic Liturgical text today is filled with Greek. But how much of it is Greek? People have been giving and receiving all kinds of answers to that question, so I set out to get an actual answer. Here are the results, tips on telling the difference, and what the numbers may or may not tell us:

I looked at a typical, “common day” Coptic liturgy, beginning from the Liturgy of the Word through the distribution hymn Psalm 150. I counted the number of words or combined words separated by spaces.

Overall: 23% of the Coptic Liturgy is Greek. But when you look deeper into it, it turns out that the overwhelming majority of Coptic in the Liturgy is said by the priest, rather than the congregation (the people) or the deacons.

Results by role: There are three main roles in the liturgy: Priest, People (or congregation), and Deacon. While overall 23% of the Coptic Liturgical Text is Greek, the percentage by role is much more varied.
  • Deacon: 69% Greek
  • People: 42% Greek
  • Priest: 6% Greek
One interesting thing I discovered is that nearly everything the priest says is Coptic, except for two main parts of the liturgy (the Anaphora, and the end of Liturgy just before the confession). If you were to take out those two main parts, you would leave the priest saying only one phrase in Greek, which is “Irini Pasi” (Greek for “Peace be with you all”)...

Complete article here.

No comments:

Post a Comment