It All Makes Sense. Hallelujah!
The Psalms of David & the Gospel of Jesus Christ
The psalms of David and the gospels of the New Testament are cornerstones of the Christian faith. The Orthodox Church considers them an essential part of all liturgical services.
The Coptic Orthodox Church, in particular, has an intricate rite for the chanting of the psalms and the reading of the holy gospel. This rite consists of both melismatic and recitative tunes, as well as majestic movements and reverent worship. The current misunderstandings of liturgical rituals, decline in the use of the Coptic language, and late incorporation of the Arabic language into the liturgical services, have altered the order of this rite, rendering it incoherent. This incoherence not only furthers the loss of our original rite, but leaves the worshipper confused and unfocused. I hope this study will be used to revive this tradition and its tunes!
The purpose of this series is to discuss certain aspects of the rites and hymns of the Coptic liturgy, whether the Divine Liturgy or any other liturgical service, that are currently misinterpreted or practiced inaccurately. I am in no way a liturgical scholar, but my goal is to, by God’s grace, use both written and musical tradition to clarify some of the ambiguities or unfounded changes present in the Divine Liturgy. This article is divided into two sections: the first will discuss the rite of the psalm chant and the procession of the gospel, while the second section will delve into the reading of the holy gospel.
I’m including a table of contents so that the length and detail of this article don’t deter readers.
Page 02 – Tradition of the Psalm Chant & Procession of the Gospel
Page 03 – Manuscripts Concerning the Psalm Chant & Procession of the Gospel
Page 04 – Overview of the Musical Tradition of the Psalm Chant
Page 05 – Melismatic Tunes of the Psalm Chant
Page 06 – Intermediate Tunes of the Psalm Chant
Page 07 – Recitative Tunes of the Tawwaf Psalm Chant
Page 08 – Tradition of the Gospel Reading
Page 09 – Proper Order of the Gospel Reading
Page 10 – Manuscripts Concerning the Gospel Reading
Page 11 – Musical Tradition of the Gospel Reading in Coptic
Page 12 – Is it Viable? Suggestions & Summary
Page 13 – Contemplation & Prayer