Anaghnostos is a Greek word formed of two parts: “Anagnoc” which means “chapter”, and “toc” which means “related to him”. So it means the chapter related to the reader, or the reader of chapters. Conditions for ordaining anaghnostos:
1. He is not to be less than 18 years old
2. witnessed by everyone for his good deeds and manners
3. to be recommended by the priest and congregation, without any objection from anybody.
4. to be tested in good reading with understanding of the Holy Bible
5. to practice spiritual virtues and means of grace: confession, Holy Communion, attending the church and reading from the Holy Bible.
6. to be ready for the service
7. to be humble and meek, not to be proud of his voice or service
1 – Daily Readings Reading the daily readings in church: especially the Epistles in Coptic and Arabic/English, that’s why he should learn the introduction and end of each Epistle in Coptic and Arabic/English. He should read correctly without mistakes, so that the congregation might understand.
After reading the Epistle the Anaghnostos (the reader) kneels infront of the altar’s door, kisses the cross and the priest’s hand, proving his humbleness before God and the congregation, so that he might not be proud of his voice or his readings.
2 – Reading the names of the father Patriarchs, who have reposed in the Lord After the commemoration of the saints, when the deacon serving inside the altar says: “Let the readers (the Anaghnostos) say the names of our Saint fathers the Patriarchs who have reposed, may the Lord repose their souls all and forgive us our sins.” In the old days, the names of the Patriarchs were written on many tablets, and after hearing this response, each Anaghnostos used to call out some of the names. This is not followed now, but it is most encouragable if we return again to this tradition.
3 – Singing praises and hymns He has a duty to learn the church’s praises and hymns, and recite them in the Holy Liturgy.
4 – Preaching and teaching As mentioned in ordaining the Anaghnostos: “Show your face O Lord, on your servant standing before you, to teach your Holy sayings, and preach your Holy Sayings, and preach your commandments to your people, and teach them your pure words, through which comes salvation of their souls and their redemption.” In the commandment it is said to him, “You should learn the books of the Holy Bible, one by one, so that you may be able to teach the congregation:, but he practices teaching and preaching after having permission from the Bishop or the priest.