Hymnology

Praises Of Kiahk – Part 5

Psalias

Connected with the four Canticles and the seven Theotokias are seven Epsalias. The word “epsalia” means a hymn. The hymn in our Coptic Church is distinguishable in that the reply in each verse ends with the name of Jesus. An example of this:

  • The Epsalia for Monday: “My Lord Jesus”
  • The Epsalia for Tuesday: “Your Holy Name My Lord Jesus is…” is in its phrasing.
  • The Epsalia for Wednesday: “The sweet name full of glory is that of our Lord Jesus Christ…” is in its phrasing.
  • The Epsalia for Thursday: It begins with the clause, “O Lord Jesus Christ who…”
  • The Epsalia for Friday: It begins with the clause, “Our Lord Jesus Christ, give a sign (the Cross).”
  • The Epsalia for Saturday: Every verse ends saying, “My Lord Jesus Christ, my Good Savior.”
  • The Epsalia for Sunday: Every verse ends saying, “My Lord Jesus Christ, help me.”

With this we discover that the Coptic hymn is a dialogue with the Name of Salvation, the Name of Jesus Christ. It is not just a regular song. The Coptic fathers truly brought out the value of repeating the name of Jesus for the salvation of the person. It even became the center of their worship, and they breathed it since there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. This is a brief summary about the daily Church praises, especially the Eve of Sunday. During the month of Kiahk, hymns (epsalias) and beautiful praises for every canticle and Theotokia are interposed in. And with this the evening gathering is transformed into a night we spend in heaven pertaining to the topic of the divine incarnation by way of the Virgin Mary. In this doctrine, the saintly fathers discuss in their worship with all depth:

  • “Whoever does not believe that Saint Mary is the Mother of God is foreign to God.” (St. Gregory of Nazianzus)
  • “I am Your sister from the house of David our father. I am Your mother since I carried You within me, and I am Your daughter from water and blood with which
  • You bought me and baptized me.” (Mar Ephraem)
  • “Mother and throne and virgin” (Glorification)
  • “Her Embryo is her Creator and she was made by His hands.” (Glorification)
  • “Hail to the saint, the mother of all living.” (Theotokia of Tuesday)
  • “Rejoice, O Mary the mother and servant” (The Liturgy)
  • “The honor of the virgin is not from her being created a queen but from her sitting on the right of the Father.”
  • “She is the rational net that catches Christians.” (Lobsh of Friday)

Fr Bishoy kamal

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