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The History of the Rite of Holy Week in the Coptic Orthodox Church

The History of the Rite of Holy Week in the Coptic Orthodox Church

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The Coptic Church is one of the most ancient and fastest growing churches in the world. Being Orthodox, almost all rites can be traced back to the Apostolic era with little digression in the ritualistic component of the rites. However, there is a gap in the literature when it comes to complex composite rites such as that of the Holy Week in the Coptic Church, a problem better addressed across other denominations such as the Byzantine Church.

History of the rite of the Holy Week in the Coptic Church by Associate Professor Youhanna Nessim Youssef, is one of the first pieces of literature that collates and analyses different sources to determine the provenance and derivation of the Coptic rite of Holy Week. In its current form, each hour of Passion Week is structured quite similarly- prophecies, paschal praise, psalm, gospel, exposition, and daytime litanies, with special hymns sung during momentous hours such as the 6th hour of Good Friday- however, it was not always so. Derived mainly from a very early 4th century Christian tradition, the current rite has been augmented across the centuries with readings and hymns for various reasons. Thus, the author examines sources across ten centuries written by varying stakeholders to create a literary flow chart of the evolution of the modern-day rite and lectionary.

Author: Dr Youhanna Nessim Youssef


Publisher Name : St Shenouda Press

Publisher URL :

Publication Year : 2023

Pages : 32

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