St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church of Chicago

Etiquette for Serving in the Altar

By H.H. Pope Shenouda III
(El Keraza Magazine - June 30, 1989)

  1. No one should enter the altar, except servants of the altar, i.e., the priests and deacons. Therefore, woman cannot enter the altar. In addition, laymen who wish to take photos during festal occasions, ordinations, etc., cannot enter the altar. This issue definitely needs a solution.
  2. Only one Qorban should enter the altar during the Divine Liturgy (that is the Lamb Qorban). The plate that carries the rest of the Qorban should stay outside the altar, whether before the Divine Liturgy or after the selection of the Lamb Qorban.
  3. No one should give his back to the altar or rest his hand or lean his body on the altar. He must be standing in reverence.
  4. All priests participating in the Divine Liturgy (except the serving priest) must stand on the right hand side of the altar.
  5. The altar must be organized and in order. No papers (like prayer requests) should be placed on the altar, as any one desires. These papers could be placed in an envelop. Also, the veils, books, etc., must be arranged and set in order.
  6. No one should talk or converse inside the altar, only focus on prayer.
  7. Everyone must enter the altar with his right foot.
  8. No one should open or close the curtain of the altar, except for the priest. When the priest opens or closes the curtain, he prays saying: “Make O Lord the doors of Your house open before us in every age and to the end of ages. Do not close the doors of Your house before our faces”.
  9. The worshipers bow down before the altar when they enter the church and pray Psalm 5:7 “But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy. In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple”
  10. Also, when the priest enters the altar, he bows down before the altar and kisses it.


Kiak Hymns

  1. Kiak - Intro to Doxologies
  2. Kiak - Psalm - Week 2
  3. Kiak - Response of Acts - Week 2
  4. Kiak - Response of Acts - Weeks 1 & 3
  5. Kiak - Response of Acts - Week 4
  6. Kiak - Response of Psalm - Matins & Vespers

Hymns for Pentecost and Fast of the Apostles

  1. Hymn Pi Epnevma (The Holy Spirit)
  2. Reading of the Litanies of the 3rd Hour in Coptic
  3. Reading of the Litanies of the 3rd Hour in Arabic
  4. Doxology for Fast of the Apotles
  5. Hymn Sher Ne for Fast of the Apostle
  6. Acts Response for Fast of the Apostle
  7. Acts Response for Feast of the Apostle
  8. Psalm for Feast of the Apostle
  9. Gospel Response for Feast of the Apostle
  10. Hymn "Ontoos" for the Fast of the Apostle
  11. Hymn Asomen To Kirio

Hymns for Tasbeha (Midnight Praise)

  1. Hymn Esmo Epchoise "Bless the Lord"
  2. Hymn Tenen "We Therefore Present An Offering"

Hymns for the Feast of Nativity

  1. Sabaa Tarayeh (7 ways of chanting Morning Doxology) - Church Deacons
  2. Hiten Long Tune (Through The Intercession)
  3. Hiten Ne Epresvia (Through The Intercession)
  4. E-Parthenos, Pi-Jinmisi, Jenethlion (Today The Virgin, The Virginal Birth, An Amazing Nativity)
  5. Aptjek Evol
  6. Aspasmos Adam (Hail To Bethlehem)
  7. Aspasmos Watis in Arabic (They Presented Unto Him Gifts)
  8. Aspazesti Long (Greet One Another)
  9. Karahmatica Ya Rab (According to Your Mercy O Lord)
  10. Kata-to Ele-os
  11. Psalm 150
  12. Alleluia (long tune) for Psalm 150

Hymns for the Feast of the Cross

  1. Cross Doxology (And we also the people)
  2. Hymn for the Cross (Etaven Pi Eskhay = When Constantine's peaceful writings)
  3. Hiten Ni Efki (Through the prayer of my master)
  4. Praxis Response (Hail to the Cross)
  5. Gospel Response (Greatly honored is the sign of the Cross)
  6. First Part Paralex (O my Lord Jesus Christ)
  7. Fai Etaf Enf (He, who offered Himself)
  8. Aspasmos Adam Coptic (They likened the rod of Aaron)
  9. Aspasmos Adam Arabic (They likened the rod of Aaron)
  10. Aspasmos Watos Coptic (The Cross is our weapon)
  11. Aspasmos Watos Arabic (The Cross is our weapon)
  12. Melody for Distribution (I begin the name of the Trinity)

Hymns for the Glorification of St. Mary

  1. Ekessmaroout (Blessed are You indeed)
  2. O Kee-rios metaso (The Lord is with you)
  3. Shashf ensop emmeenee (Seven times everyday)
  4. Ya meem reh yeh meem (O M-A-R-Y, Lady of virgins)
  5. Rashe ne (Rejoice O Theotokos)
  6. Zevte pentees (Come all you nations)
  7. Ari-epresvevin e-ehree egon (Intercede on our behalf)
  8. Sena etsho en-na eshfeeri teero (Many are all your wonders)
  9. Atai parthenos (Today, this virgin received honor)
  10. Eporo Ente ti Hirini (O King of peace)
  11. Khen efran (In the name of the Father)
  12. Pi angelos and Conclusion (O angel of this day...)

Hymns for the Fast of Jonah

  1. Hymn of Intercession (Hiten)
  2. Gospel Response for Monday
  3. Gospel Response for Tuesday
  4. Gospel Response for Wednesday
  5. Psalm 150

Hymns for the Great Lent (Weekdays)

  1. Introduction to Doxologies
  2. Doxology 1
  3. Doxology 2
  4. Conclusion to Doxologies
  5. Eklenomen Taghonata
  6. Kerie Eleison
  7. Ten Gosht Evol
  8. Aleluia Ee Ai Ei
  9. Nefsenti
  10. Je Efesmaro-ot
  11. Enthote Ti Shori
  12. Shari Efnoti
  13. Psalm Response
  14. Gospel Response
  15. Aspasmos Adam
  16. Aspasoms Watos (1)
  17. Aspasmos Watos (2)
  18. Psalm 150 (Arabic)
  19. Psalm 150 (Coptic)
  20. Pi Mayromi
  21. Doxology for Communion
  22. Somatos Ke Imato

Hymns for the Great Lent (Weekends)

  1. Verses of Cymbals
  2. Verses of Cymbals (Adam)
  3. Verses of Cymbals (Watos)
  4. Introduction to Doxologies
  5. Doxology 1
  6. Doxology 2
  7. Doxology 3
  8. Gospel Response
  9. Gospel Response (Liturgy)
  10. Alleluia Je Efmevi
  11. Ari Pa Mevi
  12. Mighalo
  13. Apen Choice
  14. Onishti Emmesterion
  15. Psalm 150 (Arabic)
  16. Psalm 150 (Coptic)
  17. Melody for Last Friday of Lent
  18. Melody for First Sunday
  19. Melody for Second Sunday
  20. Melody for Third Sunday
  21. Melody for Fourth Sunday
  22. Melody for Fifth Sunday
  23. Melody for Sixth Sunday

Hymns for Passion Week

  1. Ka Eperto (We beseech our Lord)
  2. Pek Ethronos (Your Throne O God)
  3. Av Etsheenon (His words were smoother than oil)
  4. O Mono Ganess (O Only Begotten)
  5. Tai Shoori (This censor of pure gold)
  6. Tee Epistolee (An Eistle of our teacher St. Paul)
  7. Fai Etaf Enf (This is He who presented Himself)
  8. Golgotha Canon (Golgotha in Hebrew)
  9. Psalm 151 for Bright Saturday (in Arabic)
  10. Hymn for Bright Saturday  (He who have ears to hear let him hear - in Arabic)

Hymns for Resurrection and Fifty Joyful Days

  1. Sheri Ni (Hail to you ...) - Church Deacons
  2. Sabaa Tarayeh (7 ways of chanting Morning Doxology) - Church Deacons
  3. Ya Kol Al Sofof El Samayeen (O Heavenly Choir)
  4. Resurrection Enactment
  5. Ekhristos Anesti (Christ is risen - Greek, fast tune)
  6. Ekhristos Anesti (Christ is risen - Greek, slow  tune)
  7. Ton Sina Narkhon (We the faithful praise)
  8. Too Lee Thoo (While the stone was sealed)
  9. Pi Ekhristos Aftonf (Christ is risen - Coptic)
  10. Pashois (My Lord Jesus Christ)
  11. Agios (Holy God)
  12. Festal Psalm
  13. Gospel Response
  14. Festal Psalm 150
  15. Kata Nee Khoros (All the heavenly and earthly ranks and orders)
  16. Conclusion of Service