Coptic Customs, Hymns and Art
The customs, hymns and art of the Coptic Church are influenced by Pharaonic style, as can be seen for example in the egg of Easter Monday. Pharaonic tradition was to go to the gardens near the Nile River at the beginning of the spring season, where they would see the new green buds budding out from the dry branches.This is symbolic as it shows that life is present from the dry branches which seem dead. This is also the case where a small live chick bursts from the egg which seems like stone. The Copts Christianised this custom to symbolise the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the stone tomb. This custom then spread all over the world during the season of the Resurrection (or Pesach).
The tunes of the Pharaonic hymns used for procession and the welcoming of kings (in ancient times) is used for the same purpose nowadays for Coptic Bishops and Patriarchs, but with Christian words and meanings. Also, the tunes of the hymns used for the funeral of kings or Pharaohs are used in the Coptic prayers on Good Friday of the Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ – but also with Christian words and meanings.
That is why Coptic hymns have a great influence, value and place for the human spirit – as they bring the atmosphere of the great Christian events to the present time, as if they were occurring at the moment.
As related by His Eminence Metropolitan Dr. Anba Abraham. All rights reserved.