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Another Visit to Coptic Church

Coptic Church Visit

On Friday, Oct. 16 I went to another Coptic Church in Maadi. It is the church on Midan Nadha. Being in the middle class section of Maadi, it was not surprising that the church was more upscale than those I went to in Mar Girgis. The church was more brightly decorated, and the congregants were much better dressed and seemingly from an upper class background. The part of the service that I attended was again the liturgy sung in Coptic, but then I also saw the whole eucharist. Women would file up on the right, men on the left. There was a priest standing just outside both the left and right altar screen putting a wafer on the congregant’s tounge, and dipping out some wine which was spooned into each mouth (not very sanitary—and the govt of Egypt is concerned about swine flu!). Many of the parishoners were bare footed when they went up to for the Eucharist. During this, alter boys walked around the congregation handing out bread from this large basket that hand religious iconography on it. People were milling in the isles, walking up to the front to receive the host: it was chaos. The sun was coming in a eastern window, and you could see the sunrays through the inscence smoke wafting throughout the building. One of the priests was chanting throughout. Never did I hear any singing or music other than the liturgical chant. After a benediction, everyone began filing out. In a circular basement level, children were in a “Sunday school” (or is it “Friday school” here in Egypt?) that was also letting out at this time. The 8-12 guards surrounding the church became more alert when everyone was filing out onto the street, but there were no problems. This church was much more organized, and did not have all the tourists wandering in toward the end of the service as I saw in Mar Girgis.

Maadi Coptic Church

Maadi Coptic Church

Church services on Friday in Coptic Cairo

Church services on Friday in Coptic Cairo

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