DIFNAR (ANTIPHONARION)

A liturgical book that contains a collection of hymns for the whole year. The hymns of the Difnar are in the service of the , which follows the office of Complines after the of the Theotokia. The hymns are arranged according to the . There are two hymns for each day, one in the tune and another in the Adam tune.

The title of this book means that the hymns are sung antiphonically. It seems that the Difnar was before the . The compilers of the Difnar have repeated different hymns in order to cover the whole year. Hence, the hymns for Pesynthius are used for Lazarus, and those of Theodosius are used for Cyril of Alexandria. If a saint has more than one feast in the year, the same hymns are used for both occasions. This is the case for Mary, John the Baptist, of , and others.

The earliest manuscript is from the collection of the Monastery of the Michael in Hamuli and now preserved in the Piermont () and dated 893. This manuscript is in the dialect. The Monastery of St. possesses a complete version of the Difnar dated 1385. In 1922, the monk Domadius published the first six months of the year. His edition contains the first two stanzas in Coptic and a complete translation in .

The edition of De Lacy O’Leary (1926-1928) contains the Coptic texts and Arabic titles with an in the last volume. In 1984, Fr. Gabriel Bishoy published the second part of the year. In 1985, Bishop Matthaus published the whole text according to a manuscript preserved in the Church of Sts. and Bacchus (Abu Sargah) dated 1746, and two from the and the Monastery of St. at Wadi al-Natrun.

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