Lectionary

LECTIONARY

In the Coptic Church, a lectionary is a book containing lessons to be read at the service of evening and morning offering of incense (namely a Psalm-Verside and a gospel, readings), and the Divine Liturgy for which there are readings from the Pauline Epistles, the Catholic Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, a Psalm-Verside, and a gospel reading.

The yearly lectionary is comprised of two parts: 40 services for Sundays and 366 daily services. The days are distributed according to the Coptic calendar. The daily services follow the calendar and commemorate the day’s feast or saint. The Lenten lectionary normally includes the four days of Jonah’s Fast and Lent, which lasts for seven weeks. There is no evening offering of incense, but Old Testament selections are read at the morning offering of incense on fast days. The Lectionary of the Holy Week has a special particularity that all the Gospels of the liturgy are taken from the Gospel of John. The readings for the days and the Sundays are given together. A “monthly lectionary” was published by R. Tukhi, but Tukhi’s edition does not follow the Coptic manuscript and thus cannot be used as a reference.

The earliest manuscript of the Holy Week lectionary is 253 Liturgica of the , dated 1364 a.d. The first edition was by R. Tukhi (Catholic) in 1761 with Arabic translation. This edition can hardly be accepted as a valid witness. Its content is sometimes artificial and it is not reliable for the liturgist. The first Orthodox publication was edited by Claudius Labib in 1912 and reprinted with minor changes several times.

GAWDAT GABRA