(Arabic, plural Tubuhat). This is a Coptic word meaning “pray for.” The Tubuhat were introduced as deacon’s responses in the liturgy or in the Holy Week (for the liturgies, see the Anaphora of St. Basil, St. Gregory, and St. Cyril).
The Tubuhat of the morning service of the Holy Week was composed before the 14th century and are mentioned by ibn Kabar in his book the Lamp of Darkness for the Explanation of the Service. The Tubuhat of the evening service were composed later. From an allusion in the Tubuhat of the evening service, “Save us from inflation, plagues, exiles and the sword of the enemies,” one may be certain that this litany was written during the Mamluk period, perhaps during the reign of al-Zahir Beibars or later when Egypt was stricken by the Black Death and the governor wanted to banish Copts from Egypt, in addition to the failure of the Nile’s inundation in those years.
The studies of Anton Baumstark show clearly that the author of this litany has an excellent knowledge of the early liturgies. He underlined many Arabic expressions in this text that occur in the Greek Liturgy of St. Mark attributed to St. Cyril. Baumstark also mentioned that the beginning of the Litany of Lent and the Holy Week, which states “Bend your knees, stand and bend your knees,” is from the first century from the time of popes St. Cyprian and St. Cornelius.