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HOW TO SAY HAPPY EASTER IN COPTIC

April 2, 2013

easter greeting

ressurection

Figure 1: Coptic icon from the 18th century by Yuhanna al-Armani [1] in the Aby Sarga Church in Old Cairo: “Christ’s Resurrection: He breaks the gates of Hades (Amente) and saves Adam, Eve and the Prophets”.[2]

The traditional Easter (Paschal) greeting is “Christ is Risen!”, with the response being “Truly, He is Risen”. This is used in almost all Christian nations, each translating it to its own language; so in Greek it is: “Χριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ανέστη! (Khristós Anésti! Alithós Anésti!)”, in Latin: “Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!”, in Aramaic Syriac: “ܡܫܝܚܐ ܩܡ! ܫܪܝܪܐܝܬ ܩܡ!‎ (Mshiḥa qām! sharīrāīth qām! ; Mshiḥo Qom! Shariroith Qom!)”, in Hebrew[3]: “המשיח קם! באמת קם!‎ (Hameshiach qam! Be’emet qam!)”, in Arabic: “المسيح قام! حقا قام!‎ (al-Masīḥ qām! Ḥaqqan qām!); المسيح قام! بالحقيقة قام!‎ (al-Masīḥ qām! Belḥāqiqāti qām!)”.

In Coptic, the Paschal greeting is: “Coptic easter greeting”, which sounds in Neo-Bohairic as “Pikhristos Aftonf! Khen oumethmi aftonf!” and in Old Bohairic as “pikhristos afdonf! khen oumetmei afdonf!”.


[1] For more on the artist Yuhanna al-Armani, read: Magdi Guirguis, An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Egypt (Cairo, New York, The American University in Cairo Press, 2008).

[2] The image is taken from Coptic Icons I (Cairo, Lehert & Landrock, 1998). The title given to the icon is mine.

[3] Modern Hebrew.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. mindthehat permalink
    April 5, 2013 8:43 am

    Great piece Dioscorus. Through baby steps, the Copts will learn their language. I just wonder what should one do to help the Copts overcome their intellectual, emotional, .. ..laziness. I hope I did not come across as racist or patronising.

    • Dioscorus Boles permalink*
      April 5, 2013 6:51 pm

      Not at all. We are still in coma but some are taking this very seriously and initiating study groups wherever they are.

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