Coptic Hagiography

Coptic Egypt was influenced by Greek Christian culture hence many of its hagiographi-cal texts were written first in that language and translated later into Coptic. It is important to consult the classical hagiographical tools, such as the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Orientalis, Subsidia Hagiographica, and the Bibliotheca Sanctorum. There are several ways to approach the study of hagiography; we have chosen to start with the liturgical approach or how the Coptic Church presents its saints through the Coptic liturgical books.

There is no formal procedure for canonization in the Coptic Church. The saints are commemorated through several rites, such as the rite of Glorifications, or by using special hymns such as the psalies, the doxologies, and the turuhat. A short account of a saint's life is included in the Synaxarion, and the Antiphonarion (Arabic: Difnar), which contains a collection of hymns for the whole year. The hymn of the Antiphonarion is sung in the service of the Psalmodia which follows the office of Compline. For the liturgical celebration, the Coptic Church possesses the Synaxarion of the saints which asks for their intercession and their prayers. Another synaxis is also recited before the Mass during the midnight prayer

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