The Criteria of the Coptic Orthodox Song (Holy Synod)

On June 14th 2003, the Committee of Faith, Education and Legislation of the Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod produced a paper entitled “The Criteria of the Coptic Orthodox Song”. We post it here for our readers, translated into English for the first time.

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The Criteria of the Coptic Orthodox Song
The Committee of Faith, Education and Legislation, Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church
14th June 2003

1. The sentences of the Orthodox song should be far from claiming the guarantee of obtaining the eternal life through faith only without deeds.
2. Be far from claiming that repentance without baptism is considered a new birth, such as the following statements: (in a moment of change, to be born as new).
3. The song must emphasise the value of the deeds next to the faith, because faith without works is dead, as what comes in a prayer in the Sunset Prayer [Eleventh Hour of the Agpeya (Horologion)] “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where shall I, the sinner, appear?”
4. The sentences of the song should be far from implying that the past sins of man and present [sins] have been excused through faith without practising the sacraments of repentance and confession such as the statements saying “I am now renewed” or “victorious and more than victorious”.
5. The song should not be against or devoid of Orthodoxy, meaning that it is neither ANTI nor NON.
6. The song should not encourage neutrality, meaning neither being Orthodox nor Protestant.
7. The Orthodox song is not an emotional song, meaning touching emotions for the person, far from the spirit of repentance and being near to God.
8. The Orthodox song must be void of heavy musical instruments, as rock music, jazz, and fast tempo, and the loud sound of the drums, but should be accompanied by light music and composed upon the ecclesiastical chants and the chants of the tasbeha [Midnight Praises].