by lefever on May 9, 2011
I am at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem facing the entrance that opens up to the Stone of Unction. I am standing in the small courtyard just outside that front entrance.
I hear singing, a chant of sorts.
I walk to a small door at the right of the courtyard. This is the entrance to the Coptic Church and it is the service of these Egyptian Christians that draws me to witness.
The Coptic Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel is filled with a most beautiful and religious sound; a cross between two sounds I am familiar with (only for a rough reference), the Muslim adhan and Gregorian chant. Not knowing the language I almost feel it is stream of consciousness. It may be.
I open my eyes and see a man, a Coptic monk perhaps, outside the gated sanctuary.
His face is in an ecstasy as he chants along, holding on to the vertical bars of the fencing. He is in an area that seems to be his area of service, a plate for coins sits on a small table.
I do not want to disturb him in his engagement to the worship. His face is so blissful. The sound is enchanting. He is wearing hearing aides.
The Coptic Chapel, Holy Sepulchre, Old City Jerusalem