03 - Month of Kiahk
Albair Gamal Mikhail
December 23, 2003
The rite of the Month of Kiahk.
The month of Kiahk is called the “Marian month” because of its association with the great saint Mary, the Theotokos. This month has a special place in our Coptic Orthodox Church, for it is a month of preparation for the glorious Feast of the Nativity. For this reason, there was an immense concern for having special hymns in the church during this month, and so the tune of the hymns chanted especially during this month are called the “Kiahk tune.”
As for the readings of the month of Kiahk, if the month is not four weeks before the Paramoun of the Nativity, the last Sunday of the month of Hathor is taken instead of the first Sunday of the month of Kiahk. If the Paramoun of the Nativity was more than one day, it is necessary to repeat the readings of the Paramoun during these days, even if it was on a Sunday. If the Feast of the Nativity happened to be on the 28th of Kiahk, instead of the 29th of Kiahk, the readings of the 29th of Kiahk are read during the feast, since the 29th of Kiahk is the original feast day. In addition, the readings are repeated again on the 29th of Kiahk, even if was on a Sunday. As for the 27th of Kiahk, if the Paramoun happened to be on that day, the readings of the 28th of Kiahk are read on that day. It is also important to note that if the 30th of Kiahk was a Sunday, the readings of the 30th of Kiahk are read, and not the readings of the fifth Sunday, since it is repeated and does not suit the following day of the glorious Feast of the Nativity.
As for the rite of the month of Kiahk, it is similar to the annual rite in terms of order, with the exception of the hymns and responses chanted specifically for the month of Kiahk. Note that during all the weekdays of the month of Kiahk, except on Saturdays and Sundays, the Psaltery prayers of the Third, Sixth and Ninth hours are prayed, and the hymns =A=l @ je `vmeu`i and }souri are chanted, considering the Fast of the Nativity. As for the Saturdays and Sundays of the month of Kiahk, the Psaltery prayers of the Third and Sixth hours only are prayed, and the hymns =A=l @ vai pe pi and Tai souri are chanted. The Fraction prayer during the month of Kiahk is that of the Feast of the Nativity. In the conclusion, the communion hymns are chanted in the Kiahk tune, and the hymn `Fem`psa gar is chanted on Sundays, while }par;enoc is chanted on the rest of the days. If there was enough time, whatever is appropriate from the spiritual songs of the month of Kiahk may be chanted, and the prayer is concluded as usual.
May the blessings of this month be with us all, and to our God belongs glory and honor forever, amen.
Mikhail, Deacon Albair Gamal, The Essentials in the Deacon’s Service, (Shobra, Egypt: Shikolani, 2002), p.210. Translated from Arabic by Bishoy K. R. Dawood, edited by Alexander A-Malek.