I've been deeply saddened to learn Pope Shenouda III – of Alexandria – A patriarch of the Coptic Oriental Orthodox Church passed the Spirit to our Heavenly Father on 17 of March 2012. Even though officially Copt Christians are not in communion to us the Eastern Orthodox Church which my Church – Bulgarian Orthodox Church belongs to.
I've had the blessing from God to know a Coptic Orthodox Christian Baky and from what I've seen in him Copts faith is still strong. And from what, I've seen and heard from Baky and researched on the internet as well as experienced in listening their Coptic Orthodox songs I conclude, the Coptic Oriental Orthodox Church is still very spirit filled and have a great love for God. And Generally it seemed to me, their faith seemed to be stronger than our faith of many not to say most of the people who belong to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church…. Maybe it is just me or my wrong perception or maybe their church is less hunted than ours I don't know. One monk in a Bulgarian Orthodox Monastery in Pomorie said that "the Copts Christianity community is still stronger because the spiritual attack they suffer is less severe than to us the Eastern Orthodox Church" as they're not communion with the biggest part of the Orthodox Church. All this are just assumptions, only God knows how situation is. What I know is coptic music is gracious. From Eastern Orthodox point of view Coptic Orthodox Church has broken the communion with us because, they decided to reject all Church Patriarchs assembly decisions after the 4th century. So the situation with Copts is that they have conservated a big part of Christianity that used to be until the 4th century but lost the assembly of the Orthodox Church fathers. Of course as a consequence of the many centuries, some things in the Coptic Orthodox Church did changed and they're not perfectly preserved in the 4th century as they original intention was. For example, I noticed many Coptic Orthodox Church building architecture has similar patterns like some of the old Roman Catholic Churches. I guess this is normal, since we all used to be one Holy Apostolic Church in the past as we still recite during every Holy Liturgy service served in our Orthodox Churches. Another thing that is different from us the Eastern Orthodox Church is the copts Churches have a sitting bench just like in the Roman Catholic Church, I've heard they don't use them much from Baky but still the fact they have it is something probably adopted by Roman Catholics influence. Another thing I've seen from checking various things about copts on the internet is some of their copt Church icons iconography seems to be a bit influenced by Roman Catholic iconography, though I'm not completely sure about this because I don't know if Roman Catholics didn't took the iconography styling from the copts and not vice versa. A lot of the Coptic Orthodox Oriental Church langauge contains chantings from Greek and Church Slavonic. I've seen copts icons on which the language used is Greek and Ancient Bulgarian / (Church Slavonic). Some of their prayers also contain many Greek words. One of the basis prayers Lord Have Mercy, I've heard in Coptic Orthodox Churches is Greek also. Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison – with meaning (Lord Have Mercy, Lord Have Mercy, Lord Have Mercy). Before his passing, I've heard Pope Shenouda was hospitalized in Egypt Hospital? (if my information source is not mistaken), then I heard he was sent in a special Hospital in America. I thought they have helped him in the American hospital, but it seems they couldn't as it was Jesus's will to call the Coptic Patriarch in his his heavenly kingdom. Pope Shenouda the IIIrd was the 117 "Pope" (coming from the latin Papa (Father)) of Alexandria. As I hope Shenouda the III-rd is hopefully now in the heavenly kingdom, let him pray for me and us the still living Christians on this sinful world … Here is the funeral Church service of the Pope Shenouda. I hope this will be a blessing for some dear Christian brothers or sisters.
We Christians, need the pope prayers as the times, when we live are very mixed and we need the great mercy of Jesus Christ our Saviour to be able to endure and by his mercy and promise to receive Salvation in the end of our lives.