Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Great Coptic Hymn: Atai Parthenos

In case you're reading this note and you didn't know previously about my passion and obsession with Coptic Hymns الالحان القبطية, now you know it!

Since we've just celebrated St Mary's feast yesterday, I thought I'd share with you this heavenly hymn that brings me so much joy and makes me feel like I'm in heaven praising with angels!

Atai Parthenos اطاي بارثينوس is a very special hymn, known for its great music, wonderful meaning, certainly inherited many centuries ago, but I don't know much about its history.. All I know is that I love it so much that it is one of my all time favorite hymns in the Coptic Orthodox Church. It says many prophecies from the Psalms about St Mary.

here's its lyrics in Arabic, Coptic and English:

Few months ago, I got to listen to part of this hymn in Arabic for the first time, and I fell in love with it even more, even though I'm not a fan of Arabic hymns. Also "Atai Parthenos" Arabic version is not quite famous, hardly anyone says it. So today as I kept humming it, I thought I'd see if I can find it online, and to my great happiness, I found a COMPLETE version at, in both Coptic and Arabic at the same time...

I don't know which chorus or the name of the person performing, but they are simply amazing.. at least for me!

If you haven't listened to Atai Parthenos in Coptic in the first place, it's a must! As for its Arabic translation, it'll give you a visit to heaven for a few moments! I am just charmed by it for all I know.. and I hope that one day I can perform it live or record it with my own voice, because I want everyone to feel the great joy in this hymn and transfer the magic-like feeling it gives the person when he/she says it..

Coptic hymns are certainly like-no-other, they are not like modern hymns, they're more like wine, as it gets old, it tastes better.. and these hymns have been alive for centuries, I guess now it's time to revive what we have forgotten of them, even if we think they are hard or boring, but when one gets used to them, they become more like an addiction, because not anyone can taste these "pearls" easily. Yes, Coptic hymns have a taste, so beautiful that it sometimes gives one the chills!

Finally, I hope you enjoy Atai parthenos!

I've uploaded it on youtube

.. and I've taught it here at church, two years after I've written this blog post, so here're the updates