SAB‘AH WA-ARBA‘AH, an Arabic ecclesiastical idiom commonly used by Copts in reference to the PSALMODIA for the month of Kiyahk. It literally means "seven and four." The seven refers to the seven Theotokias of the week, one for each day. The four refers to the four odes of the daily Psalmodia that follows the Office of Midnight Prayer.
As it is not easy to assemble a congregation every night for a month, the custom has arisen of using the whole consecutive series of Theotokias on Saturday night, breaking the monotony by inserting the odes and psali (metrical hymns) before the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday Theotokias. Each Theotokia is preceded by its psali, one or more for each day, and is ended with its LOBSH and TARH. The tubhat (singular TUBH) and DOXOLOGIES are sung after the third ode and its psali, before the Friday Theotokia. Arabic mada’ih (songs of praise) are now sung after each part of the Psalmodia during Kiyahk.
EMIL MAHER ISHAQ
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