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Heritage of the Coptic Orthodox Church

The Heritage of the Coptic Orthodox Church is a choir of the Coptic Orthodox Church located in Ontario, Canada. The choir was formed to provide a living preservation of the hymnology of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

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The Heritage of the Coptic Orthodox Church (HCOC) choir was founded in the summer of 2000, under the leadership of Deacon Albair Mikhail. Most choir members are from the church of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius in Mississauga, Canada. HCOC also has members from the youth of the Coptic Orthodox churches in the Greater Toronto Area, Montreal, the US, Australia and Egypt. It currently has over 35 members, and continues to grow by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The aim of the Choir is the preservation of the hymns of the Coptic Orthodox Church, through receiving and recording the most accurate versions of the hymns.

In handing down the hymns, we follow a rigorous study and analysis of Coptic hymnology from Cantor Mikhail El-Batanouny the Great. We have access to the recordings of the Ragheb Moftah Collection of Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Music and Chants. This collection includes chants by Cantor Mikhail El-Batanouny, the second generation of cantors after him, as well as other chanters. Taking Cantor Mikhail as our root source, we attempt to single out the renditions of hymns that he has handed down to our Church, then receive those hymns and record them.

The process is lengthy, and often daunting. However, we consider it a labor of love to Christ our God and to His Church. We are firmly committed, by the grace of God, to receive and record all the hymns of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in order to preserve Her heritage. This commitment is reflected in the name by which we call ourselves.

This commitment is also reflected in the quality of our recordings. We strive to sing praises to God in unison, with one voice. We are very particular that the tunes of the hymns are rendered without any augmentation or musical adornment. We also place great emphasis on correct pronunciation of both the Coptic and Greek languages. Our recordings are foremost intended to be references for learning the rites and hymns of the Coptic Orthodox Church.