Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Why is the Coptic Language so important? (Nobody can understand it. To me, it's just another foreign language, like Chinese). Why can't the church just do all the hymns in the English language?

The Coptic language is an integral part of our liturgical worship. As we have inherited the holy tradition we have also inherited the beautiful Coptic hymns. Most of the Coptic hymns have already been translated into English and many churches already use English hymns in their liturgies. All the Holy Week Pascha hymns that are found in the Pascha books have already been  translated into English for the sake of meaning. However, no matter how accurate the translations are, they do not retain the exact melody and character of the hymns. I know of churches that on Good Friday read the long hymns like 'Omonogenis' in English before they start chanting it in Coptic.

Coptic Hymns are one of the important links that bind us with our mother church in Egypt. While we think of the English-speaking congregation, we cannot forget that our church is still a migrating one, receiving newcomers from Egypt who in their transitional period are desperately in need of holding onto what is familiar to them. Presenting them with Coptic hymns during an English liturgy is the least we can do to accommodate them and make them feel at home.

I would like those who do not understand Coptic to either start to learn it or at least follow in the liturgy books, the Psalmody books or the Pascha books to understand what is being chanted and worship the Lord with gladness.
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