Will the Coptic Church in America, during its services, ever endorse the use of Western musical instruments such as the piano or acoustic guitar instead of cymbals and triangles? Will Worship in the Orthodox church ever be westernized?
I wonder if those people who want to westernize worship and the Coptic music have a good reason for that; or is it just a matter of taste? The use of cymbals and triangles only is not a matter of being carved in stone; but of tradition and heritage. The cymbals have been used in worship since the time of David the king. The limited use of instruments enhances the spiritual experience; while excessive use detracts from it, especially when it discourages or distracts the congregation's participation. Another important point is experiencing unity in our churches both in and out of our motherland Egypt. Nothing would warm the heart of a "displaced parishioner" more than to hear the familiar melodies outside of their home land. The wonderful thing in our worship in the Coptic Orthodox church is that no matter which continent, country, city or church you attend, you will hear the same liturgical hymns with the same instruments.
The piano, guitar and many other instruments are used in our Coptic Orthodox praises and Christian songs outside the services. All the new CDs and tapes of hymns and praises have traditional hymns with new musical arrangements and various musical instruments. Let us distinguish between our worship during the liturgies and the praises we offer our Lord outside of the church services and enjoy having both.