Audio Coptic Liturgies on CoptNet

Coptic Liturgy

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen.

CoptNet is thrilled to announce our Audio Liturgies on the Web project. As it is still in its infancy, we ask for your patience and support, as well as your prayers. We've digitized and uploaded our first Liturgy to the web, a beautiful Gregorian Liturgy by Father Mina Rizkalla in Melbourne, Australia. Fr. Mina and his Church already distribute this Liturgy on CD for a small fee, but he was kind enough to give us permission to put it on the internet anyway. This Liturgy is only in Arabic and Coptic, but we're working hard on acquiring an English Liturgy. Eventually, we'd like to bring you many other treasures of our Coptic vocal heritage, including audio recordings for learning the proper responses in Church as well as hymns, praises and other Liturgies. God willing, this is only the beginning.

Here's how it works. If you have a fast computer with sound support (sound card and speakers), then you should be able to come to this page and listen to a beautiful Coptic Liturgy. You should also be able to download it to your computer so that you can listen to it at anytime, without being connected to the internet. In order to do this, you'll need some special software to play MP3 music files, which is the data format we're using to distribute this Liturgy.

With just a little bit of set up work, you could listen to this beautiful Coptic Liturgy anytime you want, from your computer, whether its located at work, in school, or at home. You don't need a tape player or CD player, and you don't need to bother carrying around and losing tapes and CDs. Of course, if you're at work or school, you might want to use headphones instead of speakers so you don't disturb your colleagues. This service is completely, absolutely, free. There are no advertisements on our web pages and no one will be sending you requests for donations. If you do wish to make a donation on our behalf though, we suggest giving to the poor and defenseless. If you're a computer expert, then please help other people who may have trouble setting this system up. If you so desire, then you put copies or links of the Liturgy on your web page. For more information on distribution, see the Legalese.

If you're already setup to listen to MP3 (MPEG-1 Layer-III) files, then click on the files below to start listening to the Liturgy. If that doesn't work, then you'll need to click here to setup your computer  to play the Liturgy.

The Holy Coptic Orthodox Liturgy according to St. Gregory

Legality and Legalese

The whole question of public network distribution of electronic recordings is a very, very murky area, legally speaking. Due to the dearth of clear and consistent statutes, rulings, and enforcement policies, no can really say what artistic protections are provided to authors who distribute their recorded work over the internet. What we can say is that as a published work, this liturgy is  Copyrighted exclusively by Fr. Mina Riskalla of The Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Anthony and Archangel Michael in Melbourne, Australia. Additional legal protections may also apply.

In any event, Fr. Mina has given us permission to post this beautiful Liturgy to the internet community for the benefit and spiritual growth of everyone. As we offer you this beautiful gift out of Love, we encourage you to assist others in accessing it and give copies to anyone you think would benefit from it. We do ask that as you have received this gift for free, you also offer it to others for free. If you wish to purchase copies of this Liturgy on CD, please contact Fr. Mina Rizkalla of The Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Anthony and Archangel Michael in Melbourne, Australia, since he is already selling CDs of this Liturgy. Finally, you may store this recording on your computer's hard disk, you may link your home page to this page, and you may store the Liturgy files directly on your home page, but we ask that you not modify the Liturgy in any way, that you include the address for this page as well as the copyright and legal license for use that follows whenever you publish or distribute this recording. If you find these restrictions too limiting, please contact us and we can work out some other kind of license on an individual basis. We're not lawyers, we're just a group of Copts who are trying our best to share something so beautiful with the rest of the community. We really can't force you to abide by our simple requests, but we are asking you to do so.

This Liturgy is provided to you under certain restrictions. Downloading this Liturgy constitutes legal acceptance of the terms and conditions set forth here, as well as any further conditions to be imposed in the future by the copyright holders of this recording or CoptNet. These restrictions include, but are not limited to, the following:

How to listen to the Coptic Liturgy on your computer

The Liturgy is distributed (for now) as a collection of MPEG-1 Layer III files. Eventually, we'll make the Liturgy available in RealAudio format as well. In order to listen to MP3 files on the web you need three things:
  1. A fast computer. For Intel machines this means a pentium class microprocessor or better. In theory you can use a 486 class machine that runs at 100 Mhz or faster.
  2. An internet connection. If you're reading this right now on your computer over the network in Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer or some other browser, then you should be fine.
  3. An MP3 file player. Try clicking on the Liturgy file above. If you get an error message, or a dialog box for saving the file, this means that you do not have the appropriate software for playing MP3 files.
If you don't have an internet connection, then sorry, this is not for you. Although you can open a connection once and download the entire Liturgy to your computer so you can listen to it without connecting to the internet ever again, you need to be able to connect at least once. If your machine is not fast enough, for example, if you have an 8086, 8088, 80286, 80386 or an older Mac, then your won't able to listen to the Liturgy and again, this is not for you. The reason you need a fast machine is because we distribute the Liturgy in an incredibly compressed form, compressing the digital audio data by a factor of 20. Such powerful compression requires very complex mathematics and a lot of number crunching in order to decompress it. That's why you need a relatively fast computer.

Now, provided you have at least a temporary internet connection and a sufficiently fast machine, you need to do three things:

  1. Get an MP3 player from the internet, and install it.
  2. Configure it for your computer (the installation program may do this automatically).
  3. Test it out by clicking on this Liturgy file.

Step 1: Finding an MP3 Player

MP3 is the compressed audio format we are distributing the Liturgy in. If you don't have an MP3 file player, then you'll need to download one from the web and install it on your computer in order to listen to the Liturgy. If you're new to the web, grab your local computer geek (s/he's the one with glasses, zits, a seedy voice, a stained plaid tie, and an MIT class ring), show him this web page and ask him to help you out. In return, even though you don't have to, its customary to tip your local geek with a large pizza. My personal suggestions for MP3 players are as follows:
Just in case none of the above gets you a working MP3 decoder, here are some more suggestions, courtesy of, an excellent clearinghouse for all kinds of information on MP3. For other lists of Layer 3 (MP3) players, check:
  • Daily Updated MP3 Software by Jimmy Gunawan
  • Mp3 Players by Lucas
  • Players at
  • The Layer3 Software Page
  • Mp3 Players at Das MP3
  • The MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 Directory
  • Dare Demon's MP3 Players Page
  • The MPEG Players list at Nordic
  • MPEG Layer 1, 2, 3 players , coders & decoders etc
  • Players at
  • Mac users can look at Macintosh MP3 Information.

    Step 2: Installing and Configuring your MP3 Player

    Once you've downloaded and installed an MP3 player, you'll need to install it. If you're running a Windows machine or a Mac, then the software installation program should automatically configure your browser to work with the MP3 player.  If it doesn't, then you need to select the helpers or applications menu from your web browser's preferences menu. Once there look for an entry for the file type MP3; If it isn't already there, add an entry for mp3. Make sure that its MIME type is audio/x-mpeg, and that the application field points toward the MP3 player program that you installed. If you're running a Unix box, then by all means try the above steps from your browser. If you can't or if it doesn't work, then try adding the line "audio/x-mpeg  mp3" to the file .mime.types, creating it if necessary. After that, you'll probably want to edit your .mailcap file to include the line "audio/x-mpeg; mpg123  %s", without the quotes of course, being sure to change mpg123 to the full path name of the MP3 player that you installed..
    In addition, if you want to listen to the Liturgy as its being received, in real time, i.e., as streaming audio, then you will need a very fast network connection. Specifically, you need a cable modem, satellite connection, or direct network connection to the internet. Our MP3 files are coded for 128 kbits/second, so your internet connection will need to handle at least 16 kilobytes per second continuous download.

    To enable audio streaming under Unix, you'll need to modify the audio/x-mpeg entry in your .mailcap file to look like "audio/mpeg; mpg123 -; stream-buffer-size=20000", where you replace mpg123 with the full path name of your mp3 file player. If you have problems with error messages, try using "audio/mpeg; mpg123 - 2>/dev/null; stream-buffer-size=20000" in your .mailcap file instead.

    Step 3: Testing it all

    Now comes the moment of truth. Try clicking on the Liturgy files above. If you hear Fr. Mina singing after a brief delay, congratulations! If you don't, then something's wrong. Try rereading this document in its entirety and asking your local computer geek for help. If all else fails, try emailing me at the address at the bottom of the page. But please, try really hard first.

    If you can't your browser to open the file directly, then try saving it for download. Once you save it on your local hard disk, you should be able to manually start you mp3 player application and open the file locally. If you only see a big mess of funny characters when you click on the Liturgy above, then try clicking with the right mouse button on the Liturgy and selecting Save to Disk on the resulting popup menu. Also, on some Windows or Macintosh MP3 player applications, you can directly enter the URL for an MP3 file to play without bothering with your web browser at all. To use this feature, open your web browser, jump to this page, find out the address of the Liturgy MP3 files, and type that address into your MP3 player after asking it to play an internet location or address.

    Warning: The Liturgy files are extremely large. They consume approximately 70 megabytes of disk space for about 2 hours of music. Please do not email the Liturgy or pieces of it to individuals or discussion lists, since its so large that it will clog most email systems and seriously disrupt network traffic. Instead, send people links to this page, or the actual address for it.

    The author of this page is an anonymous computer geek who needs all your prayers very much. He goes under the pseuodonym Qoholeth and he can be reached by email at

    "He is the longed for, and the one who longs, he is the arsonist -- and he is the scorched."