To the melancholy sound of trumpets and beating of drums, some 8000 young Copts marched in a funeral procession on Wednesday evening at the grounds of St Mark’s Cathedral in
To the melancholy sound of trumpets and beating of drums, some 8000 young Copts marched in a funeral procession on Wednesday evening at the grounds of St Mark’s Cathedral in Abassiya, Cairo, to commemorate Pope Shenouda III who passed away on 17 March, and whose pictures they all carried. The gathering of so many young people—many of whom belonged to the church kashafa (scout) movement of young men and women—and their show of respect, love, and emotion at the loss of a the ‘father’ they loved so well moved many to tears. It was the largest commemoration yet held of the Pope, and the spontaneity and heart-felt emotion of the young was catching.
cathedral. The Pope was depicted standing, and below his figure were the words: “I was here for you, and for you I have gone there”. Once the poster was in place, the congregation was stunned to find a flock of doves fly above the poster and head towards the church dome after which it disappeared. The Egyptian flag was hung near the Pope’s poster.
“The pope passed away but he is still in our hearts”, said the Bishop of Youth Anba Moussa, speaking to the thousands of young church scouts who had flocked to St Mark’s from all over Egypt.
The ceremony included recitations and songs about Pope Shenouda. A poem written by Pope
Shenouda in 1948 under the title The Vine was also recited. Samuel Matthias, secretary-general of the kashafa movement presided over the ceremony which was attended by a number of bishops and clergy. Acting patriarch Anba Pachemuos, gave the final word in the commemoration. He thanked the scouts for the tremendous effort to honour the Pope. He said he was sure Pope Shenouda was now in heaven, looking down at the young people and reciprocating their love. “Pope Shenouda,” he reminded, “always said: ‘A Church without youth is a Church with no future’.
6 April 2012