“The person who cannot benefit from the Holy Pascha Week, will have a hard time to get that benefit other times in the year” HH Pope Shenouda III
In the Coptic rite the Pascha hour is composed of the following:
3- Doxology of “Thine is the Power …”
4- Psalm prayed in a sad tone
Prophecies: When you read the prophecies, try to relate to this prophecy, e.g. reading a prophecy from Exodus 32:7-15 the story of the deviation of the Israelites from God’s way after He brought them out of Egypt. “they have made for themselves a calf, and worshipped it” relating to this prophecy is obvious , how God brought us out of the darkness to the light in our Baptism and how we went astray. The Church used to pray the prophecy in a tone so you could “park” the words in your mind and contemplate them.
Homilies: Every day we have two homilies in the first and the eleventh hour, it is the lesson the church wants to teach us in our day, so take the lesson and apply it. On Monday the first homily is from St. Shenouda the Archimandrite, saying every Christian is accompanied by a guardian angel, who gives account of what you have done in your day before God, so he urges us to examine ourselves before we sleep.
Doxology: The doxology of “Thine is the power, the glory, the blessings, and the majesty forever.” Taken from Isaiah 12:2, Matt. 6:13, Rev. 5:12. We are boldly pray this hymn with the heavenly hosts as by His Cross he reconciled us with the heavenly hosts.
We pray the above doxology 12 times, after each we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Try to pray it slowly and let the words go deep, when you say “Our Father” is He really our Father? Or did we exchange him, because of our desires and lusts?
Psalm: In the same way you relate yourself to the prophecy, the psalm could be your “arrow prayer”-- short prayers during the day, “Look on me, hearken to me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep in death; lest at any time mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him.”
The Gospel reading: Whenever you read scribes and Pharisees or a rebuke, ask yourself am I doing that? When the Lord says “Woe to you,” am I the one who deserve this Woe?
Exposition: Explaining what the gospel said, always end with a lesson learned. When he talks about the temple the Lord left for them desolate, the exposition says “The place of forgiveness became a place to sin. The house of prayer and supplication became a den of thieves and a market place for cattle.”
The Litanies, we can expand each litany, when we are talking about the captives we remember the two metropolitan and the Coptic monk Fr. Gabriel El Antony who was kidnapped last week in Sudan. When we talk about those who are sick remember those whom you know and those whom you do not know. When we pray for Church Hierarchs, pray that God give them wisdom, power, and fruits of the spirit.
When you pray “Lord have mercy” and do metanoia give thanks to everything God gave you, put your weakness before Him, and so.
Last, please use every second in this week, make it as a rehearsal to how you are going to spend the Holy 50 days after the feast of Resurrection. Start the way of piety from now. Read books related to this season, listen to the hymns of the Holy Pascha week, listen to sermons, visit the sick etc.
HH Pope Shenouda used to have a piece of paper in his pocket and pencil to write any beautiful meditation, or prayer comes in his head. Try it, it is a good practice.
Pascha Book online
http://stgeorgejc.org/ under Coptic presentation