The Sublime Pearl in the Sacrament of the Eucharist


This manuscript volume contains two drafts of a work on the Eucharistic sacrament (Arabic, sirr al-‘Afkharistiya). The sacrament is revered in many Christian churches, including the Coptic Orthodox Church, as the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is the central event of every mass in the Orthodox tradition and in many Western denominations. The volume contains two versions of the same essay. Authorship is ascribed to Iryan Moftah (1826–86), even though his name does not appear anywhere in the notebook; neither is a date given for the composition. The two versions of the text are heavily annotated with Biblical references, marginal notes, and interlinear comments, many of which are in the same clear Ruqah script as the main text. The two drafts may have been prepared for a sermon or pamphlet. Iryan Moftah belonged to a distinguished Coptic family. He was a leader of the 19th-century movement to reform the administration of the Coptic Church and the liturgical language. Known best for his influence on reforming liturgical Coptic, he was also an intellectual and lay preacher. His manuscripts on religious, historical, and linguistic subjects are preserved in the Iryan Moftah Collection of the American University in Cairo.

Last updated: July 21, 2014