20 mar kl 19:06, 2012
CAIRO (AP) - Crying and dressed in black, tens of thousands of Egyptian Coptic Christians filled a funeral Mass Tuesday for their Patriarch, Pope Shenouda III, before he was buried in a monastery in the desert.
Local clergy, priests and dignitaries packed the Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo, as deacons sang hymns dark, bearded, black-clad priests and monks chanted prayers and incense as the smoke flowed from their censers. Shenouda body lay in a white coffin in elaborate regalia traditionally used to monitor services, complete with a gold crown decorated.
Many in the congregation burst into tears, while others waved frantically when the Mass was over. Clergy, deacons and lay people gathered around the coffin, kissing her, standing silent and bowing in respect.
Shenouda died on Saturday aged 88 after having served for 40 years before the Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the oldest Christian denominations in the world. Most of Egypt, estimated at 10 million Coptic Christians are Orthodox.
A successor has not yet been appointed and that could take months before the complex process to complete.
The Coptic Christians of Egypt - about 10 percent of the population have long complained of discrimination by the Muslim majority country. The political rise of Islamists since the fall of former leader Hosni Mubarak for a year deepened their anxiety.
Tens of thousands of people followed the Mass outside the cathedral, carrying portraits of Shenouda and crosses. Many wept, wiping tears from their faces, like the melancholy melodies of the songs came to them through the speakers .......