Allow me to Copt out:
Going to church for a 6 am liturgy is never easy. Serving in the altar when the entire liturgy is in Arabic makes it even harder.
Yesterday morning, I got up early and made the three minute trek to the local church with my tonya (deacon vestment) in hand. I got dressed as a deacon and the priest asked me to serve in the altar. I kept trying to say No and that I didn't know anything in Arabic but he insisted and another deacon dragged me in. They handed me a book. I opened it--all Arabic. I asked if they had a book in English or at least Coptic. The deacon pointed at the book. Apparently, it was transliterated Coptic. I asked if there was anything in real Coptic. Ten minutes later, after the priest gave the deacon keys to go somewhere, I got a book in Arabic and Coptic. Before coming here, I never thought it would be hard to come by books in Coptic in a Coptic church.
I spent the rest of the liturgy getting confused and making up tunes to the deacon responses in Coptic. I assume everyone in the congregation was asleep so that was ok. Until I did the responses to "You who are seated, stand" and "Look towards the East." They're the only two responses I know in Arabic (aside from "Pray for the holy gospel" which was delegated to a little kid--I should've got it, little kid) and I wanted everyone to know that I knew. I belted out Ayohelgelous qifou so loud, I startled the priest. Everyone braced themselves for Wa ela sharq onzorou and I gave it my all. The whole church was looking East once I was done.
In conclusion, time to get out the tape player and learn all the Arabic responses I've been putting off for all these years.