Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II led Tuesday funeral prayers for Bishop Epiphanius, the late head of the Saint Marcarius the Great monastery in Beheira, at the bishop's home monastery.
The 64-year-old Bishop Epiphanius was found dead on Sunday at Saint Marcarius monastery, in what the Coptic Orthodox Church described as “suspicious circumstances.”
The Egyptian prosecution is carrying out investigations to clarify the causes of his death.
"Just as the meaning of his name is light, he also enlightened our world. We are extremely saddened by his departure but we live on in hope of the resurrection when we bid farewell to all our loved ones," Tawadros II said during the funeral.
The funeral prayers were attended by grieving monks, bishops, leaders of different Christian denominations and a limited number of worshippers.
The funeral prayers were preceded a funeral liturgy at the monastery.
The body of Bishop Epiphanius arrived to the monastery on Tuesday morning from Damanhour General Hospital in preparation for the rites.
"We believe that God regulates our lives and our deaths, God loves all of us, even sinners in the hope that they repent before it is too late. Our beloved bishop was known to be wise, very knowledgeable and he lived a very simple life."
Tawadros II said that the loss of such a beloved Bishop is not an easy matter for the Church "although we live through a very hard pain, we can feel that God's hands will grant peace to our hearts."
Near the end of his speech, Tawadros II asked monks to keep their peace amid the difficult circumstances, requesting they refrain from speaking to the media and leave statements to officials.
Head of the Coptic Synod Bishop Daniel thanked all authorities and officials who have been working on the case as well as the Beheira governorate and hospitals.
"We are awaiting the results of the investigations, we have not yet arrived to any conclusion and we are not jumping to conclusions," said Tawadros II.
Epiphanius was buried inside the Saint Marcarius monastery following the funeral prayers.