The word canon in Coptic tradition has more than one meaning. It means a type of hymn that should be recited by two choirs, such as the Canon of the Twelfth Hour and Good Friday. It means also the “canon-law” or codified law governing a church. Thus, there are the Apostolic canons and the Ecclesiastical Canons of the Apostles, or the Didascalia and the Testament of the Lord.

Moreover, there are the canons on the Ecumenical councils, such as Nicaea, or the canons of local councils, such as Gangra, or the canons of a patriarch, such as the Canon of Athanasius, Basil, or Gabriel ibn Turayk. It means also a punishment as introduced by a spiritual father; this consists of more prayers or fasting. A canon means also a spiritual plan, especially for a monk.


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