Feasts

FEASTS

The number of the dominical feasts changes according to the tradition. In the Byzantine tradition, there are 12 feasts, whereas in the Coptic tradition there is the existence of seven dominical major feasts and seven dominical minor feasts, and this has been attested since the 12th century. Abu al-Makarim mentioned that in the Church of Haret Al-Rum there is an icon depicting the seven dominical major feasts. In his encyclopedia, Ibn Kabar gave a detailed description of the liturgical practices of the major and minor feasts. However, this number varied throughout the ages. In 518 a.d. Severus of Antioch states, in Homily 125, that Palm Sunday and the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the are of a recent date. It is known that the Feast of the Nativity was introduced in the Coptic Church by the late fourth century. The feasts that are observed by the Coptic Church fall into four main divisions:

  1. The Lord’s major feasts: the Annunciation (29 Baramhat), the Nativity (29 Kiyahk), the Epiphany (11 Tubah), Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Day, and Pentecost.
  2. The Lord’s minor feasts: Circumcision (6 Tubah), the Marriage Feast at Cana (13 Tubah), Maundy Thursday, Thomas Sunday, the Flight into Egypt (24 Bashans), Candlemas (8 Amshir), and the Transfiguration (13 Misra). One may find iconographic representations of these feasts in the form of wall paintings in the Monastery of the Syrians and the Monastery of al-Baramous as well as in the Church of Haret Zuwelah (Old Cairo) and the Church of St. Mercurius.
  3. The Marian feasts.
  4. The feast days of the saints and martyrs.

GAWDAT GABRA