Subdeacon

SUBDEACON A novice deacon at the first stage of his diaconate. His duty is to look after the sacred vessels of the divine liturgy. In the early days of the church he was required to watch over the doors and make sure that no stranger or heretic entered. After he has acquired sufficient experience, a […]

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Catechumen

CATECHUMEN In the early church, a new Jewish or heathen convert undergoing a course of basic instruction and training in Christian doctrine and ritual, prior to BAPTISM and full incorporation into the body of the faithful. Just before His ascension, Christ had entrusted to the disciples the task of propagating His teachings among all nations […]

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Catholicos

CATHOLICOS A term of Greek origin signifying “general,” “universal,” and used as a title given to high-ranking secular officials, and later as an honorary title for certain ecclesiastical dignitaries ranking below a patriarch but above a metropolitan. On 25 June 1959, a protocol was issued in Cairo organizing the relationship between the Coptic Orthodox Church […]

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Consecration Of Church

CONSECRATION OF CHURCH After a new church has been equipped with the necessary vessels, curtains, books, and icons, it has to be consecrated, that is, set apart for divine service and dedicated to a saint. The consecration of a Coptic church is a colorful, elaborate service, carried out on a Saturday evening, and is enriched […]

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Veneration Of The Cross

VENERATION OF THE CROSS Through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the cross, which had previously been a method of punishment, humiliation, and disgrace, became a symbol of glory, honor, and spiritual joy. Matthew (24:30) calls it the sign of the Son of Man. Hence the veneration that Christians came to feel toward it, using it […]

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Consubstantiation

CONSUBSTANTIATION A theological term applied by Martin Luther to the actual substantial coexistence and combination of the Body and Blood of Christ with the bread and wine of communion following the eucharistic consecration of the elements. This doctrine is rejected by the Orthodox church, which holds that the bread and wine, through a mystical transformation […]

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Consecration

CONSECRATION The total dedication of persons and things to the exclusive service of God. In Judaism, temples, priests, vessels, and other objects were set apart in solemn ceremonies for sacred purposes. After their exodus from Egypt, the Israelites consecrated all first-born male children to the service of God, and later redeemed them (Ex. 13; Nm. […]

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Confession And Penitence

CONFESSION AND PENITENCE Sacramental confession consists of the avowal of one’s sins and faults, accompanied by genuine contrition, made to a priest for the purpose of obtaining absolution. Before Christ instituted this sacrament, He had given His disciples two relevant promises. When Peter recognized the true nature of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and acknowledged […]

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Confirmation

CONFIRMATION The sacrament by which the newly baptized receives the grace of the Holy Spirit. Confirmation is a complement to the sacrament of baptism. Despite being complementary to baptism and following immediately after it, confirmation must be regarded as a distinct sacrament, with its own rites and prayers. In view of its intrinsic qualities, confirmation […]

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Concomitance

CONCOMITANCE The doctrine held in the Roman Catholic church that the Body and Blood of Christ are together and simultaneously administered in communion even when a communicant receives one of the elements only. This doctrine is meant to justify the act of withdrawing the chalice from the laity ever since the twelfth century, and giving […]

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