ARCHBISHOP BASILIOS

Compline

COMPLINE The prayer of sleep instituted, according to the canonical hours, to commemorate the laying down of the body of Jesus Christ in the tomb. In churches and monasteries compline is said after vespers and before the raising of incense for the evening service. The DIDASCALIA (Qeladah, 1979) and Ibn al-‘Assal’s Kitab al-Qawanin (Book of …

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Communion Table

COMMUNION TABLE The fixed table standing in the middle of the sanctury (haykal) of the church, at which the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. It is an almost cubical structure of brickwork, stonework, or marble. In the first three centuries of the Christian era, the communion table was made of wood, partly in symbolic allusion to …

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Communion

COMMUNION The act of partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ. Communion is given many designations in the New Testament, such as “a new covenant” (Heb. 8:8-12), “eternal life” (Jn. 6:54), a “dwelling in Christ” (Jn. 5:56; 15:5-7), and a “sharing in the Body of Christ” (1 Cor. 10:16-17). In the early church, communion …

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Chrismatory

CHRISMATORY A small cruet, made of glass, earthenware, or metal, used as a receptacle for the holy CHRISM. It is usually kept inside a locked wooden box, and placed in the sanctuary or close to the baptismal font. A. J. Butler describes one such chrismatory he saw in the Church of Anba Shinudah in Cairo: …

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Chorepiscopus

CHOREPISCOPUS An assistant to a bishop. The rapid diffusion of Christianity in the early centuries and the consequent increase in the number of churches and the duties of the diocesan bishops necessitated the appointment of assistants to these bishops, holding the title of chorepiscopus, to assume some of the pastoral duties in rural areas. In …

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Candles

CANDLES Candles have been used in churches since the early days of Christianity on many occasions. According to Ibn al-‘Assal’s Kitab al-Qawanin (Book of Canon Law) and the DIDASCALIA, candles must be lighted during all services, a reference to the words of Jesus Christ, “I have come as a light into the world” (Jn. 12:46). …

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Cantor

CANTOR A leader and director of the chanting of the choir and the congregation during the liturgy and other occasions such as ceremonial processions. He is usually a deacon but may also be a layman. He should have a thorough knowledge of hymnology, psalmody, and all forms of responsory, besides church ritual and traditions. His …

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