BASIL THE GREAT

Cycle

CYCLE One of a group of works in Coptic literature dealing with episodes in the life of one or more specific characters, mostly saints and martyrs. There are two basic types of cycle: homiletic and hagiographical. The difference lies simply in the different literary forms used, with the homiletic cycles being made up of texts …

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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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Celibacy

CELIBACY The unmarried state, particularly of clergy who are so bound by a solemn vow. Although matrimony is one of the seven holy sacraments and is likened to the union between Christ and the church (Eph. 5:31, 32), ascetic celibacy is regarded as a superior state, as it relieves men from earthly attachments and prepares …

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Confession And Penitence

CONFESSION AND PENITENCE Confession is actually considered one of the sacraments of the Church, where the priest gives the absolution to the penitent. The Coptic Church believes that Christ gave this authority of loosening and binding to his disciples (Matt. 16:19). After his Resurrection, Christ also sent out his disciples, giving them the authority to …

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Confirmation

CONFIRMATION Confirmation is one of the sacraments of initiation into the Coptic Orthodox Church. It is administered immediately after Baptism and before partaking of the Eucharist. In the Coptic Church, it is performed by unction with the holy oil by a priest or a bishop (in the Catholic Church, it is the right of the …

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Apollinarianism

APOLLINARIANISM Apollinarianism is the dogma instituted by Apollinarius of Laodicea. He was a great friend of Athanasius of Alexandria and rendered him great service, defending orthodoxy against Arianism. But under the influence of Arianism, Apollinarius denied the full human nature of Christ by promulgating that the divine Logos took the place of the nous. Apollinarianism …

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Coptic Hagiography

COPTIC HAGIOGRAPHY Egypt was influenced by the Greek culture, hence many of the hagiographical texts were written first in this language and translated later into Coptic. It is important to use the classical hagiographical tools such as Bibliotheca Hagiographica Orientalis and the Bibliotheca Sanctorum (16 vols., Rome 1965-1976), in addition to the bibliography in each …

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