The churches of old cairo

The churches of old Cairo INTRODUCTION Cairo has been the capital of Egypt for more than one thousand years, but the actual city and history of Cairo are the legacy of many previous capitals of Egypt, of great cultural centers and successive civilizations founded there. The earliest was a predynastic settle­ment dating from the 4th […]

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Liturgy in the White Monastery

Liturgy in the White Monastery Liturgy is an essential part of the life of a monastery, and we can hardly feel an interest for the White Monastery without being interested in its liturgical life as well.[1] Unfortunately we still know little about this subject, as recently stated by Heinzgerd Brakmann, a most distinguished scholar in […]

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The high priest Aaron (right) and his brother Moses, receiving the Tablets of the Law (east part of octagon). A deesis (Christ accompanied by his mother Mary and St. John the Baptist, both interceding for mankind) is painted below.

The Monastery of St. Macarius (WADI AL-NATRUN)

The Monastery of St. Macarius (WADI AL-NATRUN) THE FOUNDING FATHER OF THE MONASTERY ST. MACARIUS (Anba Maqar, ca. 300-390) was one of the first hermits in Wadi al-Natrun. According to his vita, a cherub took him by the hand and showed him the place where he should build cells and a church. This site must […]

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The Hanging Church (OLD CAIRO)

The Hanging Church (OLD CAIRO) JL HE CHURCH OF THE HOLY VIRGIN was built on the remains of one of the gates of the Roman fortress, Babylon. This high position earned her the name ‘the Hanging’ or ‘the Suspended’ (al-Mu’allaqa) Church. Medieval Western pilgrims referred to the church as “the Church of the Steps” (the […]

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Mo‘Allaqa

MO‘ALLAQA The Church of the Holy Virgin is known as al-Mo‘allaqa, “the Suspended One,” because it was built upon the south gate of the Babylon fortress in Old Cairo. It is the most famous ancient church in Cairo. The church was erected after the Arab conquest of Egypt (640-642). We know from the biography of […]

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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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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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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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Church Of Abu Sayfayn (Old Cairo)

CHURCH OF ABU SAYFAYN (Old Cairo) In the Arabic manuscripts this church is called “church of Abu Marqurah,” and in a Garshuni manuscript (Arabic written in Syriac characters) “church of Mar Quryus” (Mercurius). Two late Coptic manuscripts describe it thus: “Mercurius at the tetrapylon of the river.” Western travelers of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries […]

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Consecration Of The Chrism

CONSECRATION OF THE CHRISM The infrequent occasions on which the preparation and consecration of the chrism is performed are events of considerable spiritual joy. After concocting the prerequisite ingredients of the chrism and also of the kallielaion (oil of the CATECHUMENS) that is usually consecrated on the same day but in a separate service, they […]

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