CHRISM

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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Chrism

CHRISM Also known as holy Myron, the sacred oil used in anointing and in ceremonies of consecration. The tradition of using this sacred oil goes back to the Old Testament (Ex. 30) where God ordered Moses to prepare an anointing oil compounded from myrrh, cinnamon, cassia, and sweet calamus mixed with pure olive oil. It …

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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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Chrism

CHRISM After baptism, candidates are anointed with the oil of thanksgiving. Then they go into the church and receive the laying on of hands and are anointed with the chrism of confirmation. A priest administers this rite in the Coptic Church. The patriarch and the bishops consecrate the oil of chrism. After a short prayer …

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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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Shutb

SHUTB A town situated on the west bank of the Nile about 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Asyut in the province of the same name. In Coptic the town was known as Shotep. It was a bishopric by the end of the thirteenth century, as evidenced by the name of Yu’annis, bishop of Shutb …

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Sinjar

SINJAR An important Christian center and episcopal see in Lower Egypt, especially from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. Sinjar is mentioned in the Coptic SYNAXARION, under 4 Misra, as the place where David and his brothers suffered martyrdom during the DIOCLETIAN persecution. By the eighth century, Sinjar had become an episcopal see. At the …

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Icon

ICON The word icon derives from the Greek eikon, meaning “image,” “portrait,” or “likeness.” Generally, Coptic icons are made of panels of wood painted mostly in tempera. Encaustic (hot wax) was also used, and the panels may be covered with a layer of gesso. The greater majority of Coptic icons represent portraits such as images …

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