Didascalia

AGE

AGE The general significance of ‘age’ is a period of time, or a measure of life. Specially, it expresses the idea of advancement in life, or of oldness. Several Greek words are employed in NT for ‘age.’ (1) αἰών (see Æon). (2) γενεά, ‘a generation,’ loosely measured as extending from 30 to 33 years. In …

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Saturday

SATURDAY The seventh day of the week, the day on which Christ’s body rested in the tomb. The early Christians of Jewish origin continued to observe Saturday as the Sabbath, a day of rest and prayer. But the fact that the Resurrection and descent of the Holy Ghost on the apostles had taken place on …

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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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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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Apostolic Canons

APOSTOLIC CANONS A series of eighty-four or eighty-five canons that in Greek form the concluding chapter (47) of Book 8 of the Apostolic Constitutions (Funk, 1905, Vol. 1, pp. 564-94). The Sahidic Coptic version counts seventy-one canons, the Arabic series (Book 2 of the 127 Canons of the Apostles) fifty-six only, the same as the …

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Canon Law

CANON LAW Codified law governing a church. The Coptic church has no codex juris canonici, as the Roman church does, but it has remained closer to its sources, which it has grouped in chronological or systematic collections. From the Coptic period, the church of Egypt was concerned with Coptic translation of the sources of church …

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Book Of Canonical Hours

BOOK OF CANONICAL HOURS A book containing the offices for the seven canonical hours. It includes all the prayers, Psalms, Gospel readings, and petitions to be said at the various hours by day and night, appointed in accordance with analogous points in the life and Passion of Jesus Christ. Canonical hours were appointed in conformity …

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Bishop

BISHOP The Coptic term episkopos is a loan word from the Greek that can be translated bishop, overseer, superintendent, or supervisor. The Arabic usquf derives also from the Greek episkopos. According to the Didascalia, the bishop should be chosen by the congregation, and his consecration should take place on a Sunday in the presence of …

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Canon

CANON The word canon in Coptic tradition has more than one meaning. It means a type of hymn that should be recited by two choirs, such as the Canon of the Twelfth Hour and Good Friday. It means also the “canon-law” or codified law governing a church. Thus, there are the Apostolic canons and the …

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