Divine Liturgy

Sunday

SUNDAY The weekly commemoration of the Resurrection and appearance of the Lord to His disciples (Jn. 20:19, 26). It falls on the first day of every week. Sunday has been kept by Christians since apostolic times as a day of joyful worship. Saint Paul and the Christians of Troas gathered on the first day of …

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Subdeacon

SUBDEACON A novice deacon at the first stage of his diaconate. His duty is to look after the sacred vessels of the divine liturgy. In the early days of the church he was required to watch over the doors and make sure that no stranger or heretic entered. After he has acquired sufficient experience, a …

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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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Music

MUSIC The Coptic Church uses more than one tune. The yearly tune, is used for all days except some feasts, fasting, and other occasions. The tune of Joy (Faraihi) is used from the first day of Tut, the beginning of the year, until the feast of the Cross, then in the dominical feasts and in …

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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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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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