Lamp of Darkness

Maundy Thursday

MAUNDY THURSDAY The hymn of Judas is sung in Greek in the Matins of the Maundy Thursday; according to Baumstark, this hymn may be dated to the sixth or seventh century. A manuscript from the John Rylands Library in Manchester contains a Prayer for the Basin “without sprinkling the lentils” (the interpretation of this phrase …

Maundy Thursday Read More »

Canons Of Hippolytus

CANONS OF HIPPOLYTUS A series of thirty-eight canons peculiar to the Copts and certainly only a reworking of the famous Apostolic Tradition attributed, rightly or wrongly, to the antipope Hippolytus (Geerard, 1974-1987, Vol. 1, no. 1737; see also no. 1742). It would be helpful to know who the author is, an Alexandrian or a Roman, …

Canons Of Hippolytus Read More »

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 …

Canon Law Read More »

Genuflection

GENUFLECTION The Prayer of Genuflection is performed in the Coptic Church on the eve of Whitsunday (the Feast of Pentecost) to indicate the end of Eastertide, during which prostration does not occur. This prayer signals another period in the liturgical calendar, during which prostration is permitted. Ireneaus Bishop of Lyon wrote, “Do not kneel on …

Genuflection Read More »

Book Of Canonical Hours

BOOK OF CANONICAL HOURS The first Christians followed the Jewish tradition of praying at fixed times of the day. The prayers for the third, sixth, and ninth hours may have been adopted first in Egypt, where the Jews who converted to Christianity followed the Jewish custom. In the third century, Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150-ca. …

Book Of Canonical Hours Read More »

Holy Week

HOLY WEEK Holy Week falls between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. The first description of the rite of the Holy Week is given by Egeria, a European woman from France who visited the Holy Lands between 381and 384. She provided a detailed description of the places she visited and the ceremonies that she attended. It …

Holy Week Read More »

Hosanna

HOSANNA Hebrew word, meaning “save us.” In the Coptic liturgy, it relates to Palm Sunday. In the 12th century, Abu al-Makarim wrote his book, the History of the Churches and Monasteries in Egypt. The feast of Palm Sunday was a special ceremony in his church (Church of the Holy Virgin in Haret Zuwylah in Old …

Hosanna Read More »