Matins

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 …

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Absolution

ABSOLUTION The Absolution is a prayer recited by a priest begging from God the remission of the sins of the people or of an individual repentant in accordance with the authority given in the Gospels (Matt. 16:18, 18:18; John 20:23). In the Coptic language, the word for this prayer means “freedom.” A special feast for …

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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. …

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Doxology

DOXOLOGY The word doxology is composed from two Greek words: “doxa” meaning “good report, glory,” and “logos,” meaning “word, expression.” Hence, the combined meaning is “the expression of glory.” The doxology is a hymn used in the Coptic Church to commemorate an event or a church personality. It is usually a short hymn of 5-10 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Liturgy Of The Epiphany

LITURGY OF THE EPIPHANY The Epiphany, in the Coptic Church as in the Eastern churches, commemorates the Baptism of Christ. It seems that it was introduced into the Church calendar by the fourth century. The canons of Athanasius and the festal letters mention it for the first time. By the end of the fourth century …

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