Observe

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 …

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Fasting

FASTING The first references concerning fasting in the Coptic Church are the paschal letters of St. Athanasius from the beginning of the fourth century, wherein Athanasius introduced the date of the Holy Lent. This tradition was continued by his successors such as Theophilus and Cyril. In all these documents, mention is made of Lent and …

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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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Dayr Epiphanius

DAYR EPIPHANIUS A small semi-anchoritic community that existed around 580-640 on the “Holy Hill of Djeme” (Madinat Habu) in Western Thebes in Upper Egypt. The hermits who dwelled there had, like those in Kellia, Nitria, and Scetis, formed a laura around the cell of a Monophysite Coptic anchorite. In this case, it was Epiphanius who …

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Priest

PRIEST The priest is mentioned several times in the New Testament. Christ chose a number of men and named them apostles (; ). By the full authority that was committed to Him, He commanded them to go forth and baptize people everywhere and teach them to observe His commandments. They alone were given the power …

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Roman Army

ROMAN ARMY Roman troops were already present in Egypt when the country was still ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty. Ptolemy XII Auletes, who had been driven from his throne by the Alexandrian opposition, would hardly have been able to reenter Egypt without the military aid of the Roman legate Aulus Gabinius (55 B.C.). Since that …

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