Palm Sunday

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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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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Feasts

FEASTS The number of the dominical feasts changes according to the tradition. In the Byzantine tradition, there are 12 feasts, whereas in the Coptic tradition there is the existence of seven dominical major feasts and seven dominical minor feasts, and this has been attested since the 12th century. Abu al-Makarim mentioned that in the Church …

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Holy Cross Day

HOLY CROSS DAY The Coptic Church celebrates the Feast of the Cross on the 17th of Tut (27 September) and on the 10th of Baramhat (19 March). The first date commemorates the discovery of the Cross by Queen Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, in the fourth century. The second date commemorates the recovery …

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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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Icon

ICON The word icon derives from the Greek eikon, meaning “image,” “portrait,” or “likeness.” Generally, Coptic icons are made of panels of wood painted mostly in tempera. Encaustic (hot wax) was also used, and the panels may be covered with a layer of gesso. The greater majority of Coptic icons represent portraits such as images …

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