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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Veneration Of The Cross

VENERATION OF THE CROSS Through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the cross, which had previously been a method of punishment, humiliation, and disgrace, became a symbol of glory, honor, and spiritual joy. Matthew (24:30) calls it the sign of the Son of Man. Hence the veneration that Christians came to feel toward it, using it […]

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Coptic Relations With Rome

COPTIC RELATIONS WITH ROME In antiquity, the pope and Church of Alexandria stood in close and friendly relations with the pope and Church of Rome. Quite often both churches formed an alliance against New Rome (Constantinople) and its patriarch. The early synods of Alexandria were recognized by Rome: DEMETRIUS I against ORIGEN (231); PETER II […]

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Consubstantiation

CONSUBSTANTIATION A theological term applied by Martin Luther to the actual substantial coexistence and combination of the Body and Blood of Christ with the bread and wine of communion following the eucharistic consecration of the elements. This doctrine is rejected by the Orthodox church, which holds that the bread and wine, through a mystical transformation […]

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Communion Of The Sick

COMMUNION OF THE SICK A special rite by which Holy Communion is administered to a bedridden person or to a prisoner in his cell. Fasting and confession are required whenever possible. After celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the church, and while communicating the people, the priest dips a portion of the Holy Body in the […]

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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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Clysma

CLYSMA An ancient town a few miles north of modern-day Suez and known for its ruins. They were excavated by B. Bruyère (1966). The site (which some texts call the isle of Clysma) appears to have been inhabited by anchorites very early. It is not known exactly where these anchorites lived. The Mountain of Antony […]

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Celibacy

CELIBACY The unmarried state, particularly of clergy who are so bound by a solemn vow. Although matrimony is one of the seven holy sacraments and is likened to the union between Christ and the church (Eph. 5:31, 32), ascetic celibacy is regarded as a superior state, as it relieves men from earthly attachments and prepares […]

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Canons Of Pseudo-Athanasius

CANONS OF PSEUDO-ATHANASIUS A name used to describe a canonical collection of various prescriptions touching the faithful or the clergy. The great Saint Athanasius cannot have been its author. The absence of mention of Christmas, which was introduced into Egypt among the great festivals in the middle of the fifth century, obliges one to set […]

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Book Of Canonical Hours

BOOK OF CANONICAL HOURS A book containing the offices for the seven canonical hours. It includes all the prayers, Psalms, Gospel readings, and petitions to be said at the various hours by day and night, appointed in accordance with analogous points in the life and Passion of Jesus Christ. Canonical hours were appointed in conformity […]

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