Saturday

Al-Mu’aqqub

AL-MU’AQQUB Al-Mu’aqqub are hymns sung on Saturday evenings during the month of Kiahk. The last verse of each stanza is repeated as a precursor to the next stanza. The edited Psalmodia of Kiahk includes several hymns of Mu’ aqqub, one being of Old Cairo, some of which are in Arabic attributed to Abu al-Sa’ad from …

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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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Kellia

KELLIA The archaeological remains that were discovered in Kellia represent the largest complex of Christian monasteries and hermitages known to date. The monastic site, which is situated about 18 kilometers south of modern al-Barnuji, the ancient Nitria in the western Nile Delta, was partly excavated, examined, and documented between 1965 and 1990. Unfortunately, the encroachment …

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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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Ragheb Moftah (1898-2001)

RAGHEB MOFTAH (1898-2001) A Musicologist, educator. He was born to a wealthy Coptic family on 21 December 1898 at Al-Faggala in Cairo. In 1991, he was sent to Germany to study agriculture at the University of Bonn, but his great passion was music. After his earning a bachelor’s degree in agronomics, he obtained degrees in …

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Dayr Anba Maqar

DAYR ANBA MAQAR Rising on the desert horizon like a great fortress, the Monastery of Saint MACARIUS was originally the most remote and least accessible of the monasteries of Wadi al- Natrun. It came into being around 360 when Saint Macarius the Egyptian moved southward from the valley to escape the overcrowding of hermits. Here, …

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