Severus

Apostolic See

APOSTOLIC SEE An apostolic see is a see that was founded by an Apostle. The number of sees and their names differed from century to century. In the fourth century, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Ephesus were considered the four apostolic sees. However, with the foundation of Constantinople as a capital, the emperors started to assert …

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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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Christology

CHRISTOLOGY Christology is the study of all that pertains to Christ. Several dogmas were discussed throughout the history of the Church by the leaders and theologians of the Church concerning the nature of Christ; whether he is God or merely became a son by adoption (Bishop Paul of Samosata). The divine nature was discussed during …

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Confraternity

CONFRATERNITY The members of the confraternity were called in Greek philoponoi (the lovers of work) or the spoudaioi (the zealots). They were lay people who undertook a variety of services: caring for the poor, building churches, and assisting in worship services. They are mentioned in the time of St. Athanasius. The canons attributed to Athanasius …

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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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Confession Of The Fathers (Ca. 1078)

CONFESSION OF THE FATHERS (ca. 1078) Patristic florilegium (literally a “selection of flowers,” like a bouquet; a chain of quotations from selected authorities). The anonymous text known as I‘tiraf al-Aba’ (Confession of the Fathers) is a patristic florilegium. Confession is significant as an assertion and defense of the one-nature (Miaphysite) Christology of the Coptic Church …

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