Wednesday and Friday

The Coptic church ordains that Wednesday and Friday be observed as fast days, the former being the day on which was condemned to be crucified, and the latter being the day on which His crucifixion took place. This fast applies throughout the year, with the following exceptions: during the fifty days following Easter; or should the feast of the Nativity (29 Kiyahk) or of the Epiphany (11 Tubah) fall on either day.

The fast, which is kept until three o’clock in the afternoon, that is, the ninth canonical hour, entails abstention from foodstuffs containing fats, for the rest of the day.

Reference to Wednesday and Friday fasts occurs in various sources such as the Didascalia (1929, chap. 18), the Didache (1958, chap. 8), Canon 69 of the Apostolic Canons, in Ibn al-‘Assal’s Al- Majmu‘al-Safawi (chap. 15, iii), and in Ibn al-Muqaffa‘’s History of the Patriarchs (1949, Vol. 2, pt. 3, pp. 161, 168).

Its importance was also stressed by of Alexandria (c. 150-215) in , vii, 12 (1956, p. 544); Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220) in On , xiv (1951, Vol. 4, p. 112); and of Alexandria the Martyr (d. 311) in his fifteenth Canon (1956, xiv, p. 601).