Catechism of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Discussion of the topics or questions, not necessarily answers yet, about what a newly baptized need to learn about the coptic orthodox church.

Why a difference in the date of Easter ? and then why call it Easter ?

As Christians, Easter is our most important Holy Day, all firmly agree.

With council of Nicea in 325 under Emperor Constantine it was agreed that Easter should fall on a Sunday. Before then it could fall any day of the week. The council additionally agreed that the Resurrection would be observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon or after the vernal equinox on March 21. According to the Gospel of John Passover or Pascha fell on Saturday and the Resurrection occured on Sunday. If the date of the Resurrection feast was to depend on the Jewish Passover date, then it would be a messy situation. The Jewish passover had multiple dates depending on where you lived. Then, the council decided the independence from the Jewish calendar.

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese published about the current situation of the difference in the date of Easter is that the old set dates are not yet updated from the old Julian calendar used in year 325 to the gregorian Calendar used after year 1582. In year 325 a 19-year cycle was set to calculate the Easter date independent from the Hebrew date of passover.

Why it is called Easter ?

Easter was a spring festival in honor of “Eostre” an Anglo-saxon goddess of fertility and sunrise. The term “Pascha” is used for the yearling lamb sacrificed at the Jews’ spring festival Passover (Exodus 12.5). Christ was sacrificed on the cross historically at the same time the Hebrews sacrificed the lamb for the Passover. Orthodox Christians should use the terms Pascha and Resurrection instead of Easter.

The following link discusses the date of Easter and relation to date of Jewish Passover.

https://www.thoughtco.com/easter-related-to-passover-3970737

 

April 1, 2018 Posted by | Catechism, Dogma, Event Historical, Feasts major, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on Why a difference in the date of Easter ? and then why call it Easter ?

Fr. Anthony Messeh new book WHATEVER, GOD has answers to our questions

March 2, 2018 Posted by | Prayers | Comments Off on Fr. Anthony Messeh new book WHATEVER, GOD has answers to our questions

Catholic Pope Francis in Egypt April 2017

English report from Coptic Christian Channel

Report from Catholic Reporter

April 29, 2017 Posted by | Catechism, Event Historical, Prayers | Comments Off on Catholic Pope Francis in Egypt April 2017

Resurrection is my song Resurrection gave me life

Resurrection is my song

Very Early Sunday Morning(4)
Jesus Is Risen
Very early Sunday Morning
While the people were asleep
Very Early Sunday Morning
“Jesus is risen declaring
He is the LORD of heaven and earth”(2)

Resurrection is my song- Resurrection gave me life
Resurrection made me strong – Jesus, my Lord is alive (2)

Jesus’ Risen in glory – Heaven and earth sang and praised
The angel told the story – He Is Risen as He Said (2)

Mary Magdalene was looking in the garden for her Lord
While Jesus Himself was telling – Go and spread the word

All the disciples were praying, they were really in great fear
When Mary came to them saying – He is Risen He is not here

While they were in the room, Jesus Christ himself appeared
My peace I give to you and My peace with you I leave

Jesus my victorious Lord Conquered the powers of Hades
And the thorn of death He broke, my salvation He declared

The heavenly hosts were singing
And the joy is overwhelming -He opened the doors of Hope

April 18, 2017 Posted by | Feasts major, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on Resurrection is my song Resurrection gave me life

Fasting and abstinence of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria – Wikipedia

When to fast ? and how to fast according to the Coptic church?

When Not to fast ?

When is fasting with abstinence ?

How many days of fasting in one year ?

Is fasting vegetarian or vegan ?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting_and_abstinence_of_the_Coptic_Orthodox_Church_of_Alexandria

February 28, 2017 Posted by | Dogma, Rites | Comments Off on Fasting and abstinence of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria – Wikipedia

February 14th – Saint Valentine ?

No Saint Valentine is not in the Coptic Synaxarium, but Saint Valentine war martyred for Christianity in the 3rd C.

Happy Valentine day !
Is it ok in our Coptic church to wish others “Happy Valentine day ” ?
We know our church is Not close minded. In addition, Valentine day which has become commercial was initially inspired by the life and martyrdom of Saint Valentine martyred in the 3rd C for preaching Christianity. He was a bishop of Rome and performed Christian marriages.
For more about the life of Saint Valentine from the Orthodox point of view, you may read the following link. Another question is why Saint Valentine is not in our Coptic Synaxarium (life of saints and history of Coptic church), given his life and martyrdom was before churches split into Oriental, Eastern, and Catholic. The following link has one answer.
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/02/orthodox-saint-valentine.html?m=1

Is Saint Valentine commemorated in the Catholic church ? To answer, do check the Wikipedia (not the most trusted source by just a start)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine

 

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Feasts saints & angels, New testament, Saints | Comments Off on February 14th – Saint Valentine ?

February 15th = Feast of Presentation of 40 days old baby Jesus

presentation-of-lord-in-the-temple

Yes Feast of Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. See icon attached

Two 2 things not to be confused:

1. Feast of PRESENTATION may be confused with Catholics Presentation of St Mary event. Note this is Feast of Presentation of Christ, 40 days after birth. I know some went to catholic school of Presentation. The presentation means different.

2. Feast of Presentation of the Lord is 40 days after birth and you see icon attached shows Jesus as baby, scheduled in Coptic church on the 8th of Amshir Coptic month. I have noticed that some may confuse it to be 8 days after birth (which is Feast of Circumcision). Note it is 8 Amshir Coptic month, NOT 8 days after birth.
For a nice article about the Feasts in the Coptic church, please check the following link. As you read it find out answers to the following questions:

A. Why we celebrate a Feast in the Coptic Orthodox Church ?

B. Which feast do we celebrate on Wednesday February 15th ?

C. Whose commemoration do we celebrate on Sunday February 19th ?

D. Whose commemoration do we celebrate on Tuesday February 28th ?

http://lacopts.org/orthodoxy/coptic-orthodox-church/the-feasts-of-the-church/

February 13, 2017 Posted by | Catechism, Feast minor, icons, New testament | 1 Comment

January 21st – Minor Feast of the Miracle at Wedding at Cana

Follow the following link

Miracle at Wedding at Cana

January 21, 2017 Posted by | Feast minor, New testament | Comments Off on January 21st – Minor Feast of the Miracle at Wedding at Cana

Theophany and prayers of the Waters (Lagan or Laqqan)

On Wednesday Jan 18th, 2017 in the evening every Coptic church celebrates the Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist with prayers and liturgy. The prayers starts earlier with the extra prayers of the WATERS (aka Basin aka Laqqan (which means basin in Arabic language)).

Readings and litanies:

checkout readings from old and new testament here

 

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Feasts major, Rites | 1 Comment

Theophany or Epiphany ? Baptism or Immersion (in Arabic Ghutaas (غطاس)) ?‎

On Jan 18th in the evening every Coptic church celebrates the Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist with prayers and liturgy. The prayers starts earlier with the extra prayers of the WATERS (aka Basin aka Laqqan (which means basin in Arabic language)). This major Feast is one of the 7 Major feasts of the Coptic Orthodox church. The feast is on January 19 but the service is celebrated in the church in the evening before, similar to the feasts of Nativity and Resurrection evening liturgies.

Speaking about feasts, we celebrate a minor feast, 2 days after i.e. on January 21st, which is the Feast of the Wedding at Cana as it is the first miracle counted in the Gospels. That minor feast is one of the 7 minor feasts of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Back to the question, is it simply Baptism or Immersion ? As you can tell from the name, the Coptic church believes in the baptism by immersion in the Waters. Check icon attached. Every Coptic church would have an icon of St John the Baptist baptizing Christ totally immersed in the Waters of the River Jordan. Do listen carefully to the hymns in the day chanting about Christ being baptized in the River Jordan. Given that a voice was heard by all “This is my Son with whom I’m well pleased..” this feast is also called Theophany meaning the manifestation of God.

Blessed Feast of Immersion and Theophany 2017!

 

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Catechism, Feasts major, icons, New testament | Comments Off on Theophany or Epiphany ? Baptism or Immersion (in Arabic Ghutaas (غطاس)) ?‎