Sixth century Alexandrian Theologian, Scientist & Philosopher By: Fr Anthony St Shenouda When we speak of the church fathers we immediately think of St Athanasius, St Cyril, St John Chrysostom, Clement of Alexandria, and the many other well known patriarchs & deans of the School of Alexandria. Only recently have I come across a… Continue reading John Philoponus (490-580):
Following intense arguments with Nestor, Cyril of Alexandria proposed the following 12 rules of which if any where broken, the individual would be anathematised, meaning formally set apart from the church, ie excommunicated. The council of Ephesus endorsed these rules and they are mentioned below. 1. If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God… Continue reading Cyril’s 12 Anathemas
“Take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word” (Matthew 2:13 – KJV) “Out of Egypt I called my son” (Hosea 11:1 – RSV) “The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols… Continue reading The Holy Family In Egypt!
The New Testament describes the familiar account of the “woman at the well” (John 4:5-42), who was a Samaritan. Up to that point she had led a sinful life, one which resulted in a rebuke from Jesus Christ. However, she responded to Christ’s stern admonition with genuine repentance, was forgiven her sinful ways, and became… Continue reading St Photini – The Samaritan Woman!
From the Introduction to the Feast of the Cross by His Grace Bishop Serapion: The Holy Cross held a prominent and revered place in early Christian life and worship. It was a sign of protection, holiness, worship, and blessing to believers everywhere, even before The Empress Helen discovered its location. In the early third century,… Continue reading The Feast Of The Cross
The original story can be found in Matthew 2. After Jesus was born, “behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem”. They had seen a star that they considered indicative of the birth of the King of the Jews and had come to Jerusalem to find the child. When king Herod heard of… Continue reading The Magi!
The present Feast, commemorating the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, was established by the Church. Its origin goes back to the time of the Apostles. In the Apostolic Constitutions (Section 3, 13) it says, “Brethren, observe the feastdays; and first of all the Birth of Christ, which you are to celebrate… Continue reading Christmas – The First Feast!
The first Church did not celebrate the birth of Christ. And the actual date of his birth was and still is unknown. The earliest known indication to such a celebration comes in a passing statement by St. Clement of Alexandria who mentions that the Egyptians of his time celebrated the Lord’s birth on May 20.… Continue reading Why is Orthodox Christmas on Jan 7?
Pictures and displays have been used to tell Bible stories since the days of the early church. Nativity sets are popular indoor decorations for many homes during the Christmas Holidays. In fact, the original nativity display was not motionless figurines. It was a live display with people dressed as Joseph and Mary with live animals.… Continue reading Origin of Nativity Scenes
Did St. Mary remain a virgin after giving birth to the Lord? Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces towards the east, but it was shut. And the Lord said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by… Continue reading The Betrothed!
The basic habit of a Coptic monk is made up of a leather belt worn under a long, black gown, a black skull cap and a black hood. When a monk is also a priest and is taking a liturgical service he changes into similar garments, but in white. The hood worn by Coptic monks… Continue reading The Koulla!
The church celebrates the appearance of the glorious Cross of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ twice: The First on the sixteenth day of the month of tute (27th September), 326 A.D. by the hands of the righteous Empress St. Helen, the mother of Constantine the great the righteous emperor. This Saint when her son… Continue reading Hail To The Cross!
The Coptic New Year is the very first calendar ever known by man on planet earth! It goes back 4241 BC.The word “Nayrouz” is of Coptic origin. The stem is niiaro-oo meaning: “the rivers.” The suffix “ouz” is Greek, thus, the word “Niiaroouz.” Mid September is usually where the waters of the Nile river rises,… Continue reading Happy Coptic New Year!
Lit candles and Icon lamps (lampadas) have a special symbolic meaning in the Christian Church, and no Christian service can be held without them. In the Old Testament, when the first temple of God was built on earth the Tabernacle services were held in it with lamps as the Lord Himself had ordained (Ex. 40:5,… Continue reading Symbolism of Candles!
This is found in particular in Lower Egypt, as well Syria, but there only after the fifth century. The great father of this form of life is St. Anthony. At about twenty years of age (c. 269), he heard Christ’s words, “Go, sell all you have and give to the poor and come and follow… Continue reading The Hermitic Life
The Epsaltos Deacon – His name is derived from the Coptic word “Psalmos” i.e. Psalm or hymn. His job is clear from his name, learning hymns and tunes, and singing them in church. This rank was mentioned in some laws of the first church: The Epsaltos are also blessed by the Bishop Children may be… Continue reading The Rank of Epsaltos – Singer!
Starting from today we will begina six part series on Deaconship in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Bishop Mettaous will lead us through this series as he explores what it means to be a deacon and the 5 main ranks in the Coptic Church. I hope you thoroughly Enjoy this series as Deaconship is part of… Continue reading I Want To Be A Deacon – Part 1
St. Mark the Founder The Coptic Orthodox Church is an Apostolic Church. It was founded by St. Mark the Apostle and Evangelist in the first century. It is also known as “The Church of Alexandria” or “The See of St. Mark.” It was one of the earliest four “sees” or “patriarchates”: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and… Continue reading Who are the Copts? Part 2
Sons of Pharaohs The Copts are the rightful ancestors of the ancient Egyptians. The term “Copt” is derived from the Greek word “Aigyptos” which is in turn derived from the ancient Egyptian word “Ha-ka-Ptah” which means, the house of the spirit of Ptah, a most highly revered deity in Egyptian mythology. Since the Arab conquest… Continue reading Who are the Copts? Part 1
Women have their energetic and positive role in the Coptic Orthodox Christian Church. For example: Ø Those who wish to consecrate their life to God may become nuns. They play an important role in the life of families and their convents are spiritual centers for the people. Ø Abbesses have a leading role to attract,… Continue reading Women in the Orthodox Church! Part 2
The Orthodox Church respects the natural order God created, i.e. the difference between male and female, for God created man and woman to compliment each other. Truly in Jesus Christ there is no man and woman (Galatians 3:28), for each of them is a member of the one body, having the same faith. Both are… Continue reading The Issue of Female Priests!
Often times, females in our Church feel left out and ignored. Is this a correct feeling? Does the Church really propagate such an idea in Her teachings? In addressing the issue of the role of women in the Church, we have to distinguish between Holy Tradition and customs that are influenced by culture and do… Continue reading Women in the Orthodox Church! Part 1
The church, being the house of God, is naturally the dwelling of God with His people, in them and for their interest. The church community constructs the church building as an oblation of love to God, who accepts it, sanctifies it, and turns it into his heavenly and holy temple. Within it, the community receives… Continue reading Coptic Architecture!
Yesterday the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrated the Entry of the Holy Family into Egypt, below is a short discourse on some of the wonderful miracles that happened on this journey. Hosea, the Prophet, foresaw the Son of God going out of Bethlehem and fleeing to Egypt, where He found a welcome in the hearts of… Continue reading “Blessed Be Egypt, My People”
The Coptic Church, is so esteemed in tradition, that everything anyone does seems to have some meaning. From the way we do the sign of the cross to the way the priest uses the censor. Every action has deeper meaning. However in today’s evangelistic world, there has developed a general trend and practice against the… Continue reading The Joy of Tradition!