Coptic: a term indicative of Egyptians becoming Christians after the Arabic conquest (641).They form the church that follows monophysitism and has as its liturgical language, Copto, extreme development of antique Egyptian. The Coptic Church began the Ethiopian Monophystic church, and surrendered to the patriarch of Alexandria (1959), in Cairo.
Coptics celebrate the liturgy according to the Alessandrian rite, the antique Christian liturgy according to Mark. The Coptic song is a liturgical song which relates to those Hebrew, Syrian and Byzantine. The Coptics adopted a calendar, called the Calendar of the Martyrs, which starts its age on August 29, 284 A.C., in remembrance of those who died because of their faith under the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The worship of saints is expressly prohibited by the Church; nevertheless, asking for their intercession (for example the Marian prayer) is central to every Coptic service. Every Coptic Church assumes the name of a patron saint. Among all the Saints, the Holy Virgin Mary (Theotokos) occupies a special place in the heart of every Copt. Coptics celebrate seven major holy festivals and seven minor holy festivals. The major festivals commemorate the The Annunciation, Christmas, The Theophany, Palm Sunday, Easter, The Ascension, and Pentecost.
Christmas is celebrated January 7th.
For the Coptic Church, the Resurrection of Christ is as important as His Advent, if not more.
Easter usually falls on the second Sunday after the first full moon of Spring.
Coptics have fasting periods not uniform with other Christian communities. Out of 365 days in a year, Coptics fast for more than 210 days. During the fast, no animal products (meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, butter, etc.) are permitted. Further, no food or drink of any kind may be consumed between dawn and dusk. These severe fasting rules are usually moderated by the priests on an individual basis to provide for sick or weak people. Lent, known as the “Great Fast", is massively observed by Coptics. It begins with a fast of one pre-lent week followed by a fast of 40 days commemorating Christ’s fast on the mountain, followed by the Holy week (called Pascha), the holiest week of the Coptic calendar, whose apex is the Crucifixion on Good Friday and the end the joyful Easter. Other fasting periods of the Coptic Church include Advent (Christmas), the fast of the Apostles, the Fast of the Holy Virgin Mary and the Fast of Niniveh.
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