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Coptic Liturgy

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Coptic Calendar

All historians have agreed that the Egyptians were the first to calculate time. They divided the year into 12 months, according in their knowledge of the stars. They later discovered the solar year, and became dependent upon it. Each of the 12 months was 30 days long and they added five more days, which they called the small month. Therefore, their year became 365 days long. The final stage of rectifying the calendar, in 238 BC was to add a sixth day to the small month every four years. The beginning of their year was on the first day of the month of Thout, which is the first month of the Coptic year.

The Egyptians named their months after their gods, and chose their names according to the season of the climatic changes for agriculture. They divided the year into 3 main seasons:

  1. The season of the flood of the Nile (Thout to Koiahk)
  2. The season of vegetation (Tobi to Paremoude)
  3. The season of reaping and harvesting (Pachons to Mesori) The small month was a chance for feasts and festivals.

The Coptic months are, in order:

Church Tradition

The term "tradition" comes from the Latin word traditio. In theological terms it means any teaching or practice which has been transmitted from generation to generation throughout the life of the Church.


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Church Sacraments

The Seven Sacraments of the Church are the channels by which we receive the graces and blessings of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has existed in the church since the day of Pentecost, when He dwelt in it according to the Lord's promise: "I will pray to the Father, and He will you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth when the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him for He dwells with you, and will be in you." (John 14:16,17)

The Holy Spirit works in the church through the Sacraments, giving us His gifts, blessings and comfort, and teaches us and guides us to the way of truth. "But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." (John 14:26)

(By H.G. Bishop Mettaous, Bishop and Abbot of St. Mary Monastery, El-Sorian)


All files are available in Adobe Portable Format (PDF). You will need Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher to view the files.

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