2017 January « Catechism of the Coptic Orthodox Church

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.

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)) ?‎

Who is St John the Beloved ?

Today Jan 12 the Coptic Orthodox church commemorates Saint John the Beloved, Theologian, and Evangelist.
Test yourself with the following 15 True/False questions:

1. Gregorian calendar January 12 comes on the same day as Coptic Tuba (or Toba) 4.

2. St. John the Beloved was one of the 12 disciples of Christ.

3. St. John the Beloved was brother of St James the Elder.

4. St. John the Beloved is also called St John the Theologian.

5. St John the Beloved wrote the book of Revelation.

6. St. John the Beloved wrote the Gospel of St John.

7. St John was killed by Herod.

8. St John the Beloved was named son of Thunder because of his zeal.

9. St John the Beloved called himself Beloved by Christ in his Gospel.

10. St John the Beloved was a disciple of John the Baptist before becoming a disciple of Christ.

11. St John the Beloved was named son of Zebedee.

12. St John the Beloved lived and died a virgin.

13. St John the Beloved leaned his head on the Lord in the Last Supper.

14. St John the Beloved was called St. John the short.

15. St John the Beloved was handed the Virgin Mary to care for at the Crucifiction.


1. T
2. T
3. T
4. T
5. T
6. T
7. F
8. T
9. T
10. T
11. T
12. T
13. T
14. F
15. T

January 12, 2017 Posted by | Feasts saints & angels, New testament | Comments Off on Who is St John the Beloved ?

Christmas or Nativity ? What’s the difference ?

Ragaa wrote (1/9):

On Dec 25th we celebrate Christmas but on Jan 7th we celebrate Nativity ? is it correct to say Merry Christmas on Jan 7th ?

Thanks for those who added to the search into the meaning of the terms Christmas versus Nativity. Clearly Nativity means simply birth. However, Christmas has an added “mas” to mean festivities, mass, or birth ? Here’s some details of the sources:

I checked out sources online Dictionary.com for English-English and Multi Lang Dict for English-Arabic.

As defined by the Dictionary online Nativity is

1: birth.

2: birth with reference to place or attendant circumstances.

3: (initial capital letter) the birth of Christ.

As defined by the Dictionary online Christmas is

1. The annual fastival of the Christian church ..celebrated on December 25 ..

If we look at the Multi Language dictionary online Nativity translates from the Arabic language

1. The birth of Christ

Christmas translated from the Arabic language

1. The Feast of the Glorified Birth

My conclusion

Do you see the difference ? the word Christmas is Christ’ Feast; in contrast the word Nativity is the Birth. We may conclude that the term Christmas refers to the Festivities specific to Dec 25 while the term Nativity refers to the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We may even take away that the term Nativity is more focused on the Birth and the Good News.

Comments in most recent order on top:

Dr. Saad Doos wrote:

Hi Ragaa,

I would like to make a comment on the celebration of Christmas and the Nativity.
Christmas in old English : Cristesmaesse, meaning Christ Mass commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ for the season of Advent or Nativity fast.
Although the month and date of Jesus birth is unknown, the Western Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 based on the Gregorian calendar. While the Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar.
In conclusion, Christmas and Nativity is the same. Source of info. Wikipedia.
Thank you,

Dr. Michael Samuel wrote:

Etymology below is probably not correct. The suffix “mas” in Christmas is taken from the ancient Egyptian language and means “birth”. We also see it in the names of ancient Egyptian kings such as “Tohoutmas” (the birth of the God Tohout) and Ramses (the birth of the God Ra, the God of sun). It is used with Christ in a similar way, Christmas means the birth of Christ. In the modern Egyptian language (Coptic), we also have the verb “mici” which means “to give birth to”. We use it with the virgin Mary “Acmici emmof, afcwti emmon” which means (She gave birth to Him and He saved us).

So, I lean towards this interpretation more than the more complicated less intuitive etymology given above.

Merry Chritsmas!
Michael Samuel.

Dr. Ikram Abdou wrote:
I checked my trusted source of knowledge (sarcastic!)

Christmas – Wikipedia
Christmas or Christmas Day (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, meaning “Christ’s Mass”) is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most …
“Christmas” is a shortened form of “Christ’s mass”. It is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038[8]followed by the word Cristes-messe in 1131.[45] Crīst (genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ (מָשִׁיחַ), “Messiah”, meaning “anointed”;[46][47] and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist. The form Christenmas was also historically used, but is now considered archaic and dialectal;[48] it derives from Middle English Cristenmasse, literally “Christian mass”.[49] Xmas is an abbreviation of Christmas found particularly in print, based on the initial letter chi (Χ) in Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), “Christ”, though numerous style guides discourage its use;[50] it has precedent in Middle English Χρ̄es masse (where “Χρ̄” is an abbreviation for Χριστός).[49]

so Christmas = Christ Mass (or liturgy)

Merry Christmas
 Ana’s wrote:.

This is very sad to read. Both the 25th of Dec. and January 7th are about the birth, the Nativity of Christ (thus Christ Mass). We, of the Roman Catholic Church, attend 3 Masses on Christmas Day to honor and Glorify God. One that begins at midnight, one that begins at dawn, and one during the day of the 25th. Then, we honor our Lord during Christmastide, i.e., the 40 days of Christmas….until Feb 2nd when we celebrate Mary presenting Jesus in the temple.
The first 8 days of Christmas is known as the Octave of Christmas, and on the 8th day, in which the Roman Catholic Calender happens to coincide with what is known as New Year’s Day in the secular world, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates, on that 8th day, The Solemnity of Mary … her saying yes. It is also the Churches World Day of Prayer for Peace. On the 12th day of Christmas we celebrate the Epiphany on January 6th.
Traditionally, and as the Traditional Latin Mass, now celebrates. …. Advent is a preparation time in anticipation of His Nativity on the 25th of Dec. There is fasting and abstaining during Advent. Christmas Trees do not go up unti Christmas Eve, and stay up until Feb. 2 or so. Gifts are shared on the Feast of the Magi. If any lights go up, they are few and subtle, Christmas night. Just as the general, secular public of America has distorted All Hallowed Eve, where in which we attend Mass to part for the deceased for 9 days beginning on Ocf. 31st, they have distorted Advent, Christmas Day, and Christmastide. There are many of us working on bring God and Christ back to these seasons, and many joining our league daily. As well, there are protestants working on keeping Christ in Christmas, and focusing less on the material aspects. Such is why Mr President elect Trump won the election. 12 years of the liberal left who push for socialism and suppressing Freedom of (PEACEFUL) Worship was pushed aside. And the job of keeping God in the Constitution, is underway as we undue the damage of the past 12 years. There is a great need to bring the joy, peace, and struggles of living with God into the lives of so many whom our public schools have robbed of such beneficial understandings.. The Bible teaches us about boundaries, and the beauty of faith in all aspects of life. The beauty of joy in Christ, as well as the beauty in trials and tribulations. The Bible outlines the spiritual weapons needed to keep God first.
I pray the Coptic Church may be able to open their minds to the joy, beauty, struggles of the Traditional Latin Masses, rather than attempt to justify making Christmas, Dec. 25th, something it is not.
As I mentioned. So sad that anyone of the Coptic Church would teach such heretical practices for Christmas, one of our most Holy Days in the Roman Catholic Church. This is NOT a step towards unity, rather. Step towards solidifying the Schism

We, in the Traditional Latin Mass. see no separation of terms. ChristMas is not a ‘festival’. it is a set of 3 Masses on Dec. 25 th to honor the Nativity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus. The Eucharist, intentionally left out of the day, eliminates Christmas … and then, of course, one may only have a ‘festival’, although I must say, having been born and raised in the USA, SF Bay Area, I have not ever known the term Festival to be associated with the Birth of Christ, or Christmas on Dec. 25th. Only ever knew the importance of attending Mass to celebrate the birth of Jesus. That is tha sad aspect of the original email interpretation that you sent out Ragaa: that there would be any consideration of a need to separate the terms according to particular days of the year. Such takes away from the reality that the Birth of Jesus is not any particular day….it is a season, and in the Catholic Churc, it is 2 seasons: Advent, and Christmastide.
Thus, Merry Christmas is said to one another on Dec. 25th, and during the Christmastide season: for the celebration of partaking of the Eucharist during Advent is without flowers on the altar, a subdued Mass in anticipation of the Birth of Jesus, … readings at the Mass reflect this difference of live and living before Jesus’ birth, and the hope of the promise made in the Old Testament. We live the Bible through the Masses, bringing that living with us as we leave the Church after a Mass in order to serve our Lord in the world accordingly. No separation, all one in Christ.

Also, people may be interested in knowing that Wikipedia is NOT a source to be trusted. Anyone may freely delete or add to any entry that is listed on Wikipedia.

Your apology is accepted, Ragaa.

It is just that there is such a lack of understanding in the world regarding what the Catholic Church believes, even within the Church Herself, and so many lives have been adversely affected as a consequence….especially during the last 12 years under the leftist liberal administrations of the Democrats who took to heart the erroneous beliefs of some so called Catholic politicians.
Yet, it was the Church Herself who spread these false beliefs as a consequence of clergy and laity misinterpreting Vatican II in the early 1960’s. We must understand that in those times, there were no cell phones, no computers. Information took a great deal longer amount of time to be shared, which meant misinterpretations took a much longer time to be clarified, IF such misinterpretations were even brought to light, or understood to be misinterpretations. Sigh. Many lives adversely affected, including my sibling families. Including MANY families in .North and South America, and Europe. I feel so blessed that the Lord lead me to Jesus via the Beauty and Joy of the Coptic Church until He knew I was ready/needed to face the complete fullness of the Church via the Traditional Latin Masses of the Roman Catholic Church.
May our Lord continue to have mercy on us all.
May we focus on the unity aspects of the Coptic Church and the Roman Catholic Church. And if we consider that we see a difference between the two, let us make sure we do a thorough reasearching of both before making a decision. For really, there are only 3 significant differences between the two. And those 3 differences are cleared up via a thorough reading and understanding of the Old Testament in light of the New Testament.

May our Lord have mercy on us all.”

Ragaa wrote:

Please know that I did not intend to make you sad Ana. Of course both 25th and 7th are about the birth in every Christian church. I was just talking about the term or word difference in meaning.

Dr. Ikram Abdou wrote:

I was sarcastic when I said that Wikipedia is my trusted source of knowledge, I know that anyone can modify the posted information, but I use it as an efficient way to post information electronically after checking it out. BTW here’s another source
Christmas. Help support New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible …


January 9, 2017 Posted by | Catechism, Dogma, Feasts major, New testament | Comments Off on Christmas or Nativity ? What’s the difference ?