- Features Archive
- Easter in The Coptic Church
What is The Coptic Orthodox Church?
The word ‘Coptic’ means Egypt, as the Church was founded in the first century in Egypt by Saint Mark the Apostle, Evangelist, and writer of the Gospel of St. Mark. Isaiah 19:19 “In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt…”
Saint Mark's house was where the Lord celebrated the Passover with His Apostles, and was also the site for Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on them. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1
Holy Week [or the Holy Pascha (meaning Passover)] begins with the triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, and concludes on Good Friday with His burial. This period of reflection and contemplation takes people on a daily journey in the footsteps of Christ leading up to His Sacrifice using relevant Scripture readings, hymns, and prayers in preparation to celebrate the victorious Resurrection.
The Feast of the Resurrection
A liturgical service is held on Saturday evening leading into the early hours of Sunday morning to commemorate the glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ. After the service, the congregration celebrates by breaking their Lenten fast with a fellowship meal.
Listen below to the radio feature on Coptic Easter by Premier's Angela Mikhail, as she explores how the most significant time of the year for Christians is remembered by a Church whose roots are in Egypt.
Coptic Easter Feature
Engaging the Senses in Liturgical Services
Smell: the censer dates back to Moses in the Old Testament. The censer is used during services to symbolise prayers being captured and ascending to heaven.
Sight: an icon serves as a visual reminder of God. In itself it is not an object to be worshipped, but simply a visual step closer to the thought and worship of God Himself.
Sound: hymnology (sung hymns mainly derived from Scripture) changes with the season. For example, a contemplative tune will be used for Holy Week and a more jubilant tune for the Feast of the Resurrection.