October 13, 2015

Let the Deacons Respond!

The Divine Liturgy is the most important activity in our Orthodox Christian lives. It is the time when the people of God, the ekklesia, stand before Him in reverence, worship Him and entreat His mercy, and receive Communion with Him for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Because of its importance, any changes to the Divine Liturgy must be studied with caution. I feel we are at the cusp of such a change relating – …

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April 9, 2009

Saint Mark and the Church of Alexandria

The Greatness of Alexandria Alexandria was the cultural capital of the world when St. Mark arrived there. Its famous School was the centre of science and philosophy with a library filled with hundreds of thousands of books. The population of Alexandria was estimated to be from half to three quarters of a million,(1) who were Egyptians, Greeks, Jews, Romans, Ethiopians, Nubians and other races. Its Religious Status The people St. Mark faced were a complex – …

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February 22, 2009

Copts Throughout the Ages

The word Copt is derived from the Greek word Aigyptos, which was, in turn, derived from "Hikaptah", one of the names for Memphis, the first capital of Ancient Egypt. Following the Arab conquest of Egypt in 640 A.D., the land of Egypt has been called "dar al-Gibt" (home of the Egyptians) and since Christianity was the official religion of Egypt at the time, the word "Gibt" came to refer to the practitioners of Christianity as – …

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November 8, 2008

Life in the Fourth Century Church: The Liturgy at Jerusalem

Editor’s Note: The following account comes from Egeria, a Spanish or Gallic nun who traveled to the Holy Land from approximately 381 to 384 A.D. and wrote about her observations in a work entitled Itenerarium Egeriae in Latin (“Travels of Egeria”). Unfortunately, her complete text is now lost, but a good portion of this valuable text remains. The value of this text lies in its status as a firsthand observation of many holy places and – …

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