Introduction to the Holy Pascha Page 1 of 4 Without question, the Holy Pascha week is the holiest week of the entire year. The artistic beauty and spiritual depth of the rites of the Coptic Orthodox church are at its zenith during this week. This document seeks to serve as a guide through the journey of our Lord Jesus Christ through His passion and crucifixion. We do, within the confines of the church building, what the early Christians did in Jerusalem every year during this week. The early Christians used to celebrate Holy Week by visiting and praying at each site where the events had originally taken place.
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Here is a summary of what I could surmise as being the current practice as well as history of the Holy Week, with a particular emphasis on the Coptic Church. Further below you will also find a PowerPoint presentation that I used to teach about this subject that you may download and use as desired. But he whom He finds sleeping is unworthy of going with Him. Therefore, take heed, O my soul, that you may not fall into deep sleep, and then be cast out of the Kingdom.
Weekly commemoration throughout the year. Eventually by the time of the Council of Nicea, all jurisdictions commemorated the entire week. AD We see the early Church commemorated Wednesdays and Fridays by a fast. This is an ancient practice that we still do today. Unfortunately it has become nearly obsolete among most Christians, and even among those who retain the practice to some extent, it is often not followed sadly.
Athanasius writes a Festal Letter describing the Pascha fast as being 6 days long. Macarius monastery, reformed the Pascha rites as follows: Shortened the Pascha services Organized and arranged rubrics of the readings Shortened the total amount of readings Selected suitable Old and New testament readings Divided the service in 5 morning and evening hours c.
Abba Peter, Bishop of El-Bahnassa further reformed the Pascha Week services: Gathered better readings Tried to make the reading lengths in each hour similar Published it in a Pascha Lectionary Added sermons, many of which from Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite, whose monastery this bishop was from. This explains why we see so many writings of Abba Shenouda the Archimandrite in the Pascha services. Arranged for 4 gospels to be read in entirety. Tawardos was located.
No meat or wine be consumed in these six days, because they are days of sorrow. But for Friday and Saturday, those who can, fast them together as one day. But if you can not fast the two days, be sure to fast the Saturday because the bridegroom is taken. Anthony monastery in Egypt when I had the blessing of visiting. For a PowerPoint presentation of the History of Holy Week which I created and used for my lecture on this subject, you can download it here. Share this:.
Coptic Book of the Holy Pascha