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Author Topic: Where do Copts commune?  (Read 1077 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gorazd
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« on: May 27, 2010, 02:32:35 PM »

I occasionally visit a nearby Coptic church, where people receive Communion behind the iconostasis, taking off their shoes. I was told that this is the way Copts always do it.

Last Sunday though, I happened to attend another Coptic parish. People did take off their shoes, but the Holy Eucharist was taken to the nave and served near the first row of the pews (the church building used to be Lutheran and became Coptic only a few years ago). In both churches, men received the Eucharist on the left side of the church, and women on the right side.

So my question is: What are the rules for the location of communion being served? Was there maybe a difference last Sunday because it was Pentecost?


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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 07:04:47 PM »

Hmmmm. I've usually seen it served at the front of the middle aisle with men coming up first and then women after.
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 07:46:02 PM »

I've seen it done both ways.  I don't know the reason it is served one way or the other, though, so I guess our Coptic brothers will have to explain it to us.
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010, 08:17:52 PM »

If there are no consecrated altars then the side rooms can be used for Communion. If there are consecrated altars then only ordained clergy can enter.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 08:34:21 PM »

^That is my understanding also.

The problem is that some parish layouts are such as to make it hard to tell if a particular "space" adjacent to the main altar is, even in the absence of a consecrated altar, an extension of the floor of the main altar or, in your terms, a "side room".

At one parish I attend, a tangible distinction can be made between the floor of the main altar and the floor spaces adjacent to it in that the latter are divided from the former by a step and small shelves. At Communion time, the Priest takes the Eucharist to the boundaries marked by the steps and shelves and the congregation commune from there.

At another parish, while the adjacent floor spaces on either side of the main altar extend far and wide, there is no tangible marker of any boundary line and so the Eucharist is taken outside.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 08:43:40 PM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2010, 11:29:14 PM »

I occasionally visit a nearby Coptic church, where people receive Communion behind the iconostasis, taking off their shoes. I was told that this is the way Copts always do it.

Last Sunday though, I happened to attend another Coptic parish. People did take off their shoes, but the Holy Eucharist was taken to the nave and served near the first row of the pews (the church building used to be Lutheran and became Coptic only a few years ago). In both churches, men received the Eucharist on the left side of the church, and women on the right side.

So my question is: What are the rules for the location of communion being served? Was there maybe a difference last Sunday because it was Pentecost?


sincere regards,

Gorazd
Can it be because the Church building hasn't yet been fully adapted to Coptic practice?  I've been to Coptic Churches in the Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and I've always seen it on the sides of the main sanctuary.  But I believe that every Coptic Church I've been to was built as a Coptic Church, except for one that had been a Greek Church in Minya.  But even there it was in side rooms.
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Tags: Coptic Orthodox Church communion altar 
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