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Author Topic: My visit to the Coptic Church and some Questions  (Read 1961 times) Average Rating: 0
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mtmamma
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« on: February 27, 2011, 04:48:15 PM »

I went to visit the Coptic Church today, and I enjoyed myself. I was a little apprehensive about attending at first, being an African-American woman with 4 children visiting a new church can make you feel that way. I shouldn't have worried everything was fine. I remembered to sit on the right side of the church but forgot to bring a scarf,  after the liturgy a lady showed me the basket where the scarves are kept. Very little of the service was in English, luckily there was a projector showing the prayers being said. So I wasn't totally lost. The sermon wasn't in English either. No one really spoke to me until the end, but everyone kept looking at us smiling and nodding their heads so I took that as if they were happy we were there. When we went up to receive some of the blessed bread the priest was friendly. He remembered me calling a couple of weeks ago and after the service he came and retook my number and email address and introduced me to a lady I am assuming was the church secretary and asked her to add me to the email list so I could receive the weekly schedule. I plan on returning weekly.

I do have a couple of questions. Why does everyone take napkins to receive communion? After receiving the body why do they keep the napkin over their mouth? Why do they receive the body and blood separately? Why do they drink the little cups of water after receiving the blood?

Also my husband travels for 6 wks at a time then home for 4 days, so the odds of him attending with me are slim. So what should I do with the boys should they sit with me or over with the men?
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ialmisry
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2011, 05:00:44 PM »

I went to visit the Coptic Church today, and I enjoyed myself. I was a little apprehensive about attending at first, being an African-American woman with 4 children visiting a new church can make you feel that way. I shouldn't have worried everything was fine. I remembered to sit on the right side of the church but forgot to bring a scarf,  after the liturgy a lady showed me the basket where the scarves are kept. Very little of the service was in English, luckily there was a projector showing the prayers being said. So I wasn't totally lost. The sermon wasn't in English either. No one really spoke to me until the end, but everyone kept looking at us smiling and nodding their heads so I took that as if they were happy we were there. When we went up to receive some of the blessed bread the priest was friendly. He remembered me calling a couple of weeks ago and after the service he came and retook my number and email address and introduced me to a lady I am assuming was the church secretary and asked her to add me to the email list so I could receive the weekly schedule. I plan on returning weekly.

I do have a couple of questions. Why does everyone take napkins to receive communion? After receiving the body why do they keep the napkin over their mouth? Why do they receive the body and blood separately? Why do they drink the little cups of water after receiving the blood?
All are precautions to make sure the Eucharist is consumed and not the slightest particle is lost/desicrated by being walked on etc.

Quote
Also my husband travels for 6 wks at a time then home for 4 days, so the odds of him attending with me are slim. So what should I do with the boys should they sit with me or over with the men?
How old are they?  If they are on the younger side, they can be with you.  If on the older side, if you are attending regularly they will no doubt fall in a group of like aged boys on the other side.

Btw, about no one talking. If it is a lot of recent immigrants (sounds like it) they may be a bit self conscious about their English.
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mtmamma
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 05:28:43 PM »

So they cover their mouths so as not to drop the Eucharist? I am Catholic and receive in the mouth and dropping the Eucharist once it is my mouth has never crossed my mind. The boys are 8 and 9.
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Salpy
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 06:17:05 PM »

I'm so glad you made it to the Coptic church!  I was afraid you would be snowed in with the cold snap we had last night.

The Copts have the greatest respect for the Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  Like Isa said, they don't want even the smallest particle to be lost, which is why they cover their mouths.  Also, if you noticed, after Communion is over the priest will wash the vessels that contained the Eucharist and then drink the water they were washed with.

Regarding the boys, you may want to look and see where other boys their age are standing.

I'm glad you had a positive experience.   Smiley 
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ialmisry
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011, 07:37:07 PM »

So they cover their mouths so as not to drop the Eucharist? I am Catholic and receive in the mouth and dropping the Eucharist once it is my mouth has never crossed my mind. The boys are 8 and 9.
I've seen accidents happen.  The Vatican used to use patens/communion plates.

here see in the right hand of the man on the left

it is/was placed under the chin, something like here


All Orthodox have similar procedures: the EO for instance have a cloth held under the chin.

Accidents do happen. I've seen it happen.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 07:38:09 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
mtmamma
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2011, 08:28:45 PM »

@salpy I too thought I would not make it. Saturday left us with 5 to 6 inches of snow, but the roads were clear and the highway open.

@ialmisry is that a Latin Mass?  My church looks nothing like that and mostly everyone receives in the hand. In the picture above they look reverent. I have heard from our EMs  that they often find host in tissue wedged in between the books in back of the pews. Very sad.

I think  even the little boys of 2 or 3 were sitting on the left with the men I will look more closely this weekend.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 08:30:04 PM by mtmamma » Logged
Jason.Wike
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2011, 08:40:11 PM »

@ialmisry is that a Latin Mass?  My church looks nothing like that and mostly everyone receives in the hand. In the picture above they look reverent. I have heard from our EMs  that they often find host in tissue wedged in between the books in back of the pews.

Why would people even go if they're just going to do that?! Sad

But, anyway, I actually intended to make a constructive post. I saw no one answered about what they were drinking afterwards. I am not Oriental Orthodox but I think it is probably the same as what Eastern Orthodox do, they are probably drinking holy water.
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Salpy
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2011, 08:50:17 PM »

Yes, they drink water right after they take Communion.
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mtmamma
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2011, 10:21:00 PM »

Ahh.. Holy Water. Is there any significance of drinking holy water right after communion?
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Salpy
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2011, 10:33:15 PM »

Again, I think it is to prevent any particle of the Eucharist from not being consumed.  You're washing it down, to put it plainly.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2011, 10:41:17 PM »

@salpy I too thought I would not make it. Saturday left us with 5 to 6 inches of snow, but the roads were clear and the highway open.
You get that much snow in the San Joaquin Valley?

@ialmisry is that a Latin Mass?  My church looks nothing like that and mostly everyone receives in the hand. In the picture above they look reverent.
I think it was from a sedevanctist website.  When I've been to the Western Orthodox Church it was the same, even in the very small Church, complete with paten IIRC.

I think  even the little boys of 2 or 3 were sitting on the left with the men I will look more closely this weekend.
LOL. If it is anything like my sons, that's wanting to be with the guys, rather than a requirement.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
mtmamma
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2011, 11:12:45 PM »

@ialmisry I live in a CDP area outside of  Tehachapi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehachapi,_California) which I don't think is in the San Joaquin Valley. It's about an hour and 15 minute drive from my house to the church in Bakersfield.

I just figure it wasn't a Novus Ordo Mass which is all I know, plus I didn't see any guitars like at my parish. Cheesy

@salpy Are you allowed to eat after receiving communion or is there a waiting period?
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Salpy
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2011, 11:37:15 PM »

Are you south of the Grapevine, then?  Are you along the mountain range that makes up the southern border of the San Joaquin Valley?  

What's terrible about me is that I've been through Kern County about a million times in my life, traveling between Los Angeles and the Fresno area, but I've never paid attention.   Smiley

Regarding eating after the Eucharist, I've never heard of a waiting period, but don't go by me.   Smiley  You may want to ask someone at the Coptic church.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2011, 11:39:25 PM »

@ialmisry I live in a CDP area outside of  Tehachapi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehachapi,_California) which I don't think is in the San Joaquin Valley. It's about an hour and 15 minute drive from my house to the church in Bakersfield.
I passed through there in Aug '08. Talk about hot. I thought someone said Fresno somewhere. That's what made me think of SJV.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Salpy
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2011, 11:56:51 PM »



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tejon_Pass


OK, I'm obsessed now with understanding this part of the world that I've been through so many times with my family, but never really understood.  I think the red lines are where we drive through to get into the San Joaquin Valley.  Where are you in relation to that?
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mtmamma
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2011, 11:57:21 PM »

@salpy If you were coming from Los Angeles you would take the 5 north which would take you through bakersfield then the 58 east I believe. So it must be east from the 5. Obsessed Huh? Too funny. Does this help http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Los+Angeles,+CA&daddr=Tehachapi,+CA&hl=en&geocode=FYqYBwIdm77z-CkT2ifcXcfCgDH0CEYlb98v4g%3BFRwTGAIdspzw-CkRRt9ZNPbBgDHUnEq41nSpTw&mra=ls&sll=35.147535,-118.483827&sspn=0.012001,0.027874&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=9

@ialmisry I think you got Fresno from my profile. Tehachapi is Catholic Diocese of Fresno. Yes it can get quite hot here but at least its not as bad as Mojave or Bakersfield.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 12:06:17 AM by mtmamma » Logged
Salpy
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2011, 12:23:23 AM »

Great map!  Now I know where you are.  Going in the opposite direction from Bakersfield, you seem to be a couple of hours away from St. Antony Coptic Monastery, which is about a half hour outside of Barstow.

http://www.stantonymonastery.org/

It's a worthwhile trip there, if ever you have the time and energy. 
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mtmamma
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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2011, 12:53:50 AM »

Glad the map helped. Funny you mentioned the Monastery, I received an email from the church saying they are going In Mid March and call to reserve seats. I think I will give a call tomorrow and reserve some seats.
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