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Author Topic: Coptic use of the Ankh  (Read 3267 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ghazar
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« on: September 06, 2004, 06:20:11 PM »

Dear Brethren,

Does anyone know for sure if the Coptic Christians use the "Ankh" as a legitimate religious symbol in their Church?

Thanks,
Ghazar
« Last Edit: September 06, 2004, 06:20:53 PM by Ghazaros » Logged

Trusting in Christ's Inextinguishable Light,
Rev. Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Der-Ghazarian,
Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church of Armenia, Eastern Diocese USA
The Armenian Orthodox Evangelization Mission: www.looys.net
Stavro
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2004, 02:55:39 AM »

You won't find any "keys of life" in any churches  but you might find it in Coptic homes as it is a pharaonic heritage. We are the descendents of the first civilization on earth and we are proud of it.
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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
Ghazar
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2004, 04:31:08 PM »

Starvo,

Thanks for your reply.  I'm justing trying to get a feel for how the "keys of life" are used in the Coptic Church.  So it is not used in Church buildings but it is used as a private or individual religious symbol?  Would a Coptic wear it on a necklace instead of a Cross?

Thanks for your help,
« Last Edit: September 08, 2004, 04:32:23 PM by Ghazaros » Logged

Trusting in Christ's Inextinguishable Light,
Rev. Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Der-Ghazarian,
Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church of Armenia, Eastern Diocese USA
The Armenian Orthodox Evangelization Mission: www.looys.net
Rustaveli
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2004, 06:00:42 PM »

This site is interesting:

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/1623/ankh.html

... note the reference, "Coptic Cross from The Christian Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt site" ...

The site mentioned may be viewed at:

http://www.coptic.net/EncyclopediaCoptica/

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Stavro
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2004, 03:21:25 AM »

Starvo,

Thanks for your reply.  I'm justing trying to get a feel for how the "keys of life" are used in the Coptic Church.  So it is not used in Church buildings but it is used as a private or individual religious symbol?  Would a Coptic wear it on a necklace instead of a Cross?

Thanks for your help,
Keys of life are NOT used at all in the Coptic Church, they have no orthodox meaning nor do they have any religious meaning as far as being sanctified by the Coptic Church. It is NOT closely or remotely connected to the dogmas or the Tradition.

A Coptic Orthodox usually wears a cross, with Christ crucified or just the sign. Many would have a small blue cross tatoo on their wrists for commemorating a historical era outside the scope of our discussion. They would never tatoo a key of life nor would they have neckless of it for religious reason. By the way, wearing a cross around the neck has also a close connection to the persecution eras in Egypt.

So, having established the fact that the Key of life has NO relation to the Coptic Church as far as dogma, rites, Tradition, prayer, and I repeat NO relation whatsoever, I have to say that many might have one as to represent the Pharaohnic culture and civilization. It is like having a statue of Nefrtari or Tunt Ank Amon in your living room or a "papyrus" paper with some pharaonic letters and drawing on it. Even muslims in Egypt, who are aware of their old egyptian heritage and in whom this roots are not totally dodged by arab culture, would have it. It is more cultural rather than religious.

Quote
Rustaveli:This site is interesting:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/1623/ankh.html
.. note the reference, "Coptic Cross from The Christian Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt site" ...
The site mentioned may be viewed at:
http://www.coptic.net/EncyclopediaCoptica/
Dear brother,
the reference to the coptic site is not a text or a dogma or a confession of faith, but the author of the article on the geocities group refered to what he perceived as an angel depicted on the form of a "key of life". I am not sure I see the same resemblence. All angels and saints in the Coptic Church are depicted with a hall of light around their head, as a sign of sainthood.

The Coptic Church has been influenced by the state of the art at the time of St.Mark preached Christianity and there is an influence of the Pharaonic culture in the icons and in the hymns, but not the dogma or beliefs.

Peace,
Stavro
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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
Ghazar
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"Ghazaros, toors yegoor:" "Lazarus, come forth."


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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2004, 06:23:52 PM »

Dear Starvo,

You have provided me with the exact information I was looking for.  I think I was formerly operating under some misguided notions in referrence to the key of life.  You see, my third son is named "Anthony Athanasius" after the two great Egyptian saints.  At the time of his Baptism, I thought it would be fitting if I bought him what I thought was an Egyptian Cross.  A Roman Catholic text book showed the key of life to be such.  Now I think perhaps I should get him a different Cross; one which IS accepted in the Tradition of one of the Churches.  Thanks for your help.
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Trusting in Christ's Inextinguishable Light,
Rev. Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Der-Ghazarian,
Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church of Armenia, Eastern Diocese USA
The Armenian Orthodox Evangelization Mission: www.looys.net
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2004, 03:15:19 PM »

Dear Starvo,

You have provided me with the exact information I was looking for.  I think I was formerly operating under some misguided notions in referrence to the key of life.  You see, my third son is named "Anthony Athanasius" after the two great Egyptian saints.  At the time of his Baptism, I thought it would be fitting if I bought him what I thought was an Egyptian Cross.  A Roman Catholic text book showed the key of life to be such.  Now I think perhaps I should get him a different Cross; one which IS accepted in the Tradition of one of the Churches.  Thanks for your help.
Dear Ghazaros,
I pray that the Lord may keep your three kids safe and faithful to Him.
You have chosen a great name for your youngest child after two mighty saints. May their intercession be with you and your family.
A cross that has the Lord Jesus Christ crucified is always the safest option and the most orthodox one as well.
Peace,
Stavro
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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
Ghazar
Armenian Orthodox Christian
Sr. Member
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Posts: 214


"Ghazaros, toors yegoor:" "Lazarus, come forth."


WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2004, 02:11:15 AM »

Dear Starvo,

Actually Anthony is my third son of six children.   If interested you can see a picture of my six little ones at:  http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/family.html

Thanks again for your advice.  On another forum I got the identical story about the Key of Life from a Coptic monk.  So your story checks out. Smiley

I ended up getting our Anthony an Armenian Cross.  Both saints figure greatly in our Church as well.  We Armenians typically don't use the Cross with our Lord's Corpus on it except during the Great Fast.  Thanks for all your help.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2004, 02:12:36 AM by Ghazaros » Logged

Trusting in Christ's Inextinguishable Light,
Rev. Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Der-Ghazarian,
Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church of Armenia, Eastern Diocese USA
The Armenian Orthodox Evangelization Mission: www.looys.net
Tags: Coptic Orthodox Church Ankh 
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