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The annunciation is an important feast in the Coptic Orthodox Church. It in fact is the first of the seven major feasts of the Lord; which are:

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Repentance in the Father’s bosom (Luke 15:11-32)‎

Repentance in Christianity is different from any other ‎repentance; it is the return of the son to his Father and the Father ‎running to fall on the neck of His son to embrace him and kiss him.

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Serving in Kenya this year made me fall in love with my Lord Jesus Christ. My story doesn't really involve any drastic lifestyle change; I've always been going to church. However, it was an opportunity for God, with whom I had always thought I had a 'relationship,' finally got proper access to my heart for the first time.

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While reading a book recently, I was touched that the author, a Coptic Bishop (Bishop Isaac), should write a book about a Russian saint. Orthodoxy is universal and rich. What was interesting too was that the Russian saint saw the Egyptian desert fathers as his role model. The roots of the orthodox tree are truly intertwined.

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In the woods surrounding the Sea of Galilee on the edge of a hill, three young trees stood together dreaming about what they would become in the future. The first tree said to the others, “One day I wish to be made into the finest treasure box to house the greatest treasures of the earth; gold, diamonds, and precious gemstones of all kinds.”

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It is amazing how we sometimes in our reading of scripture pass by words and verses which convey themselves with such simplicity of flow and meaning, yet when we spiritually contemplate on those very words and verses we are stopped in our mental tracks. For our hearts and our minds are left gazing at the most amazing wonders ordained by God. In the end we are left praising with King David saying, "The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple." Ps 119:130 and "I have seen the consummation of all perfection, but your commandments are very broad" Ps 119:96.

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It is amazing how the journey of the Son of God on Earth for our salvation was designed from its beginning to its end. Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea...behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying ‘where is He who has been born King of the Jaws?’ For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him. They came from far away having seen the extraordinary appearance of a star that signifies the birth of the Messiah and followed it until it stood over the place where the Babe Jesus was born. They then entered the place rejoicing, worshiped him and presented him their gifts: Gold (representing royalty), Frankincense (representing priesthood) and Myrrh (representing sorrow). The story then takes us through almost thirty three years of Jesus’ life until we meet him again during the Pascha week where we can clearly see the fulfilment of the prophecy of the Magi’s gifts.

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The Copts have seasons of fasting matched by no other Christian community. Out of the 365 days of the year, Copts fast for over 210 days. During fasting, no animal products (meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, butter, etc.) are allowed. Moreover, no food or drink whatsoever may be taken between sunrise and sunset.

There are seven fasting seasons practiced by the Coptic Church throughout the year, they are:

  1. The Advent (Fast of the Nativity)
  2. The Paramoni,
  3. The Fast of Nineveh.
  4. The Great Lent
  5. The Fast of the Apostles
  6. The Fast of the Virgin Saint Mary.
  7. The fast of Wednesday’s and Friday’s There are rules for the fasting, that rules are strict, but those strict fasting rules are usually relaxed by priests on an individual basis to accommodate for illness or weakness.

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St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in London is one of the oldest Coptic churches in the lands of the immigration, and one of the first to be supported and cared for by our beloved patriarch, HH the late Pope Shenouda III.

  • St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church
    Allen Street, Kensington
    London W8 6UX