Coptic Church

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
HI everyone... um i have presentation to do and i need help..
If someone can explain the meaning of the four columns of the altar and the dome above the altar and the meaning of the candles that are supposed to be behind the altar and why they should be made from special material( i think beeswax or something) and the meaning of korsee el kas and the meaning of how the altar is set up for liturgical use(Like why the Lafayef are put in the certain way they are.
If there are also any books that explain this stuff in ENGLISH please post the link thanks
God bless :)


  • Altar

    The Altar or the table of the lord is where the oblations are offered and sanctified. The Coptic word is "bimanarshawushi" literally meaning the place of sacrificing.

    In the early centuries, the altar used to be made out of stone and built on top of martyrs' relics. That is why the altars are dedicated to a saint as the altar of St. George, St Mina, ...

    In the Middle ages, altars were built with a secret room below and the door would be in the east facing the bosom. This was to allow the deacon and the priest to hide the sacrifice in case of an attack on the church. This door is still in use today but without the secret room underneath.

    Nowadays, altars are usually made out  of wood in the shape of square.

    The material stone is a symbol of Christ our Rock from where the spiritual water flows as described in Revelations and in the book of Ezekiel.

    The wood is a symbol of the Cross - the life-giving wood.
  • Candles

    There used to be a candlestick with 7 branches, a symbol of the golden lamp-stand, placed on the altar as is described in the OT and in the book of Revelations. However, this has since been replaced by two candles only. Modern interpretation is that they are a symbol of the two angels who were at the tomb of our Savior.

    The lamp-stand is still in use within other Orthodox Churches. It is recommended to use the lamp-stand rather than the two candles as this is the original rite we have received.

  • Korsee El Kas

    This is a box, usually made out of wood, where the chalice sits. It is called the "throne"

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