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Coptic Orthodox Church
Purpose of the Feast of Circumcision
edited December 1969
Why do we celebrate the Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ? I feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to this question. I have a few speculations about it but nothing more..
Please educate me!
First of all, don't ever be embarrassed for not knowing an answer to a question. Only God knows the answers to all questions. The only thing that would be embarrassing is not asking the question when someone may have an answer.
The Circumcision feast has many important spiritual meanings. The feast celebrates the divinity and humanity and humility of Christ who by definition is called Uncircumscript. Yet through His humility, he accepted the requirements of the law and circumcised Himself. It is not an act of diminishing or deleting His divinity (as many Greek myths and modern beliefs of angels portray). Rather it is proof that nothing is impossible with God; that He can be divine and human at the same time; that He can be circumcised and uncircumscript at the same time.
The feast also celebrates God's love for Israel (which is a symbol of His chosen people). The Nativity celebrates the Gentile's acceptance of God's incarnation. The Theophany celebrates all mankind's acceptance of the Trinity. In all these feasts, God's love is manifested for mankind.
There are other spiritual meanings but I leave it for others to respond. I hoped this helped.
Forgive my ignorance, I have heard the term "uncircumscript" used to describe our Lord before but I also don't know what that means in a Spiritual sense.
You can think of circumscript as something that is confined, enclosed or encompassed in a circumference or circle. Something that is uncircumscript is something that can't be confined, enclosed or encompassed.
Circumcision is the removal a piece of flesh that is circumscript around a body part (the prepuce is circumscript around the penis in males and clitoris is circumscript around the vagina in females) I know Egyptians have a problem hearing or reading human reproductive organs so I hope I didn't offend anyone. But if you really think about it, the circumscription of anatomical parts was thought to limit or confine humans from God. The prepucidectomy (circumcision of males) in Judeo-Christian belief and cloritodectomy (circumcision of females) in African religions was a sign of purification that removes the limits or confinement of the human connection with God.
Christ in His incredible love "accepted circumcision to Himself" (which is the liturgical response for the Circumcision feast), even though He didn't need to because He is already uncircumscript. He is uncircumscript because He already has an eternal connection with God His Father, because He is already pure, because He can't be confined or limited in any sense unless He chooses to for our sakes. This is why we celebrate Christ's circumcision.
Thank you so much for the explanation, makes sense now!
No worries, no offense was taken by the usage of anatomical terms- I am in the medical field.
I am not sure if its appropriate to ask through this medium but was the circumcision of females required of Christians at one point? As far as I know that it is FGM and is wrong and forbidden.. Also for males, my understanding is that it is no longer required (only recommended for medical reasons) after the Coming of Christ because baptism has become synonymous to Circumcision and removes the confinements of the human connections with God.
Female circumcision was never allowed in Christianity or Judaism. Male circumcision is no longer a requirement as described in the first council in Jerusalem in Acts 15 and many of St Paul's letters.
okay, I got it now. Sorry for the endless questions.
Just one correction
The prepuce in a female is the clitoral hood, not the clitoris itself.
The clitoris is equivalent to the penis.
Can you justify mutilating a man's penis? No. But ignorance means people don't know this.
Any FGM occurring amongst Christians is out of ignorance and mixing with the pagan and Islamic culture. It is one of the worst ways of physical and psychological destruction of a human being.
Couldn't agree with you more about everything you said!
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