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Coptic Orthodox Church
Holy days of obligation
Everyone , I have a question. In the catholic church it is considered sinful to miss church services on Christmas and easter and can even be excommunicated for it. Do we as Orthodox have the same teaching
No we don't. Although regular attendance of the liturgy, and especially on Feast days, is an important element of the spiritual program of Orthodoxy.
No. We don't. That's one of the reasons why I am no longer Roman Catholic. They love making up new rules.
If you dont mind I would like to hear your conversion story. Even though I am born Coptic I love hearing those stories. What is the holy days of obligation doctorine about anyways? Because I have always felt that anybody who misses those major feast days is generally looked upon with eternal condemnation.
edited May 2016
They are basically Feast days. You have New Year's Day, which is a solemnity for the Virgin Mary. They have some during Lent, and basically like our Bright Monday. Also the Virgin Mary fast in August, All Saints day November 1st and Christmas. If there were any others, I don't recall them off hand.
To explain it, you have to understand how the Latin Rite views outward expressions of faith more than depth of beliefs. Perhaps that is my interpretation. But, compared to the Coptic church, I feel the modern Catholic church believes if you don't do something according to their rules it's sinful. In that way, they tend to make you fear God rather than the loving and praising of God that we have in the Coptic church.
When I first went to a Coptic church, you could feel God was present. A Catholic church has a much colder feeling, you have to become almost robotic in how you worship. While the Coptic church is far more free-flowing in how the Priest interacts with the people and the Deacons. A Catholic mass is like a military drill in comparison.
I apologize, I am far more learned in the Coptic church since becoming a Deacon, and stopped attending a Catholic church almost 20 years ago. I do know that they are looking to bring back some of the fullness of what they have lost, although we have a great chance to introduce a large segment of lapsed Catholics to our church at the rate we are expanding here in the U.S.
The whole external condemnation thing is ridiculous. All of those things caused the reformation in my opinion. I have nothing personally wrong with the Catholic church, actually being a former Catholic, the largest Catholic church in the same town as my Coptic church has helped support us in building a new church.