I have read it somewhere but I can not remember. It said that the week of fasting before the 40 days is a make-up for the Saturdays that we cannot have absentinanc. If that true, should not we have two weeks to make-up for Sundays too?
Hope I didn't just confuse you even more.
If that's how you want to look at it, the second week would be Holy Week, which is now counted as part of the 40 days of Lent.
In that case, Lent should be 8 weeks plus the Holy week...
Haha. Ok...Sorry for confusing you.I'll just try to explain the chronology here. Lent has gone through three phases in the history of our church.Phase I:Lent used to start on Tubah 12, which is the day after Theophany, and it lasted for 6 weeks. Then people would fast again for Holy Week whenever it came later in the year.Phase II:Some time later, it was agreed to move Lent so that it is right before Holy Week. So the fast became 7 weeks (6 weeks of Lent + 1 week of Holy Week). This meant Lent started on a Monday and ended on Friday (6*7-2=40). This is where we get the Last Friday of Lent from. The Catholic church still follows this, except they start on Ash Wednesday and end it on Palm Sunday, then they fast one more week for Holy WeekPhase III.Again, some time later, The tradition of Jerusalem, which is 8 weeks long, was adopted by the Copts, and then finally by the Coptic church, and the one currently used. This way, the fast for Holy Week and Lent are combined into 1 fast called Great Lent (8 weeks * 5 weekdays =40 days of abstinence.). We only count the weekdays because we cannot abstain on Saturdays and Sundays. By the way, In order to be able to calculate 40 days of lent and 1 week for Holy Week, many in our church now teach that the first week is a preparation week (which to me doesn't make sense because how can you prepare for fasting by more fasting?)So, in conclusion, we fast 8 weeks, including Holy Week. This is how we fast 40 days of Lent. You can kind of say that the Holy Week Fast has been engulfed in the Lenten fast (The two have become one...haha)
Quote from: Copticandproud on February 18, 2012, 03:28:26 PMIn that case, Lent should be 8 weeks plus the Holy week...Be careful before you try to prolong Lent even more...you're gonna anger a lot of people...LOL.In Christ,Sifaing
Thanks for the history, but if this is right then all of the terms we use are completely mis-leading... Preparation week, Friday the ending of the fast (gome3t 5tam el som) and the different rites for Lazurus Saturday... It just does not seem right.