Beautifying Relics in the Coptic Orthodox Church

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
What exactly happens when the faithful "beautify" the relics of a Saint in the Coptic Orthodox Church?

I've seen pictures of this rite in the monthly magazine from St. Antony's Monastery in CA, but I have no clue what they are doing.  It looks as if they are rubbing something with a dark brownish-red mud or something.  Surely they aren't applying something to the relic itself.



  • they put honute or nice smelling spices and oil on the relics. called spikenard
    heres a video.
    skip to minute 37:27
  • [quote author=markmarcos link=topic=13593.msg158439#msg158439 date=1344013850]
    they put honute or nice smelling spices and oil on the relics. called spikenard
    heres a video.
    skip to minute 37:27

    Was this a Liturgy, or just a service for receiving holy relics?  What were they chanting for the first 30 minutes?  A canon, psalms, or a collection of hymns?  Is there a specific name for the service?

    -That was interesting, the priest censed the church backwards from what the EO do.  The priest went counter-clockwise, whereas my priest does it the other way around.

    -It looks like they don't touch the actual relic, but the case that it is held in.  Is this right?

    That's interesting.  I like it because everyone is there:  Priest, Bishop, lay people, everyone.  Communal.  I haven't seen this particular practice within the EO.  However, I've seen something similar:  About a year ago, some Russian priests and monastics re-vested the relics of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, whose relics are in the Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francsico, CA.  However, there were no lay people there, only monastics, priests, and an Archbishop.  I believe they actually washed the relics where they could without doing any damage.  And by "re-vesting", I mean that they took off the old clothes on his relics that an Archbishop would wear in the Russian Orthodox Church, and put new, clean ones on his relics.
  • The service is called vespers or (ashaya) on Saturday nights every week.
    They don’t touch the actual relics even though I have seen a priest open and touch the relic before. So it is aloud to touch the relics but it’s extremely uncommon.
    But usually they just put the spices al over the wooden case holding the relics.
    Also the Coptic Orthodox Church has many full bodies of saints that don’t decompose also some relic’s hair and nails still grow. We also can put new vestments on them
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