I recently heard from someone that a metanoia cannot be performed unless the person is fasting. Is this true? If so, what other conditions are there for a metanoia?
Thank you all.


  • i have asked a few priests about that, and that is basically right.
    the physical position of metanoia / metania (in egyptian accent), which is kneeling with the head touching forwards to the ground, is associated with repentance and fasting.

    we still bow down in this position during church services (eg during evening prayer / 'asheya) when we are not fasting, in order to worship God, and this is different. i will not discuss this use of it further.

    during fasting days, we should bow down when repenting to God and when praying 'Lord have mercy / kyrie eleison' during our prayers from the prayer book / agpeya.
    but after we break the fast and they pray again in the evening, we don't bow down.
    which is just as well, as bowing down with a full stomach causes acid reflux (at least for me)!

    the main exception is that if you are excused from abstaining from food and drink by sickness or bleeding, then you can eat breakfast and then bow down in your prayers. (that last clause i have not checked specifically with a priest, but i know that menstruation, for example, does not prohibit someone from attending church and performing metania, but it does prohibit the person from abstaining from food, and thus, by extension, from taking Holy Communion).

    when we are not fasting, we should bow down 'inside' - that is have exactly the same attitude and repentant thoughts before God when we pray. my confession father says that all the physical things we do, like metania, fasting and depriving ourselves from excessive luxury and just tools to help us to become closer to God and live in his love.
    they are not goals in themselves.
  • In the Coptic Orthodox Church, there are three (3) types of Worships (Metanoias).
    1-Metanoia of Worship - This is to be done upon awakening, entering the the church, Agpeya/Liturgical prayers, etc.

    2-Metanoia of Reverence - This is to be done in honour of Praising God in His Saints;
    in front of a Saint’s Relics, Icon, Etc.

    3-Metanoia of Respect (Obedience) - This is to be done when greeting a higher Priestly rank, I.e. Bishop, Metropolitan, Pope...
    {Back then even laymen used to greet each other with Metanoias, it is to show that He who is in front of you is above you. Monasteries and Nunneries have kept this tradition, even though a Priest May bow to a mere monk! Nowadays it is the norm to greet everyone with a Holy Kiss and/or a Metanoia in Monasteries)


    Metanoias of the first degree (Worship) are to be done ONLY when fasting.
    Example: after taking communion, you do NOT worship before entering the sanctuary.
    OR: after communion, you do NOT worship in front of a Bishop.

    In general, Metanoias are to be prayed whenever stumbling upon the word Worship, Prostration, Fall, Etc. Nowadays the norm is to simply “bow the head” when reciting these words.
  • Thank you all for your help.
    I have just 1 more question. When praying the Agpeya, do we have to bow at certain points or do something special at certain places?
    Thank you all.
  • Of course!
    1-At the beginning of each hour (Lord Have mercy, Lord Have mercy, Lord bless us, Etc.)

    2-When we Say Ephoise Nai nan...

    3-In personal worship, during the 41 Kirie Eleysons

    4-And whenever else you feel you should/or when your FOC advises you to
  • Thank you for being very patient with me. I have just 2 more questions.
    For the Agpeya metanoias (in personal (home) do we need to fast? If so do we do the Daniel fast or the full fast?
    What is Ephoise Nai Nan?
    Thank you very very much.
  • No problem at all!

    I’m guessing that “The Daniel Fast” means strict abstinence (like for the Liturgy) and “The full fast” is like Wednesdays/Fridays...
    If I understood these terms properly, then to answer you need to be (Daniel) Fasting when praying Agpeya...i.e. you must not have eaten before praying!


    As for your second question, after praying :
    Our Father
    Thanksgiving Prayer
    Psalm 50

    This is prayed after the introduction all prayers (so when we actually get into detail of that specific hour)
    We pray “Epchoise Nai Nan Epchoise Nai nan Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia...” which is translated:
    “Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
    Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Spirit. One God, Amen.
    Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Now and ever, and unto the age of all ages. Amen.
    The blessed prayer of {insert name of hour/ PRIME} we offer to Christ our King and our God, beseeching Him to forgive us our sins.
    From the Psalms of our Father David the Prophet and King. May His blessings be with us. Amen.
  • Thank you very much for all the help, comrades.
  • No problem, I pray you’ve better understood what I explained!
  • For the sake of precision Ⲡϭⲥ ⲛⲁⲓ ⲛⲁⲛ both mean Lord have mercy on us, but it just happens that an Arabic expression was coined up for Ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲉ ⲉⲗⲉⲏⲥⲟⲛ and stuck to all such translations with all the other languages following suit as no one cares about translating from Coptic anymore..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • i agree, except that if you pray a lot (as u can in monasteries or when on holiday from work), there are 7 times you pray each day (8 if you include the monk's prayer) and you can't be fasting before all of them as you would die!
    i think the idea is that you prioritise prayer over eating, eg pray before breakfast in the morning.
  • @ophadece Care to go into detail and further explain what you said?..
  • Ⲛⲁⲓ ⲛⲁⲛ = ⲉⲗⲉⲏⲥⲟⲛ ⲏⲙⲁⲥ
    Ⲫϯ ⲛⲁⲓ ⲛⲁⲛ = Ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲉ ⲉⲗⲉⲏⲥⲟⲛ ⲏⲙⲁⲥ
    But Ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲉ ⲉⲗⲉⲏⲥⲟⲛ just means "Lord have mercy".. I hope that is clear now..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • I just thought about this, how long should we fast beforehand?
    PS: Daniel Fast is the one without animal products (like Lent) and the Full Fast is the one without any food or drink.
  • We don't have the "Daniel Fast"...if i am not mistaken, that's something that many non-denominational groups do and maybe some Protestants groups. 
  • I am aware of that. I just call the no animal products fast (lent, apostles fast (except fish), etc.) as the Daniel Fast simply to avoid confusion between that type of fast and the full fast (which one would do before receiving a sacrament).
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