Tomorrow the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of the Apostles, marking the day of the martyrdom of St Peter and St Paul in Rome in the first century. The date also marks the end of the Apostles’ Fast, the fast which begins right after the Pentecost and ends on the Feast of the Apostles. With Easter coming so early this year, on 4 April, the Pentecost came on 23 May, meaning the Apostles’ Fast amounted to 49 days. The feast will thus be more than welcome.
Holy Mass is celebrated in churches early in the morning. The ceremony also includes a Water Mass in which special prayers are sung to sanctify a bowl of water. The worshippers each take a little of the water as they go home, to use for blessing all year round. The Water Mass is sung three times a year. The first is on Epiphany, the second is on Maundy Thursday to commemorate Christ washing His disciples’ feet before the Last Supper, and the third is on the Feast of the Apostles to honour the ministry and the service.
11 July 2010