The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States is composed of 48 priests serving the 38 churches and 28 Coptic communities. More
The Season of the Church
The Feast of the Pentacost
May 31, 2015
Pashons 23, 1731
May 26, 2015
Pashons 18, 1731
We, however (just as we have received it), only on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, should guard not only against kneeling, but against every posture and office of solicitude. Similarly, too, the period of Pentecost we distinguish by the same solemnity of exultation.
Tertullian (c. 198, W
Readings During the Joyous 50 Days
Raised Up to Sit in Heavenly Places
"And raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:6).
Our Salvation was achieved by our Lord Jesus Christ's death on the cross and accomplished by His resurrection and lifting up from this world into heaven. The fullness of Christ's resurrection is given in the ascension. The ascension completes the resurrection. Without the resurrection Christ's death would be meaningless "And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty" (1 Cor 15:14). Without the ascension, the resurrection would also be incomplete for we would have a resurrected person but One who was not at the right hand of God in the place of authority. Therefore, having completed His mission in this world as the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ returned to the Father in heaven Who had sent Him into the world. In ascending to the Father, He has raised the earthly with Him "and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:6).
By raising us up, our Lord has moved us from the state of death to life. Adam was created a physical and spiritual being alive in both realms able to walk with his Creator. Adam and Eve could have lived in this state of divine fellowship forever; but they disobeyed God and immediately died a spiritual death by being separated from God. Since then, all of their offspring, although born physically and biologically alive, knowing good from evil, right and wrong, are born spiritually dead and destined to die physically after a certain span of lifetime.
Mary Magdalene of Magdala: The First to See Our Resurrected Lord
Widely considered the most amazing event of all Biblical history is the "Empty Tomb". The "Empty Tomb" manifests to the world the power of the Glorious Resurrection and the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ having been resurrected from death.
"And Jesus came and spoke to them [the eleven disciples] saying...'All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth.'" (Matthew 28:18).
This scene, momentous in time and never to be duplicated again, where a Resurrected Lord leaves His grave and grave clothes would be given all authority in Heaven and on earth. St. Athanasius called the Glorious Resurrection...
"The living monument of Christianity."
The Spiritual Meaning of Resurrection Enactment
In the Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection feast, after reading the Praxis and chanting the resurrection hymn "all you heavenly choirs", the church lights are turned off signifying the darkness that had surrounded the world before the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:16); and the doors of the sanctuary are closed signifying the closed doors of the Paradise (Genesis 3:23).
The priest or the bishop stands inside the sanctuary symbolically guarding the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, (John 6:51) just as the Cherubim stood in the Garden of Eden guarding the tree of life, (Genesis 3:24). Two deacons stand outside the sanctuary with the resurrection icon. This signifies the angels that accompanied the Lord Jesus Christ during His life on earth ministering to and serving Him (Matthew 4:11). The resurrection icon represents the Lord of Glory Who descended to Hades through the cross and led captivity captive; and now He is ascending to Paradise to restore our father Adam and his children to it (Ephesians 4:8-9). The rest of the deacons symbolize the spirits of the righteous ascending with the Lord Jesus Christ to Paradise.
The resurrection enactment starts with a dialogue between the angles accompanying the Lord Jesus Christ (the two deacons standing outside the sanctuary) and the cherubim inside the Paradise (the priest or the bishop inside the sanctuary). In this dialogue they declare the good news of the resurrection by chanting three times "Christ is risen. Indeed He is risen".
A Reflection of Love
Love is an act of giving, "love does not seek its own" (I Corinthians 13:5). The Father gave His Only Begotten Son. The Son, the Lord Jesus Christ gave too. His most endearing acts of giving were while upon the Holy Cross. He gave forgiveness to His persecutors, gave Paradise to the thief on His right side, gave His blessed mother a spiritual son, gave St. John the blessing of accommodating His mother, and gave the Father the price of Divine Justice.
The Lord Jesus Christ first asked for forgiveness of His enemies. He even gave them an excuse, "for they know not what they do". Although this did not impact the people who were mocking Him, it can be postulated that perhaps it did to the thief on the right who saw the Lord tormented and in great pain. Perhaps the hard-hearted thief on the right observed and then felt the Lord Jesus Christ's love for His persecutors and was transformed. It could have been that the Lord's loving kindness overpowered the thief's fierce nature and he believed.
The thief on the right also demonstrated his great love for the Lord Jesus Christ. The very few hours this thief spent on the cross beside the Lord Jesus Christ were probably the most valuable in his earthly life. It can be surmised that the thief on the right experienced his happiest times while next to the Savior. He was free of personal sins, torment, and of an unscrupulous soul.
After His Resurrection and before His Ascension into heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ made a series of appearances to His disciples for the purpose of strengthening their faith, consoling and edifying them. How the disciples in general and St. Thomas in particular reacted and responded to those appearances is the interest of this article. The first glorious post Resurrection appearance occurred on Resurrection Sunday to Mary Magdalene; after which she excitedly sought out the grieving and mourning disciples to tell them of the Lord Jesus Christ's appearance to her. However, they did not believe her at all. "And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe" (Mark 16:11). St. John and St. Peter displayed their collective doubt by going to the Lord Jesus Christ's tomb themselves for concrete evidence; only to discover its emptiness. It was then that their grieving lack of faith began to slowly transform into a wondering realization after the apostles had actually seen with their own eyes the empty tomb and the burial clothes and face cloth inside the tomb. The Holy Scripture records that they saw and THEN they believed...
Mighty Champions Magazine - Winter Edition 2015
Mighty Arrows Magazine - Winter 2015 Edition
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FL: Jan 15-17,2016
GA: Jun 12-14, 2015
Grand Tour of Egypt and the Holy Land
May 3–22, 2015
SUS Diocese Mission Experience Trip 2015 - Ethiopia
May 26 - Jun 5, 2015
FL Newlywed Convention
Jun 5-7, 2015
more info coming soon
Extreme Family Makeover (EFM) Coptic Edition
Jun 19-21, 2015
High School Summer Convention - Florida
Girls: Jun 14-17, 2015
Boys: Jun 22-25, 2015
TX Summer Kids Camp
FL Hymns Camp
High School Summer Convention - GA/LA/TN
Girls: Jul 12-15, 2015
Boys: Jul 15-18, 2015
College Summer Convention - GA/LA/TN
Jul 23-26, 2015
Jul 23-26, 2015
Coptic Truth Conference (CTC)
Annual Evangelism & Apologetics Conference
Jul 31 - Aug 2, 2015
FL Summer Kids Camp
Aug 2-5, 2015
TX Middle School Camp
Aug 16-18, 2015
10 Day Tour of the Holy Land
Sept 1-10, 2015
Diocese Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Oct 19–31, 2015