The Coptic Church has a rich programme throughout the year through the ecclesiastical readings, which come in an exquisite and harmonious arrangement, with careful selection of the readings chapters from the Gospel to be integrated with each other, whether in the one-day readings, or in the monthly programme or on a particular occasion of the church occasions. The annual programme, as a whole, is integrated, whether in the Sunday readings or in the readings of the rest of the week, as well as in the readings on fasting days and holidays. This integration contains a spiritual heritage that brings to us the richness, momentum and spirituality of the rituals in the Coptic Orthodox Church, which preserves it and helps in transmitting it through time to the next generations.
The readings came in this creative arrangement to testify to the work of the Holy Spirit, not only through the Fathers who created them, but also in the Church that preserved them. By continuing to present it, it contributes to conferring an accurate theological thought and a straight spiritual path through the generations. The readings have an educational function, and in light of their concepts, generations receive the necessary mental milk, in order to grow in knowledge, and receive the divine truths with ease and simplicity. Christianity is a spirit that is handed over, not just knowledge that is taught. The organised ecclesiastical readings carry out this task, and their effectiveness has been proven over the generations.
It is really pleasant that the Church presents us with these readings in a rite of reverence and a wonderful and solemn melody that conveys to us the groaning of the Holy Spirit, as it rebukes the soul to repentance, and leads it to enter, with the ascending fragrance of incense, to fellowship with the spiritual creatures in heaven.
As I present this work to you – dear reader – I pray to God that it will be a cause of benefit and blessing, and that it will encourage many to start a specialised study on this important topic, with the intercession of our mother, the Virgin Mary, and the prayers of our blessed father, His Holiness, the revered Pope Tawadros II. May the Lord preserve him for us.
Bishop of the Diocese of the Netherlands