The 5 Sundays and their significance in the Coptic church

Amira Noshokaty , Sunday 31 Mar 2024

Today marks the first of five Sundays over March and April with great significance in the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Virgin Marry and The Christ Child
File Photo: An ancient Coptic icon of The Virgin Marry and The Christ Child. Al-Ahram.


Sunday of the Prodigal Son (31 March)

The first of the five Sundays celebrates the Parable of the Prodigal Son

The parable tells “the story of the son who squandered almost all of his father's wealth and was so ashamed that he did not dare face him so he ran off,” explained Hanaa Kamel, a private sector employee, to Ahram Online.

“However, he came back for forgiveness and his father was so happy at his return, which was the most important thing to the father, that he forgave him," she added.

Sunday of the Gospel/The Message (7 April)

"This is the Sunday on which the Virgin Mary received the divine message that she was to carry Baby Jesus and bring him to the world,"  Priest Dawood Makram, professor of sociology, told Ahram Online.

It is also a celebration of the Samaritan woman.

" The Samaritan woman (woman of bad reputation) is the woman that Jesus asked 'Do you have any man?’ And she answered ‘No,’ so he told her ‘you are right, as of today you have no man,' meaning that from that day she repented," Kamal explained.

Sunday of He Who Was Born Blind (14 April)

Also known as the Sunday of Tanaseer, is about the man who was born blind but was cured when Jesus touched him.

Palm Sunday (21 April)

Palm Sunday commemorates when Jesus entered Jerusalem and was greeted with palm leaves.

In Egypt, this festivity starts by making palm leaves into the form of a cross, heart, crowns, and rings.

In most of Egypt, the palm leaves are interwoven into what looks like a wheat basket. The Wheat Doll, also known as Feriek Doll, is usually hung on house doors as an omen of a prosperous green year ahead.

This leads to the Holy/Passion week, which has very interesting folk-heritage rituals in Egyptian intangible cultural heritage.

Easter Sunday (28 April)

Also known as Resurrection Sunday, this day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus.

This is followed by Sham El-Nessim Monday which is an Ancient Egyptian feast celebrated till now in Egypt.

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