Coptic Christians mark Christmas

Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy celebrates Coptic Christmas Mass with worshippers at Archangel...
Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy celebrates Coptic Christmas Mass with worshippers at Archangel Michael Church, in Dunedin, last night.
Photos by Peter McIntosh.
Photos by Peter McIntosh.

About 40 members of Dunedin's Coptic Christian community celebrated their Christmas Eve Mass last night with hymns, prayers and communion.

The Melville St service ran from 8pm until after midnight, before food, drink and community were celebrated until about 3am, Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy said.

The Coptic Church was the oldest branch of Christianity, being formed in first-century Egypt, when St Mark arrived in Alexandria.

Fr Felimoun said the desert monastery where he trained included third-century remnants and many of the hymns used had their roots ‘‘from the time of the Pharaohs and ancient Egyptians''.

Christmas for Coptic Christians falls today, and he said it would include gift-giving and a community meal.

 

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