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Coptic Synaxarium (Coptic Orthodox Calendar)

24 Hatur
(The Twenty-Fourth Day of the Blessed Month of Hatour)

 

The Commemoration of the Twenty-Four Priests

On this day, we commemorate the twenty-four incorporeal priests of the Most High, who are sitting around His throne. They are exalted above all the saints and the spiritual hosts. Because of their closeness to God, they intercede on behalf of the human race and offer the prayers of the saints as incense, in the golden censers in their hands, before the Glorious and Blessed Lord. St. John the Evangelist said in Revelation, "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this.' Immediately I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes, and they had crowns of gold on their heads. (Revelation 4:1-4) ... each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Revelation 5:8) who are on earth raising it to the Almighty.

    St. John continued saying, "I heard the Four living creatures praising God and saying, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come.' Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him Who sits on the throne, Who lives forever and ever. The twenty-four elders fall down before Him Who sits on the throne and worship Him Who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 'You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your Will they exist and were created.' (Revelation 4:8-11)

    And when a command went forth from God they fell down, and worshipped saying, 'Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints, who shall not fear You, 0 Lord, and glorify Your Name? For You alone are Holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.'" (Revelation 15:3-4)

    The fathers of the church arranged this feast to commemorate them.

Their intercession be for us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

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