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Rites and Rituals of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Dictionary of Coptic Orthodox Church Terms and Terminology

Fraction

 

* The breaking of the bread which in all Eucharistic Liturgies takes place before the Communion. It goes back to Christ's action at the original institution (Matt. 26:26), and was a sufficiently striking element in the primitive rite to make the "breaking of bread" (Acts 2:42; 20:7) a regular name for the Eucharist.

* According to the Coptic rites, "Fraction" is performed in two stages during the celebration of the Liturgy:

* Immediately after the prayers of crossing the gifts, known also as the recitation of the words of institution, where the celebrant takes the Oblation and slightly divides it into one- third and two-thirds sections, without actually separating them.

* The second stage follows the Epiclesis of the Liturgy, and is accompanied by special prayers known as fraction prayers.

* "Fractions" follows the rite of Commemoration, in it the celebrant divides the Holy Body into thirteen parts, and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. This numeral refers to the Lord Jesus Christ gathering together with His twelve disciples.

* Through the Fraction we can recognize in Christ His church united in Him.

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