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Rites and Rituals of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Dictionary of Coptic Orthodox Church Terms and Terminology

Hesychia

 

Stillness, quiet, tranquility. This is the central consideration in the prayer of the desert Fathers. On the external level is signifies an individual living as a solitary; on a deeper level it is not merely separation from noise and speaking with other people, but the possession of interior quiet and peace. Thus it is possible to use the term of many who do not actually live the hermit life. It means more specifically guarding the mind, constant remembrance of God, and the possession of inner prayer. Hesychasm is the general term and hesychast is the noun used to describe the person seeking to follow this way of prayer. METANOIA: repentance, interior sorrow for sin. It also means the action by which such sorrow is expressed, usually a prostration. It is also used of a deep bow which is a means of greeting someone with respect. It has in later writings the meaning of conversion of life, and particularly the conversion of monastic life.

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