His Holiness Pope Tawadros II (Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark) has tasked His Grace Bishop Youssef (Diocese of the Southern United States) to organize a Land of Immigration Conference to address the challenges facing our Church over the next 50 years. The conference has established 10 different regions to represent all churches and dioceses in the Land of Immigration. Each region was assigned one or more topics to research and investigate. The findings and recommendations will be presented to His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the bishops of all other regions at the July 2015 Land of Immigration Conference to be held in Egypt.
The Canadian region was assigned two topics to research and report back on. His Grace Bishop Mina (Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada) established a Committee representing all Churches in Canada and assigned the topics as such:
- Feast Date Issues: assigned to churches in Toronto and Eastern Provinces in Canada.
- Church Acclimating to the Land of Immigration: assigned to churches in the Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada.
An intensive effort has been undertaken to research the two topics. To complete the research topic of Feast Date Issues, a survey has been developed.
This survey is ONLY meant to explore the current thought of Coptic people on the notion of Feasts dates. It is only meant to check whether such matter merits further in-depth discussion and research by the Holy Synod. This method of collecting information is NOT intended as a referendum or a voting process to produce data that will be used in any way or form to effect a change in a Church matter such as feasts dates. Decisions in ritual and dogmatic-related issues are, as always, decreed by the Holy Synod of Our Coptic Orthodox Church.
Background Information on Major Feasts Dates:
Two articles providing information (in both Arabic and English) about the Major Feasts Dates in the Coptic Orthodox Church are attached below for whoever wishes to be well informed before answering the survey:
- Date of Christmas – English
- Date of Christmas – Arabic
- Date of Easter – English
- Date of Easter – Arabic
- The Coptic Orthodox Church does not take major decisions, such as changing calendars or Feast dates by conducting a survey or a voting among her children. The final decision for any changes would be a sole action of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, which is the only authority to discuss and/or to take resolutions in this matter, and only after extensive research in the matter at hand.
- This survey is not a referendum; it is not a voting of any sort. It is only a tool to understand and quantify the thoughts of the people across Canada concerning this matter, as part of a study and research that will be presented and discussed in the seminar among other challenges meeting the Coptic Orthodox Church in the land of immigration. It will not affect any dates or the celebration of Feasts in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
- The results of this survey will be included in the full presentation about the issue to be presented in the seminar and discussed in workshops. Recommendations might be one of the outcomes of these workshops.
- The question about changing the Christmas date should be understood, not as just changing an individual date, but rather of shifting the whole Coptic calendar by 13 days to synchronize it with the Gregorian (current civil) calendar. So Kiahk 29th would be December 25th instead of January 7th, and subsequently all the “fixed date-Feasts” will not change their Coptic Calendar date, but the civil calendar date will change by 13 days.
- Whether or not any workshop recommendation will be acted upon in the future, will depend solely on the discretion of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
- The deadline to present your answers to this survey is: Sunday, April 26th, 2015.
How to fill the Survey:
You can answer this survey by following only ONE of the following methods:
Method 1: Online
- Go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/copticfeasts
- The entire process only takes 3 minutes maximum.
- Deadline to complete the survey online: Sunday, April 26th, 2015
Method 2: Paper
- Download a hard copy of the survey: Feasts Dates Coptic Canadian Survey v2.0
- Complete the survey manually.
- scan the completed survey and email to email@example.com, or
- mail the completed survey to:
St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church
Attention: Father John Ramzy
41 Glendinning Avenue
Scarborough, Ontario M1W 3E2
- Deadline to complete the survey manually by email: Saturday, April 25th, 2015
- Also, hard copies of the survey will be available in church on Sunday, April 26th, 2015 that can be filled out on the same day.