The Coptic New Year is the very first calendar ever known by man on planet earth! It goes back 4241 BC.
The word "Nayrouz" is of Coptic origin. The stem is niiaro-oo meaning: "the rivers." The suffex "ouz" is Greek, thus, the word "Niiaroouz." Mid September is usually where the waters of the Nile river rises, so the prayers are lifted to God for the rising of the waters of the rivers for irrigation and ask for His blessings at the beginning (crown) of the Coptic Calendar year.
When the Persian ruled Egypt from 525-405 BC, they adopted the word and incorporated it in their language and took it to mean "the beginning of their Persian year," and called it "Nayrouz." The word "Nayrouz" in Persian, means "the new year."
On celebrating this feast three things are stirred in our minds.
- Honoring the millions of martyrs who sacrificed their lives as sacrifices of love for our Lord who sacrificed Himself on our behalf.
- Joyfully celebrating the beginning of the Coptic New Year.
- Expressing of our flamed eager for the last advent of Christ. Through the last two weeks before the feast the readings of the liturgies of the Eucharist concentrate of the Parousia of Christ.
I asked myself; What is the relation between honoring the martyrs, the celebration of the new year and the Parousia of the Lord?
The Opened Gates of Paradise
As I started to speak to our kids in the Church about El-Nayrouz I asked: Is there a sun in the Paradise?? Truly the Sun of Righteousness, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the ever shining Sun. There is no place for sunset in Paradise; there is no night, no days, no weeks, no months, no seasons, and no years. But we attain a unique day without night, an everlasting day. In it we receive the brightness of the Sun of Righteousness that reflects on our souls and our risen bodies. Through the celebration of the Feast of Nayrouz, we start a new Coptic year. At the same time we declare our eagerness to share with the martyrs, a new Day which they attain in Paradise. They have the experience of brightness, through which the brightness of the glory of Christ shines on them; they have no need of a sun nor a moon. There is no room for various seasons, nor of night and day. They are not in need of food.
In the Feast of El-Nayrouz we are longing for the eternal life. In the feast of El-Nayrouz we behold the opened gates of Paradise. We see our Christ coming to carry us on the clouds, together with those who already entered the Paradise. All of us will enjoy the divine throne in heaven.
O Lord, grant us to celebrate El-Nayrouz,
So that we may ask for a blessed year for all mankind.
And that every believer has the experience of Your marvelous Day.
Thus, all will enjoy the brightness of Your glory.
Yes, Come quickly O Lord Jesus.
Our hearts are inflamed with Your love.
Our hearts ask for none except You.
Let me, O God, celebrate the Feast of El-Nayrouz unceasingly.
Let me experience this joyful gospel, the gospel of everlasting unity with You.
Wondrous is the Son who paid the price of my trip to Your divine bosoms,
And Your Holy Spirit who forms me to become a heavenly bride,
Carrying me as if with the wings of a dove that heaven may celebrate my wedding!
I see You my beloved Christ, coming to me personally,
You have chosen me to share in Your glory,
You offered Yourself, a joyful sacrifice of love.
Grant me to become an icon of You,
With a big heart, full of love to all humans,
That, I may become a source of joy to everyone.
Your dwelling in me, O Holy Spirit renews my nature,
He transforms my dark tomb into a holy sanctuary,
He converts my darkness into exceeding brightness!
Grant me with all my brethren, to fly and be with You in heaven!
Let me celebrate the feast of the martyrs as fit, that I may practice witnessing for You.
Change my life to be full of joy with You, even at the moments of my daily repentance.
You see me my Lord rejoicing in You, and You become delighted in me.
The heavenly angels see me coming to You, and they welcome me.
They receive me with exceeding joy to join them in praising You.
The sinners see me full of joy, and they get filled with hope.
They see me rejoicing, and they join me in my continuous repentance.
The prophets and the apostles and all the martyrs see me.
And they praise You for letting me accompany them in Your kingdom!
What a wonderful thing, You delight in me,
And so do all Your creation, in heaven and on earth!
But the devil runs away in front of me
As he sees Your divine joy enlightens me and shines upon my face!
Glory is to You, the source of joy and victory.
Grant me O Lord that I may celebrate the feast of the martyrs all my life,
That, I may witness to Your joyful gospel,
That, I may always be in touch with Your tremendous fatherly love,
I see You anticipating with longing for me too.