CopticChurch.net Dictionary of Church Terms
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Fraction
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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.

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

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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 onethird and two-thirds sections, without actually separating them.

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

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"Fractions" follows the rite of Commemoration, in it the celebrant divides the Holy Body into thirteen parts. This numeral refers to the Lord Jesus Christ gathering together with His twelve disciples.

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

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