According to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Good Friday is described as the day the faithful commemorate the death of Jesus on the Cross. For Orthodox Christians this is the culmination of the observance of His Passion by which Jesus suffered and died for the sins of the believers. This commemoration actually begins on Thursday evening with a service called the Matins of Holy Friday and concludes with a Vespers service on Friday afternoon where the unnailing of Jesus from the Cross and the placement of His body in the tomb are observed. This service is meant to commemorate the sufferings of Jesus: the mockery, the crown of thorns, the scourging, the nails, the thirst, the vinegar and gall, the cry of desolation, and all that Jesus endured on the Cross.
Orthodox Christians return later that evening to attend Friday night services, listening to readings that relate the last instructions of Jesus to His disciples, the prophecy of the drama of the Cross, the dramatic prayer of Jesus and His new commandment.
Then, after the reading of the fifth Gospel comes the procession with the Crucifix around the church, while the priest chants and the congregation respond with prayers and song. During this Procession, Orthodox Christians kneel, pay their respects to the Cross, and pray for their spiritual well-being. The service concludes with the faithful approaching to reverently kiss the Crucifix which has been placed at the front of the church.
Well, that wraps up our posts this week of how Greek Orthodox Christians celebrate Holy Week leading up to Easter. Thank you for allowing us to share some of these magnificent traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation which million of Greek Orthodox families continue to honor and observe worldwide .
Mayr will be back next week with all new posts … until then … enjoy the beauty that life has to offer and stay organized!
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu
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Great and Holy Friday. (2015). Retrieved April 5, 2015, from Great lent, holy week and pasca: http://lent.goarch.org/holy_friday/learn/