Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Friday

On Holy FridayMorning:
In the Orthodox Church, we have a certain part of worship that is called “The Liturgy of the Hours.” They are chanted every single day, usually by members of the monastic community. On Holy Friday, though, we have all Churches chanting the service of the Royal Hours. They are called “Royal Hours”, because they are different from the regular service of the Hours (in that, they remember what happened, hour by hour, to Jesus Christ during His Passion).

Here’s what is remembered each Hour:
1st Hour: Judas’ death; Pilate's discussion with Jesus; the mocking of Christ; the Crucifixion and death of Christ
3rd Hour: Mocking Jesus; Crucifixion and death of Jesus
6th Hour: Crucifixion of Christ; the Thief on the Cross; Jesus’ death
9th Hour: Jesus’ commission to Panagia and St. John the Divine; Death of Christ; events thereafter
This service is usually done every Holy Friday morning, or Holy Friday afternoon right before Vespers.

1st Hour:
Psalm 5, Psalm 2, Psalm 22, Zachariah 11:10-13, Galatians 6:14-18, Matthew 27:1-56
3rd Hour:
Psalm 35, Psalm 109, Psalm 51, Isaiah 50:4-11, Romans 5:6-10, Mark 15:16-32
6th Hour:
Psalm 54, Psalm 140, Psalm 91, Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Hebrews 2:11-18, Luke 23:32-49
9th Hour:
Psalm 69, Psalm 70, Psalm 86, Jeremiah 11:18-12:5, 9-11, 14-15, Hebrews 10:19-31, John 19:23-37

Holy Friday Vespers
On Holy Friday afternoon, we gather in Church for the Vespers called The Service of the Descent from the Cross (Αποκαθήλωσις). During this service, various hymns are chanted about Jesus’ death. Various Bible readings are read after the “Thanksgiving of the Lighting of the Lamps”, which discuss the suffering and death of Jesus. Towards the conclusion of the Gospel reading, the Bishop or Priest, acting as Joseph of Arimathea, takes down the Body of Christ off the Cross. After this, the Bishop or Priest takes out the Επιτάφιο (an icon depicting Jesus being taken down off the Cross) and put it into the grave of Christ (which is decorated with various flowers). After the service is over, the people will come and venerate the Επιτάφιο with respect
OT Prophecies: Exodus 33:11-23, Job 42:12-17, Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:2
Gospel: Matthew 27:1-38, Luke 23:39-43, Matthew 27:39-54, John 19:31-37, Matthew 27:55-61

Editor: διάκονος. Camill Tannous
 Orthodox Christianity for Theological Research and Patrimony of church