Great and Holy Friday: 2017

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and in fear and trembling stand, rendering nothing earthly-minded. For the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, comes to be slain, to give Himself as food to the faithful!

Great and Holy Friday

Today is Great and Holy Friday for Christians on the Gregorian Calendar. Today, our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified for the salvation of all mankind. He who created all is hung upon a cross by His creatures. Glory to your Passion, O Christ!

Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the tree,The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the Cross with nails. The Son of the virgin is pierced by a spear.

We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
Show us also Thy glorious resurrection.

Come and let us bless Joseph of everlasting memory, who came to Pilate by night and begged for the Life of all: ‘Give me this stranger, who has no place to lay His head. Give me this stranger, whom His evil disciple delivered to death. Give me this stranger, whom His Mother saw hanging on the Cross, and with a mother’s sorrow she cried weeping: “Woe is me, my Child! Woe is me, Light of mine eyes and beloved fruit of my womb! For what Simeon foretold in the temple is come to pass today: a sword pierce my heart, but do Thou change my grief to gladness by Thy Ressurrection.”

We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ.
We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ.
We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ, and Thy Holy Resurrection

Troparion of the Veneration of the Epitaphios at Great Vespers

Forgive me and in your charity pray for me. May we all celebrate the upcoming Feast of Feasts in peace and repentance.

If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. “Sacrifice a lamb without blemish”, commanded Moses, “and sprinkle its blood on your doors”. If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.  

 St. John Chrysostom