|Holy Week Primer|
|Great and Holy Friday|
|Great and Holy Pascha|
Theme: Barren Fig Tree
Gospel: “And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.” (Mt. 21:19)
Hymn: “Behold, the bridegroom comes in the middle of the night and blessed is the servant whom he shall find watching, and unworthy the servant whom he shall find heedless. Take care then, O my soul, and be not weighed down by sleep that you will not be given over unto death and be excluded from the Kingdom. But rise up and call out: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou O God, by the Theotokos have mercy on us.”
Message: Do not be like the Fig Tree that failed to produce fruit, but bear fruit (faith and good works) unto salvation.
Theme: Wise and Foolish Virgins
Gospel: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” (Mt. 24:42)
Hymn: “I see Thy Bridal chamber adorned, O my Savior, and I have no wedding garment that I may enter there. Enlighten the vesture of my soul O Savior and save me.”
Message: Be prepared for the coming of Christ the Bridegroom.
Theme: Sinful Woman
Gospel: “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.” (Mt. 26: 14-16)
Hymn: “The woman who had fallen into many sins, perceiving Thy divinity, O Lord, fulfilled the part of a myrrh-bearer; and with lamentations she brought sweet smelling oil of myrrh to Thee before Thy burial. ‘Woe is me’ she said, ‘for night surrounds me, dark and moonless, and stings my lustful passion with the love of sin. Accept the fountain of my tears, O Thou who drawest down from the clouds the waters of the sea. Incline to the groanings of my heart, O Thou who in Thine ineffable self-emptying hast bowed down the heavens. I shall kiss Thy most pure feet and wipe them with the hairs of my head, those feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise, and hid herself for fear. Who can search out the multitude of my sins and the abyss of Thy judgments, O Savior of my soul? Despite me not, Thine handmaiden, for Thou hast mercy without measure.”
Message: Be like the sinful woman who repented, not like Judas who betrayed Christ.
Theme: Lord’s Supper
Gospel: “Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Mt. 26:26-28)
Hymn: “When Thy glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before the supper, then the impious Judas was darkened by the disease of avarice, and to the lawless judges he betrayed Thee, the Righteous Judge. Behold, O lover of money, this man because of avarice hanged himself. Flee from the insatiable desire which dared such things against the Master! O Lord who deals righteously with all, glory to Thee.”
Message: Union with Christ through the Eucharist
Gospel: 12 Passion Gospels
Hymn: “Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the cross. He who is King of the angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heaven in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who in Jordan set Adam free receives blows upon the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear. We venerate Thy passion O Christ. Show us also Thy glorious Resurrection.”
Message: The love of the crucified Christ.
Gospel: “He is not here: for he is risen” (Mt. 28:6)
Hymn: “When Thou didst descend into death O Life Immortal, Thou didst slay hell with the splendor of thy Godhead! And when from the depths Thou didst raise the dead, all the powers of heaven cried out: O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory to Thee.”
Message: Death and hell are destroyed.
Great and Holy Pascha
Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God" (Jn. 1:1)
Hymn: "Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life."
Message: Salvation of the world