Holy Week

Today is Holy Friday. We celebrated Holy Thursday last night which “begins with the celebration of vespers and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, in representation of the earthly presence of Christ realized at the Last Supper. In the evening, anticipating the Matins of Friday morning, the Holy Passion service of the reading of the Twelve Gospels is conducted. In these readings Christ’s last instructions to his disciples are presented, as well as the prophecy of the drama of the Cross, Christ’s prayer, and his new commandment. The twelve readings are:
John 13:31-18:1Crucifixion
John 18:1-29
Matthew 26:57-75
John 18:28–19:16
Matthew 27:3-32
Mark 15:16-32
Matthew 27:33-54
Luke 23:32-49
John 19:19-37
Mark 15:43-47
John 19:38-42
Matthew 27:62-66 ” http://orthodoxwiki.org/Holy_Week

I could not help but cry at so many things, but when the people cry out, “Let his blood be upon us and upon our children,” I wept. I can feel that weeping continuing in my heart. To wish the guilt of the blood of any man or woman to be upon you and upon your children is horrible, to wish the guilt of the blood of the Son of God upon you and your children? Oh, it is too terrible. And yet the guilt of that blood is upon me as well. For these very people, and I pray for me as well, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Oh How much I do not know what I do. How much sin is in this willful, rebellious, disobedient heart. Oh God, forgive me, for my sins are many.

How can we look upon the cross and not weep, in sorrow and in joy, for what kind of love is this? That the Creator of the world was nailed with the metals He created, upon a cross of a tree that He created and sustained, by people He created…oh, it is too much to bear.

Today we will remember and venerate the burial of Christ. It is solemn and beautiful. Oh such beauty is in the Orthodox Church! Oh such sorrow, oh such joy.

In celebrating these Holy Week services there is so much scripture! So much song! So much lamenting, so much anticipation of what is to come…for we will soon be celebrating Pascha. But first, we must celebrate, commemorate and take part in the burial of our Lord and Savior and our God.

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