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Friday, April 06, 2007

Great Friday

Today at 3:00 PM, Holy Transfiguration had Vespers with the Descent from the Cross. This service consisted of Vespers, and towards the end of Vespers, the image of Christ that had been affixed with nails to the cross last night was removed and brought into the sanctuary. At least, I think that is what happened. I couldn't really tell because I was with the choir on the front left of the church, and this was happening on the front left. Unfortunately, I didn't get a clear view because the priests, deacon, acolytes and the tomb were all in my line of vision.

At the end of the service, there was a second procession, in which Father Joseph was under a small canopy carried by Father Ephraim and Father Charles, and he carried the gilt book of the Gospels. This was carried around the church and around the tomb, after which it was placed in the tomb. After this, the faithful came to the resting place and venerated the Word of God with the customary prostrations as they were able.

In the evening at 7:30, I attended the service of Matins and the burial of Jesus, or the Epitaphios Service. In this service, the focus is on Christ in the tomb, as the faithful look forward to His Resurrection. But until He rises, we continue the fast, abstinence and the solemnities.