Holy Week is the week before Easter (from the Sunday of the Vaion in the evening to the M. Saturday) and is called “Great”, because the events that take place and are experienced in the Holy Temples are worldly for man!
How is operating time experienced in the Holy Week?
The Church, from its great charity, in order to allow as many believers as possible to participate in the Sequences, has allowed from the beginning of M. Week, to sing the next day’s Orthos. (e.g. on the Sunday of the Bays in the evening the Orthros of the Holy Monday is chanted).
What happens on Holy Week days?
The first four days prepare us spiritually for the divine drama and the Sequences are called “Sequences of the Nymph”.
Holy Monday (Sunday Night):
Holy Monday is dominated by two events:
a) The life of Joseph the 11th son of Patriarch Jacob, the so-called Pagkalos, that is, the beautiful one in body and soul. Joseph fore paints in his adventure (sold as a slave in Egypt) Christ himself and His passion.
b) The incident of the fruitless fig tree that Christ knew (Matt. 21, 18-22):
It symbolizes the Synagogue of the Jews and in general the life of the Israeli people who were fruitless from good works.
Holy Tuesday (Holy Monday night):
On Holy Tuesday we remember and live two parables:
a) The ten virgins (Matt. 25,1-13) who teaches us to be ready and full of faith and charity.
b) The Oscillations (Matt. 25,14-30), which teaches us to be hard-working and we must cultivate and increase our spiritual gifts.
Holy Wednesday (Holy Tuesday night):
The Holy Wednesday is dedicated to the sinful woman (Luke 7.47), who repented the Lord’s feet with myrrh and was forgiven for her sins, for showing great love and faith in the Lord. The famous tropario (glorious) of the Hymnographer Monastery kassiani is chanted.
Holy Thursday (Holy Wednesday night):
On Holy Thursday we celebrate 4 events:
a) The Holy Sink, that is, the washing of the feet of the disciples by the Lord, showing what the ministry of the faithful in the Church should be.
b) The Last Supper, i.e. the tradition of the Mystery of the Eucharist.
c) The Lord’s Prayer, in the Mount of Olives and
d) the Betrayal of Judah, that is, the beginning of the Lord’s Passion.
Good Friday (Holy Thursday night):
On Good Friday we have the Climax of the Divine drama, the “Sequence of Passions” is held and we remember and experience the Saviors and horrible Passions of our Lord and God.
(d) the humiliations
(f) the thorn wreath and, in particular, the
(g) Crucifixion and
(h) the death of our Christ.
Holy Saturday (Good Friday morning and evening):
On the Holy Saturday morning we celebrate:
(a) the Burial of the Lord;
b) His Descent to Hades, where he preached to all the dead. Thus Good Friday morning (calendar), the following sequences are performed: Sequence of the Great Hours and at 12.00 noon of the Restoration, i.e. the Burial of the Lord by Joseph the Arimathaeus and Nicodemus the Pharisees, member of the M. Council and secret disciple of the Lord.
On Good Friday night (calendar) the Praise is chanted and we have the procession of the Epitaph!
Easter Sunday (Holy Saturday morning and night from 12.00 a.m.):
On the Holy Saturday (calendar) morning, we have the so-called “1st Resurrection”, that is, the pre-recoil of the Resurrection transmitted by the hymns and the anticipation of the redemption of the whole building from decay and death!
On the Holy Saturday at 12.00 (i.e. essentially on Sunday), we have the lively Resurrection of our Lord, the defeat of death and decay and the touch of the Holy Light on the world from the Holy Grave.
Easter Sunday at 11.00 a.m. or in the afternoon, the “Evening of Love” takes place, where in many languages the Holy Gospel is read and the victory of death and the era of the New Testament, joy and resurrectable hope are claimed worldwide.
What is the deeper meaning of Passions and Resurrection for all of us Believers?
Believers experience the passions and resurrection of Christ by actively participating in them with “sympathy”, “assembly” and “resurrection”! Christ, by his will (voluntarily), has suffered and risen to save all of us! This means that we do not “fatalistically” regret his Passion, but for our sins and after we sincerely regret we can the objective salvation that Christ has carved to make it subjective – personal salvation!