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19-7 Holy Thursday and Holy Friday




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This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev radev@tune.cs.columbia.edu with numerous contributions by others.

19-7 Holy Thursday and Holy Friday

(by Plamen Sivov), last updated: 31-Jul-1994
HOLY THURSDAY AND HOLY FRIDAY

(repost from an Orthodox listserver)

"The vigil on the eve of Holy Thursday is dedicated exclusively to
the Passover Supper which Christ celebrated with his twelve apostles.
The main theme of the day is the meal itself at which Christ commanded
that the Passover of the New Covenant is to be eaten in remembrance of
himself, of his body broken and his blood shed for the remission of
sins. In addition, the betrayal of Judas and Christ's washing of the
disciple's feet is also central to the liturgical commemoration of the
day...The liturgical celebration of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday
is not merely the annual remembrance of the 'institution' of the
sacrament of Holy Communion. Indeed the very event of the Passover
Meal itself was not merely the last-minute action by the Lord to
'institute' the central sacrament of the Christian Faith before his
passion and death. On the contrary, the entire mission of Christ, and
indeed the very purpose for the creation of the world in the first
place, is so that God's beloved creature, made in his own divine image
and likeness, could be in the most intimate communion with him for
eternity, sitting at the table with him, eating and drinking in his
unending kingdom...Thus the 'Mystical Supper of the Son of God' which
is continually celebrated in the Divine Liturgy of the Christian
Church, is the very essence of what life in God's Kingdom will be for
eternity..." "The Matins of Holy Friday is generally celebrated
Thursday night. The main feature of this service is the reading of
twelve selections from the Gospels, all of which are accounts of the
passion of Christ...The first service belonging to Holy Saturday,
called in the Church the Blessed Sabbath, is the Vespers of Good
Friday. It is usually celebrated in the mid-afternoon to commemorate
the burial of Jesus..." [From, "Worship"--"The Orthodox Faith" by Fr.
Thomas Hopko.]

 

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