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SCHEDULE OF SERVICES FOR THE PASSION WEEK AND EASTER

April
13 - Thurs. - 18:30 - 12 Gospels of the Holy Passion
14 - Fri. - 18:30 - Vespers with the deposition of Holy Shroud
15 - Sat.
18:00 - Blessing of Easter eatables
21:30 - Reading Acts of the Apostles in many languages, all are welcome to participate
23.30 - Easter Vigil starts
16 - Sunday - a daytime service during our usual liturgy time may be held, please follow the announcements

HOLY THURSDAY

Troparion of this day:
When the glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before the supper,
the impious Judas was darkened by the disease of avarice,
and to the lawless judges he betrayed You, the Righteous Judge.
Behold, 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 You!

HOLY WEDNESDAY

On this day, the Church remembers at the divine service a woman who washed Jesus's feet with precious fragrant oil and wiped them with her hair. The disciples were indignant at the woman, saying that the oil could be sold for a big sum of money and distributed to the poor. But Christ does not just accept her gift, He promises: "Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” (Matthew 26:13).

Stichera of the Great Wednesday (written by nun Cassia):
A woman who had fallen into many sins, O Lord,
when she perceived Thy divinity,
equaling herself with the myrrh-bearing women,
In tears she brought Thee myrrh before Thy burial,
Crying: “Woe is me!
For I live in the night of licentiousness,
shrouded in the dark and moonless love of sin.
But accept the fountain of my tears,
Thou Who didst gather the waters of the sea into clouds!
Bow down Thine ear to the sighing of my heart,
O Thou, Who didst bow the heavens in Thine ineffable condescension!
Once Eve heard Thy footsteps in Paradise in the cool of the day,
and in fear she ran and hid herself.
But now I will tenderly embrace those pure feet
and wipe them with the hair of my head.
Who can measure the multitude of my sins,
or the depth of Thy judgments, O Savior of my soul?//
Do not despise Thy servant in Thine immeasurable mercy!"

THE PASSION WEEK

The Great Monday, or the Holy Monday is the Monday of Holy Week (the Passion week). On this day, the church recalls the story of the Old Testament patriarch Joseph, sold by his brothers to Egypt, as a prototype of the suffering Jesus Christ, and the Gospel narrative about Jesus' curse of a barren fig tree, symbolizing a soul that does not bring spiritual fruits i.e. true repentance, faith, prayer, and good deeds.
Troparion of the first three days of Holy Week:
Behold the Bridegroom comes at midnight, / and blessed is the servant whom he shall find watching, / and unworthy is the servant whom he shall find heedless. / Beware, therefore, oh my soul. / Do not be weighed down with sleep, / lest you be given up to death, / and lest you be shut out of the kingdom. / But rouse yourself, crying, / Holy, Holy, Holy are Thou O God. / Through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.
This troparion, being a reminiscence of the parable of the ten virgins, reminds believers of the Last Judgment and calls them to spiritual wakefulness.
Also eksapostilarion is sung three times for the first four days of Holy Week (reminiscence of the parable of the marriage feast):
I see Thy Chamber adorned, O my Savior, / and I have no wedding garment that I may enter there. / Make the robe of my soul to shine, O Giver of Light, / and save me.
The Chamber mentioned in eksapostilarion symbolizes the chamber of the Last Supper, and the worshipers are therefore invited to think about whether they are worthy to be witnesses and participants in the events of Holy Week.

PALM SUNDAY 2017 IN OUR PARISH

See all photos here

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