Holy Week Schedule 2002
By Father Andrew Harrison
Palm Sunday, April 28:
Matins 8:15 AM , Divine Liturgy 9:30 AM at St. Luke. Commemorates Christ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Palm and pussy willow branches will be distributed for the procession around the Church. In the procession the Church is Jerusalem and we are the children singing, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." (John 12)
6:00 PM Evening, Bridegroom Service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago. The Church (represented by all of us), who is the bride of Christ, awaits the arrival of the Bridegroom, who is Christ (represented by Bishop Job). All youth are invited to participate.
Holy Monday, April 29, Evening 7:00 PM at St. Luke, Bridegroom Service. The priest represents Christ and the congregation is the Bride waiting for the Bridegroom. The Gospel Lesson is Matthew 22: 15-46, 23:1-30, "Woe unto to you, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites."
Holy Tuesday, April 30, Evening 7:00 PM at St. Luke, Bridegroom Service. Includes a procession with the Hymn of St. Cassian, which describes the life and conversion of the sinful woman who anointed Christ. The congregation will be blessed with rose water. The Gospel lesson is from John 12:17-50, "The hour has come for the Son to be glorified."
Holy Wednesday, May 1, Evening 7:00 PM, Sacrament of Holy Unction. The Church is called the Body of Christ. We are members of the Body through our Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, and Holy Communion. As the sinful woman anointed Christ, we are also anointed with the oil of healing so we can go with Christ to the Cross to suffer, die, and be resurrected with Him. There are 7 Epistle and 7 Gospel lessons regarding healing. "The prayer of the faith will save the sick." (James 5:15) We prepare for this service by prayer and fasting from noon.
Holy Thursday, May 2:
9:30 AM, Morning, Vesperal Liturgy. This service relives the Lord's Supper and the betrayal by Judas. The hymn "Of Your Mystical Supper, O Son of God" is sung throughout the service. At the conclusion of the service, breakfast will be served as an agape meal.
7:00 PM, Evening, Passion Gospel Service. This is one of the most important and solemn Holy Week services. It is a remembrance and an entrance into the suffering and death of Christ. The priest, standing in the center of the church surrounded by twelve lighted candles, reads the words of the apostles who witnessed the events. As each Gospel is read, one candle is extinguished. During the fifth reading, the priest processes with the Cross over his shoulder as he chants, "He who hung the earth upon the waters is now being hung on the cross." At the point of the sixth Gospel when "He yielded up the spirit" is read, the priest places a wreath of red flowers over the Cross. The service concludes with the veneration of the Cross. The lighted candles, which have been held by the faithful during the service, are taken home.
Good Friday, May 3:
3:00 PM, Afternoon, Procession with the Burial Shroud. At this service the icon of Christ is removed from the Cross as the priest reads, "And taking Him down, they wrapped Him in a linen shroud." The Shroud is then carried in procession as the choir sings the hymn of Noble Joseph. The procession ends as the Shroud is placed in the flower-decorated tomb. While the lamentations of the Virgin Mary are sung, the faithful make a prostration before the tomb and kiss the wounds on the figure of Christ on the Shroud.
7:00 PM, Evening, The Lamentations. These continue as Psalm 119 ("Blessed are those who walk in the law of the Lord") is chanted by the priest. The refrains are sung by the congregation: "O Life, how can You die?" During the singing of the 9th ode of the Canon, the priest blesses the congregation with rose water as rose petals are scattered around the church. When the hymn of Noble Joseph is sung, the priest, deacons, choir and congregation process around the outside of the church. They return to the church to hear the reading from Ezekiel about the valley of the dry bones. The service ends with the veneration of the shroud and distribution of flowers.
Holy Saturday, May 4:
9:30 AM, Morning, Vesperal Liturgy. The service celebrates Christ's descent into hell to free Adam and Eve and all who lived and died in anticipation of the coming of Christ. Fourteen Old Testament stories are read. The beautiful hymn from the Liturgy of St. James is sung, "Let all mortal flesh be silent." The Eucharist is extended into an agape meal consisting of wine, bread, fruit, dates, figs, and nuts.
Holy Saturday/Pascha Sunday, May 4/5:
11:30 PM, Late Evening, on Saturday and flowing into the early hours of Sunday.
BEYOND WORDS TO DESCRIBE!
CHRIST IS RISEN!
Pascha, Sunday, May 5, 12 noon , Agape Vespers. Includes a procession proclaiming the Resurrection of Christ. The Resurrection Gospels are read in as many languages as we have people to read them. An Easter egg hunt for the Church School Children follows the service.
Bright Monday, May 6, Morning 9:30 AM: The Paschal Liturgy is celebrated again with the proclamation procession.