Apr 05 2007

Holy Week: Thursday (Last Supper)

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday marks the institution of Holy Communion, which Christ distributed to His 12 apostles at the Last Supper.

During the Passover Meal, Christ broke and distributed unleavened bread and passed the wine. He told the Apostles that this was His Body and Blood of the New Covenant. Humankind could now participate in the Kingdom of God.

At Matins, we hear:

“O thou who hast prepared Thy mystic table, and didst this day give drink from the cup of immortality to Thy Holy disciples in the sacred Upper Chamber, we beseech Thee, have mercy.”
In the Evening

The service of the Washing of the Feet takes place in memory of the Lord’s example on Holy Thursday. Jesus took a towel and girded Himself and began washing His disciples’ feet, setting an example of humility and love for the earliest members of the Church.

The Service ends with the reading of John 13:12-14:

“For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
At Night

On Great Thursday, an all-night vigil is kept in memory of the last sleepless night of our Lord on earth. This service is called Khavaroom (darkness).

Before He was arrested, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and endured in solitude the agony of His impending death.

Six sets of laments are chanted, each followed by a Gospel reading depicting Christ’s betrayal, imprisonment, torture, trial, sentence, and crucifixion.

Twelve lit candles, 11 white and 1 black (representing Judas), are extinguished in pairs. The crucifixion hymn (Daradzyal) relates:

“From hand to hand and foot to foot stretched across wood upon wood the bitter fruit (of Crucifixion) transfers life into death between two unrighteous ones.

“Here was the naked figure of the lawgiver, whom the blind (unbelievers) could not see, except for one of the thieves.”

Today’s Prayer
My debts are too numerous to count,
but not so marvelous as your mercy.
My sins are many,
but small compared to your forgiveness.
My transgressions are frequent,
but your love for mankind vanquishes them all, powerful and almighty,
The stains on my soul are too numerous for me to count,
but for you they are very limited.
The weapons of sin produced by a miserable wretch like
me are not so strong against life as the memory of your
death, living Lord, for fending off the Destroyer.
What effect can a small shadow have on the light of
your day, God?
How can the dusk withstand your radiance, great God?
How can my unruly frail body be placed on the scales
with the cross of your suffering?
How does the mass of all the sins of the universe appear
to your eye, Almighty, who made everything in
abundance? Are they not for you but a clump of earth
that easily crumbles or a drop of rain that splatters in all
directions and disappears at your command?

Today’s Scripture (Reading)

Genesis 22:1-18
Isaiah 61:1-7
Mark 14:1-26
I Corinthians 11:23-32
Matthew 26:17-30
John 13:1-15

Daily Prayer and Scripture taken from the Armenian Church website

armenian church, lent, prayer, readings, scripture

About the author

Timothy Haroutunian

Timothy Haroutunian is a ServiceNow Cloud Implementation Specialist at Acorio. ServiceNow is an IT Management solution that allows for a complete view of your IT and physical environment.

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