Apr 06 2007

Holy Week: Good Friday

Holy Friday

CrucifixionHoly Friday (In Armenia, High Friday: Ավագ ???բաթ) is the most solemn and sad day for Christians. It is likely that the name “Good Friday” came from the earlier English name, “Godes Friday,” meaning “God’s Friday.” In much the same way as “God be with ye” was shortened to “goodbye,” so did “Godes Friday” become “Good Friday.” The Crucifixion service, usually held at midday, recalls the suffering, crucifixion and death of our Lord. The memorial service features readings of the psalms.

In the evening, at the entombment or burial service, a white tomb is placed in the chancel of the church. It is adorned with flowers and during the service is taken in procession around the church. The hymn is heard:

“The Son of Righteousness, Christ, was placed in a dark pit, and the ray of glory from the Father was hidden under a stone in the midst of the earth.”

As they leave the church, the faithful approach the tomb, kiss the Gospel book and take a flower.

A Divine Liturgy is never celebrated on Good Friday (which they call “Holy and Great Friday”), except when it coincides with the feast of the Annunciation. Instead of the Divine Liturgy, the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholics meet up to three times during the day for prayer: in the forenoon, to pray the Royal Hours appointed for that day; in the afternoon, around the 3 p.m. (the time of day that the Bible gives for the death of Christ), the Vespers of Holy Friday; and in the evening, the Matins of Holy Saturday.

Today’s Prayer
How long would it take your omnipotent power to
pardon my transgressions?
Not even the batting of the eye,
not the fleeting side glance,
not the quick glaring flash,
not the slightest hesitation,
not the hurried footstep,
not the raindrop?s coursing a cubit,
not the grasp of a line by the mind,
not the speed of light,
not the taking of a breath.

None of these insubstantial, fleeting events or
ephemeral states is so short or instantaneous as
the disintegration, destruction and melting of the
glacier of my sins by your power God, Lord of all,
Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, beyond human understanding.
You grant the sun of sweetness to the evil as
well as the good, and make it rain upon both.
You mete out fairly the vicissitudes of life.
Those who find contentment in the expectation
of rewards, you pay with the spurs of temptation
for their few sins.
And those who have chosen the worldly life,
you forgive with mercy
ministering your care to both alike,
awaiting their return to you.
To you glory, Almighty, for the miraculous work
of your patient loving care,
blessed forever.

Today’s Scripture (Reading)

Mark 15:1-41
Matthew 27:1-56
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Zechariah 12:8-14
Matthew 27:1-61

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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