Archive for the ‘Orthodox Worship’ Category

Holy Friday and Saturday 2009

April 24, 2009

holyfri2

I realize it’s the end of Bright Week, but I just figured out how to download the photos on my camera.  1400 of ’em takes up a lot of room.  Now that I’ve figured that out, the quality of the graphics should improve on this site.

holyfri4

I won’t swear to the chronological order of these photos.  You know how it is after 6 straight days of lenten services – they all sort of start to flow one into the other, and it’s hard to keep them straight. 

"Kiss the Gospel, kiss the face, kiss the feet"   Fr. L instructing my 7 yo

"Kiss the Gospel, kiss the face, kiss the feet" Fr. L instructing my 7 yo

 

HolySat

Liturgy Holy Saturday

The Lamentations

The Lamentations

I always forget just how long the Holy Friday Lamentations services are.   9 year old still willingly served….not joyfully, but as you can see below, that is just not the look of a serious dedicated altar boy – that look says “my feet are killing me… when is this going to be over?…I’m bored”.

lamentations

"Mom....(insert whine here)...this is taking foreeeevvverrrrr!"

 

The length of Holy Friday Lamentations is only exceeded by the Holy Saturday Liturgy (add a couple chrismations and you’ve got 3 hours).  But it’s an important and special service that I think too many people neglect to come to.  They’re home sleeping in or getting their Pascha baskets ready or cooking, and they miss out on the message and spiritual benefit of the service, as Christ descends into Hades and releases the souls from their imprisonment by Satan.  It is the end of the Old Testament bondage and the beginning of the new life in Christ. 

holy-saturday

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September 21 Leavetaking of the Exaltation of the Cross

September 21, 2008

In Orthodox tradition, feasts that celebrate the Holy and Lifegiving Cross always contain the singing of the hymn “Before Thy Cross, we bow down in worship…” while making full on-the-floor prostrations.  In my pre-Orthodox life, I had never bowed down before anything – literally and figuratively.   Now, the feasts of the Cross are one of my favorite worship experiences.  There is something so profound about the act of dropping to your knees and bowing your head to the ground.  It is an act that leaves you with a feeling of total submission and love for Christ through the Holy and Lifegiving Cross.  And why not venerate the instrument of God’s love?  It is his instrument of love and eternal life, not pain and death.

The Cross, is wood which lifts us up and makes us great … The Cross uprooted us from the depths of evil and elevated us to the summit of virtue”.  St John Chrysostom