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Children in white robes with blue painted faces and a dark hooded figure, symbolizing the betrayer of Christ, join the Thursday morning procession to the church. There they promise to serve God for the next three or five years, until their eyes start to bleed just like Christ's would. That night, there is a symbolic search for Jesus when the "Pharisees" visit various crosses in the streets and capture the "old man" symbolic Jesus. On Friday a member of the church who volunteers to represent Jesus is beaten and buried for two days.

On Saturday, an image of Jesus' betrayer, Judas Iscariot , and takes place an apotropaic battle destroying the evil which has been accumulated in the town during the next year. A dance drama is performed enacting evil being defeated by good.

The Gospels for Lent and the Passion of Christ

In the predominantly Catholic Philippines , Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are national holidays; work is suspended in government offices and private businesses. Most stores are closed and most people in the cities return to their home provinces to commemorate Holy Week in their home town. In some communities most famously in San Fernando , Pampanga , the processions include devotees who self-flagellate and sometimes even have themselves nailed to crosses as expressions of penance.

After PHT on Good Friday the time at which Jesus is traditionally believed to have died , noise is discouraged, many radio stations and television stations close down some broadcast religious programming, with non-Catholic owned stations continuing broadcast , and the faithful are urged to keep a solemn and prayerful disposition through to Easter Sunday. Many Filipinos bring home the palm leaves after the Mass and place these above their front doors or their windows, believing that doing so can ward off evil spirits.

The chanting, which continues day and night without interruption, lasts as long as two straight days. The last Mass before Easter is also celebrated on Maundy Thursday, usually including a reenactment of the Washing of the Feet of the Apostles. This Mass is followed by the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to be transferred to the Altar of Repose.

Good Friday in the Philippines is commemorated with street processions, the Way of the Cross , the commemoration of Jesus' Seven last words Siete Palabras and a Passion play called the Sinakulo. Easter Day is marked with joyous celebration, the first being the dawn Salubong rite, wherein statues of Jesus and Mary are brought in procession together to meet, imagining the first reunion of Jesus and his mother Mary after Jesus' Resurrection.

This is followed by the joyous Easter Mass. Most Catholic communities across the Philippines practice this, though it is more popularly celebrated in the provinces. A tradition dating from medieval times that has spread to other cities in Andalusia , the "Semana Santa en Sevilla" is notable for featuring the procession of "pasos" , lifelike wood or plaster sculptures of individual scenes of the events that happened between Jesus's arrest and his burial, or images of the Virgin Mary showing grief for the torture and killing of her son. Holy week processions in Seville include marching bands that escort the pasos.

These pasos and tronos are physically carried on their necks or "braceros" this name is popular in Leon. The paso can weigh up to five metric tonnes. In front of them walk the penitentes, dressed in long purple robes, often with pointed hats, followed by women in black carrying candles for up to 11 hours.

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Those members who wish to do so wear these penitential robes with conical hats, or capirotes , used to conceal the face of the wearer. These "Nazarenos" or "Papones" this word is typical from Leon carry processional candles, may walk the city streets barefoot, and may carry shackles and chains in their feet as penance.

Good Friday Gospel reflection: Christ’s passion unites us all - Catholic Digest

Carlo Gesualdo 's Responsoria et alia ad Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae spectantia contains settings of all 27 Tenebrae responsories for matins of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday , and of a few other text for use in lauds of the Holy Week. The two days that follow, Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday , form a transition to Holy Week, neither in Lent nor in Holy Week themselves, but in combination with Holy Week containing the continuing observances in preparation for Pascha Easter , during which the faithful continue to fast.

Lazarus Saturday commemorates Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead, just before he went to Jerusalem himself. The main themes anticipate the Resurrection of Jesus , showing him as master over death.

The Gospels for Lent and the Passion of Christ

On this day wine and oil are allowed and, in the Russian tradition, caviar , lightening the fast by one degree. Palm Sunday is considered one of the Great Feasts of the Lord, and is celebrated with fish, wine and oil, the lightest degree of fasting, in observance of the festival. Because it is a Great Feast of the Lord, the normal resurrectional elements of the Sunday services are omitted. However, some of these resurrectional elements are found in the Lazarus Saturday service.

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However, during Holy Week, in most parishes, many service times are advanced from six to twelve hours in time and celebrated in anticipation, which permits more of the faithful to attend the most prominent services. Thus, it is the matins service of Great Monday that is on "Palm Sunday" evening in parish churches and often vespers is in the morning. Fasting during Great and Holy Week is very strict, as in Lent at a minimum: dairy products and meat products are strictly forbidden, and on most days, no alcoholic beverages are permitted and no oil is used in cooking.

Holy Friday and Holy Saturday especially may exceed Lenten norms. Those who can, including monastics, observe them as days of abstention, meaning that nothing is eaten on those days. However, fasting is always adjusted to the needs of the individual, and those who are very young, ill or elderly are not expected to fast as strictly. Those who are able may receive the blessing of their spiritual father to observe an even stricter fast, whereby they eat only two meals that week: one on Wednesday night and one after Divine Liturgy on Thursday.

A new liturgical day beginning at sunset, the first service of each day is vespers at which stichera are chanted elaborating the theme of the new day. These days' Orthros services which in parishes is performed the previous night are often referred to as the "Bridegroom Prayer", because of their theme of Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church, a theme expressed in the troparion that is solemnly chanted during them. On these days, an icon of the "Bridegroom" is placed on an analogion in the center of the temple , portraying Jesus wearing the purple robe of mockery and crowned with a crown of thorns see Instruments of the Passion.

The same theme is repeated in the exapostilarion , a hymn which occurs near the end of the service. These services follow much the same pattern as services on weekdays of Great Lent. The canon that is chanted on these days is a "Triode", i. The hymn , written in the 9th century by Kassia tells of the woman who washed Christ's feet in the house of Simon the Pharisee.

O Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins, sensing Your Divinity, takes upon herself the duty of a myrrh-bearer. With lamentations she brings you myrrh in anticipation of your entombment. Receive the fountain of my tears, O You who gathers into clouds the waters of the sea. Incline unto me, unto the sighings of my heart, O You who bowed the heavens by your ineffable condescension. I will wash your immaculate feet with kisses and dry them again with the tresses of my hair; those very feet at whose sound Eve hid herself from in fear when she heard You walking in Paradise in the twilight of the day.

As for the multitude of my sins and the depths of Your judgments, who can search them out, O Savior of souls, my Savior? Do not disdain me Your handmaiden, O You who are boundless in mercy. On vespers at the end of Monday through Wednesday is a reading from the Gospel which sets forth the new day's theme and then the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts may be celebrated.

The Byzantine musical composition expresses the poetry so strongly that it leaves many people in a state of prayerful tears. The Hymn can last upwards of 25 minutes and is liturgically and musically a highpoint of the entire year. This is in commemoration of the anointing of Jesus , and a preparation of the faithful to enter with Christ into his death and Resurrection.

Orthros of Great and Holy Thursday does not follow the format of Great Lent with the singular exception of chanting Alleluia in place of God is the Lord , but is celebrated as outside Lent, having a complete canon. There is a custom among some churches to place a simple white linen cloth over the Holy Table altar for this Liturgy, reminiscent of the Last Supper. In cathedrals and monasteries it is customary for the bishop or hegumen abbot to celebrate the Washing of Feet.

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When it is necessary for an autocephalous church to consecrate more chrysm the primate of that church will consecrate it at this Liturgy. Great and Holy Thursday is the only day during Holy Week when those observing the strict tradition will eat a cooked meal, though they will not do so until after the dismissal of the Liturgy. At this meal wine and oil are permitted, but the faithful still abstain from meat and dairy products. During this service, twelve Matins Gospels are chanted, from which this service derives its name of "Matins of the Twelve Gospels".

These Gospel lessons recount in chronological order the events from the Last Supper though the Crucifixion and burial of Jesus. At one point, when we reach the first Gospel which speaks of the Crucifixion, there is a custom for the priest to bring out a large cross with an icon the crucified Christ attached to it, and places it in the center of the nave for all the faithful to venerate.

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This cross will remain in the center of the church until the bringing out of the epitaphios the next evening. These are a solemn celebration of the Little Hours with added hymns and readings. The figure of Christ is taken down from the Cross, and a richly embroidered cloth icon called the Epitaphios Church Slavonic : Plashchanitza depicting Christ prepared for burial is laid in a " Tomb " decorated with flowers.

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At the end of the service all come forward to venerate the Epitaphios. Matins of Great and Holy Saturday is, in parish practice, held on Friday evening. The service is known as the "Orthros of Lamentations at the Tomb ", because the majority of the service is composed of the clergy and faithful gathered around the tomb, chanting the "Lamentations" interspersed between the verses of Kathisma XVII Psalm At a certain point the priest sprinkles the tomb with rose petals and rose water.

Near the end of the service, the Epitaphios is carried in a candlelit procession around the outside of the church as the faithful sing the Trisagion. Vespers joined to the Divine Liturgy is served on Great and Holy Saturday, prescribed by the Liturgical books to be served in the afternoon but often served in the morning. Just before the reading of the Gospel, the hangings and vestments and changed from dark lenten colors to white, and the entire mood of the service changes from mourning to joy. However, the faithful do not yet greet one another with the Paschal kiss , since the Resurrection has not yet been announced to the living.

If there are catechumens who are prepared for baptism they are baptized and chrismated during the Old Testament readings. Afterwards, all of the lighting in the church is extinguished and all remain in silence and darkness until the stroke of midnight. Then, the priest lights a single candle from the eternal flame on the altar which is never extinguished. The light is spread from person to person until everyone holds a lighted candle.

A procession then circles around the outside of the church, recreating the journey of the Myrrh Bearers as they journeyed to the Tomb of Jesus on the first Easter morning. The procession stops in front of the closed doors of the church.

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The opening of these doors symbolized the "rolling away of the stone" from the tomb by the angel, and all enter the church joyfully singing the Troparion of Pascha. Paschal Orthros begins with an Ektenia litany and the chanting of the Paschal Canon. One of the highpoints is the sharing of the paschal kiss and the reading of the Hieratikon Catechetical Homily of John Chrysostom by the priest. The Divine Liturgy follows, and every Orthodox Christian is encouraged to confess and receive Holy Communion on this holiest day of the year.

A breakfast usually follows, sometimes lasting till dawn. Slavs bring Easter baskets filled with eggs, meat, butter, and cheese—foods from which the faithful have abstained during Great Lent —to be blessed by the priest which are then taken back home to be shared by family and friends with joy. On the afternoon of Easter Day, a joyful service called " Agape Vespers" is celebrated During this service the Great Prokeimenon is chanted and a lesson from the Gospel [47] is read in as many different languages as possible, accompanied by the joyful ringing of bells.

On this day a special service called "The Unction of the Sick" is conducted. It consists of seven prayers and at the conclusion of the prayers, the priest anoints each member of the congregation with the holy oil. This day is related to the events of Holy Week in that John 12 tells of a visit of Jesus to Lazarus immediately before recounting the events of Palm Sunday. Since the liturgical day starts from the evening before a calendar day, the prayers of Palm Sunday begin on the evening of Lazarus' Saturday.

Throughout Holy Week, a paschal service is conducted each evening, starting on Sunday night the eve of Monday , and every morning, up until Easter. These paschal services take place in the middle of the church, not on the altar, because Jesus suffered and was crucified on Golgotha, outside of Jerusalem. The altar is bared of all its coverings and relics. Likewise, each night service is also divided into the same five hours. During each hour, one prophecy is read at the beginning, a hymn is chanted twelve times, a psalm is sung in a sad tune, one passage from a gospel is read, and an exposition concludes the hour.

During the eve of Friday, four gospel passages are read, and more prophecies are read as well.