Thursday, April 1, 2010

Megali Pempti - Holy Thursday - Σήμερον Kρεμάται επί Ξύλου...Today He is Crucified...


In the morning, the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated. At this Divine Liturgy, the Church commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist by the Lord at His Last Supper with His disciples.

Here, Christ presented bread and wine as His body and blood, which form the core of the new covenant between God and His people, the Church.

In the evening, in the Orthros of Holy Friday, the Church recalls the Passion of the Lord, from His betrayal by Judas Iscariot, His agony and arrest at Gethmane, His trial by Jewish religious leaders and Roman authorities, His beatings and mocking, and crucifixion and death on the Cross. This service is long, with twelve readings from the Gospels recounting the events, but its content is dramatic and exceptionally moving, culminating with the Hymn of the Crucifixion... Σήμερον κρεμάται επι Ξύλου.

After the reading of the fifth Gospel comes the procession with the icon of the Crucified Christ around the church, while the priest chants the compelling hymn Simeron Krematai epi Ksylou...Today the Lord is crucified...

 This is the traditional version by Evangelos Hardavellas, Protopsaltis or Lead Chanter...

and that sung by singer Manolis Mitsias, who incidentally is a priest's son and spends a large part of his free time as a psalti or chanter.

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