Saturday, April 14, 2012

Good Friday: The Beauty and Majesty of The Epitaphio

Yesterday was Good Friday for all the Orthodox world, a solemn, mournful and moving day for us all marking the Death of Christ.

The church services tell us the story of the Crucifixion, the death of Christ, and how Joseph of Arimathea secured the body of Christ from Pontius Pilate, His removal from the cross, and His burial.

During the service, the Body of Christ is removed from the cross, wrapped in a white cloth (shroud)  and brought into the sanctuary. Following the reading, the priest carries the icon of the Epitafio through the church and places it in the Sephulchre (the kouvouklion), which has been decorated with the most beautiful of the spring flowers. 

In the photos below, you can see our photos from some of these majestic and beautifully decorated Epitaphios in churches around Greece. Despite the economic crisis, people donate the money to buy the flowers for the Epitaphio and the ladies and young women take great pride in making their church Epitaphio the most beautiful.

In the video below, the funeral procession, Perifora tou Epitaphiou, takes place.

Followed by members of the congregation holding lit candles, parishioners and in the case of the Cathedral Epitaphio, soldiers, carry the decorated Epitaphio from each church  to the main square of Sparta, where the people congregate and chant Ai Geneai Pasai...
a moving, haunting hymn, a moving and unique experience ...

The Holy Week Rituals and traditions are beautiful and unique - something everyone around the world should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Easter in Greece - a life experience.

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