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#378423 04/07/12 01:48 AM
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Hello, what are contained in the Lamentations of Good Friday in the Eastern rite? and is there an equivalent of these in the Western rite? Thank you so very much; wishing everyone a truly blessed Easter.
Patricia

simplicity #378428 04/07/12 12:28 PM
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Slava Isusu Khrestu

I was asked to attend a service in the Roman Catholic tradition last year by family. It was called a Tenebrae? Something about Jeremiah lamentations about Jerusalem which parraled the Lord's Passion.

We do have the "Lamentations before the Tomb " on Great Friday evening.


Unworthy
Kolya

simplicity #378434 04/07/12 02:47 PM
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Lamentations in the Byzantine rite is the name commonly given to Orthros (Matins) of Great Saturday; it is sometimes called Jerusalem Matins. In Greek, the service is called Epitaphios Threnos, and it is typically celebrated on the evening of Great Friday. It is preceded by the so-called Twelve Gospels, or Orthros of Great Friday, which is typically celebrated on the evening of Great Thursday. That service covers the Passion and the Crucifixion, down to the point that Christ's Body is deposited in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea. On the afternoon of Great Friday, Vespers encompasses the Epitaphios Service, in which Christ's body is symbolically removed from the Cross and placed on a bier called the Tomb, before the Royal Doors. In Slavic Churches, the Body is represented by an Epitaphion (Plaschenitija), an embroidered cloth shroud showing Christ's crucified body (there is some evidence that these became popular after the deposition of the Epitaphion of Edessa, often identified with the Shroud of Turin, in the Church of Blachernae in Constantinople in the 9th century). In the Melkite and Antiochiean Orthodox Churches, the Body is a large (almost life size) icon of Christ in the crucified position, which is actually nailed to a cross during the Twelve Gospels.

On the evening of Great Friday, Lamentations begins with the veneration of the Tomb, the singing of the Six Psalms and the usual preliminaries of Orthros. In place of the regular Troparia, Kontakia and stasis of the Psalter, the people sing the Lamentations and Encomia (Praises) which are a lament for the death of Christ and praise at the mystery of the Son of God undergoing death for our salvation.

After the Great Doxology, the Epitaphion (at this point, always a burial shroud) is carried in procession out of and around the Church, then placed back in the Tomb. The remainder of Orthros is sung, followed by the dismissal.


StuartK #378435 04/07/12 02:57 PM
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Thank you both so very much for your help and explanation! Do you know if there is a book/booklet which contains these prayers? Thank you again. Patricia

simplicity #378449 04/07/12 09:51 PM
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slava Isusu Khrestu

Hello SturatK

You write ,"the Epitaphion (at this point, always a burial shroud) is carried in procession out of and around the Church, then placed back in the Tomb" .

In our Greek Orthodox Church it is carried to the altar and deposited there.

Why the difference?

Unworthy
Kolya

simplicity #378450 04/07/12 10:47 PM
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There's an intermediate service that some Churches omit--the Protianastasis, or First Resurrection, which is Vespers celebrated together with the Divine Liturgy of Basil the Great (usually celebrated at sundown on Great Saturday). During Vespers, at the singing of "Arise, O God, and Judge the Earth", the Shroud is taken from the Tomb and placed on the Holy Table. At this point, too, the celebrants and servers change from red vestments to bright.

The symbolism of the service is Christ arose in the midst of night, without witnesses. Paschal Orthros, therefore, marks the discovery of the Empty Tomb on the morning of the third day (days running from sundown to sundown in biblical and liturgical reckoning). In my Melkite parish, the Shroud is removed from the Tomb during the Divine Liturgy held Saturday morning (for pastoral reasons). We celebrate Paschal Orthros at 9:30 this evening, and then Paschal Divine Liturgy at 11:00. We don't have a Divine Liturgy on Sunday according to secular reckoning.

If we were then to enumerate all the services one could attend for Pascha, these would include:

Vespers of Great Friday (the Twelve Gospels)
Orthros of Great Friday (Lamentations/Jerusalem Matins)
Vespers of Great Saturday/Divine Liturgy of Basil the Great (Protianastasis)
Paschal Orthros
Paschal Divine Liturgy

Monasteries, as well as some cathedrals and parishes, might also celebrate Compline on these days, but I haven't seen it much. Overall, if you just go to the services I listed above, you'll be in church roughly eight-nine hours over the course of three days. If Paschal Vespers, Protianastasis, Paschal Orthros and the Divine Liturgy are crammed into one day (as I experienced some years ago), then you might as well stay at church for all of Great Saturday.

Garajotsi #378459 04/08/12 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Garajotsi
slava Isusu Khrestu

Hello SturatK

You write ,"the Epitaphion (at this point, always a burial shroud) is carried in procession out of and around the Church, then placed back in the Tomb" .

In our Greek Orthodox Church it is carried to the altar and deposited there.

Why the difference?

Unworthy
Kolya


Actually, at our Melkite church, the epitaphion is also returned to the altar, not to the tomb. Stuart was **gasp** mistaken.

simplicity #378461 04/08/12 03:17 PM
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Really? It's very hard to see from the back of the church. And usually Lamentations is the biggest service of the year--but last night beat that. Khristos anesti!

Last edited by StuartK; 04/08/12 03:18 PM.
simplicity #378475 04/08/12 11:42 PM
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Here is the Third Stasis of Lamentations performed by Archangel Voices, using Byzantine chant in English.

StuartK #378490 04/09/12 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
If we were then to enumerate all the services one could attend for Pascha, these would include:

Vespers of Great Friday (the Twelve Gospels)
Orthros of Great Friday (Lamentations/Jerusalem Matins)
Vespers of Great Saturday/Divine Liturgy of Basil the Great (Protianastasis)
Paschal Orthros
Paschal Divine Liturgy



Think you might have got the names of the services a bit mixed up. The Twelve Gospels, which are celebrated Thursday evening in Greek and Antiochian (and thus Melkite) usage, are part of the anticipated service of Friday Orthros. The Lamentations or Dirges, celebrated Friday night, are part of the anticipated Saturday Orthros. The Great Blessing of Light and the Vesperal liturgy are correctly celebrated before noon on Great & Holy Saturday, because they are anticipated.

simplicity #378491 04/09/12 01:33 PM
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You are right. I was very tired when I wrote that.

simplicity #378525 04/10/12 09:13 AM
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We all are! If you took the full and prayerful journey through Great & Holy Week right up to the celebration of the Resurrection -- together with some serious fasting -- you'll be in need of a good rest!
Those of us who assisted in chanting over the last weeks have lost our voices!
Those of us who assisted in serving the prayers and liturgies are now recharging our cattle-prods! (I think I need to double the charge: too many priests and deacons presenting themselves with little or no preparation at beautiful, but complex services, sometimes performed only once a year. It's like herding cats!) cry

Matta #378528 04/10/12 01:16 PM
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And some of us are now in the midst of Holy Week...

The "Lamentations" can also refer to the Canon for Small Compline of Great and Holy Friday, although (unfortunately) this beautiful composition is not heard often in parishes. As mentioned it is most commonly associated with the Stations at Jerusalem Matins on Great and Holy Saturday intercalated with Psalm 118. And to make a long story longer this term can also refer to the "Lamentations" sung at the tomb of the Mother of God in some traditions on the Dormition, also sung with verses of Psalm 118 similar to Great and Holy Saturday.

simplicity #379075 04/23/12 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by simplicity
Thank you both so very much for your help and explanation! Do you know if there is a book/booklet which contains these prayers? Thank you again. Patricia


either the Phoenix Eparchy or the Pittsburgh Metropolia has one.

we have these printed lose in report covers for the Holy Week services.

hawk

simplicity #379104 04/23/12 11:24 AM
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In the Russian tradition the Shroud is removed from the tomb during the Midnight Office (Polunoshnitsa) during the Ninth Ode of the Canon. At St. Michael's we begin this Hour at 11:30 p.m. so we can begin the Paschal Matins at midnight.

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