Friday, April 25, 2008

Good Friday

In Orthodox liturgics a new day begins at Sundown and so it is natural that services for the following day are often held by way of anticipation on the evening before.  Last night was the first of the Good Friday services, a reading of twelve selections from the Gospels recounting the Passion, that is the arrest, trial and crucifixion of the Lord.  In between the Gospel readings we sang hymns and verses meditating on the wonder and paradoxes of what is taking place in that liturgical time of the service which places us simultaneously in Palestine and the present.  Here is an Antiphon we sang which seem to follow with the theme of water that has been cropping up in my posts this week:

Today he who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon a Tree, (x3)

He who is King of the Angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns.

He who wraps the heaven in clouds is wrapped in mocking purple.

He who freed Adam in the Jordan receives a blow on the face.

The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails.

The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a lance,.

We worship your Sufferings, O Christ (x3)

Show us also your glorious Resurrection.

The full service as translated by Archimandrite Ephrem Lash can be found here.