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Great and Holy Saturday

The Epitaphios

On this day we celebrate the burial of Christ and His descent into Hades.  At Matins, usually held on Friday evening, the service begins with the 'Praises' (Ed. note - also called Lamentations) sung before the Epitaphion in the center of the church.  The predominant note at this service is not so much one of mourning as of watchful expectation.  For the time being God observes a Sabbath rest in the tomb, but we look forward to the moment when He will rise again, bringing new life and recreating the world:

Great and Holy Friday

Icon of The Crucifixion of our Lord and Savior

On this day we celebrate the sufferings of Christ: the mockery, the crown of thorns, the scourging, the nails, the thirst, the vinegar and gall, the cry of desolation, and all that the Savior endured on the Cross; also the confession of the Good Thief.  At the same time, the Passion is not separated from the Resurrection; even on this day of our Lord's deepest self-abasement, we look forward also the revelation of His eternal glory: