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Good Friday and the meaning of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice

Photo: Archive

According to Christian belief, Good Friday is the saddest and darkest day for all followers of Jesus Christ, the day commemorating Christ’s crucifixion and death upon the cross. Jesus became the true Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world. He established the Eucharist as the source of eternal life. In Orthodox worship, the day commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus is full of symbolism. On Good Friday, there is no Holy Mass, because Jesus, the eternal High Priest represents the sacrifice. That is why believers observe a strict fast by abstaining from food and water. In the morning, the Shroud is placed on a special “tomb” which stands in the center of the church and is decorated with flowers. The Royal Hours served at that time are entirely devoted to the events of this day. After the service, believers pass under the Holy Shroud all day long.

On Good Friday, all believers who want to take the Holy Communion visit their spiritual father to confess their sins. On this day, many people wonder whether they live a life worthy of Christ’s sacrifice and take stock of their actions. In the evening, a special service is held with the participation of all priests in the church. All believers attending the service participate at the chants dedicated to Christ’s sufferings and the sorrow of the Mother of God. After the service, the priests take the Holy Shroud out and carry it around the church in a procession symbolizing the Burial of Christ. Later, they place the Shroud again in the center of the church. After the Burial Service, the Holy Shroud is placed back in the middle of the church so that all clergy and parishioners can venerate it. The Shroud remains there until late evening on Great Saturday.

All prayers and chants on Good Friday commemorate Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for the sake of humankind and humanity.

Christ requiem - Daniel Spassov Milen Ivanov - YouTube

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