14 May 2013

Greek Easter -- Holy Week

In Greek Orthodox tradition there is no "Holy Week" -- it is referred to as "Great Week" (Gr: Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα).  It starts with the Palm Sunday.  However most of the "church-going" begins on Wednesday afternoon with the Holy Unction.  In fact, Holy Unction is one of the 7 mysteries in the Greek Orthodox faith.

By Thursday evening we are all prepared with for our celebration (egg photo taken with cell phone)

However, the most solemn "practices" begin in the evening of Great Thursday, with the crucifixion of Christ.

It is customary for Greeks to attend the Thursday evening services, and most churches remain open after the service for the faithful to kiss the cross.

On Great Friday, in the afternoon Jesus is taken from the cross.  The Epitafios is prepared for the evening services.

The evening services of the Great Friday bring significantly more Greeks to church to attend services.

It is on Friday evening that the Epitafios is carried around the neighborhoods.


But it is not until Saturday evening that the churches and surrounding areas are filled with churchgoers to receive the light and hear the Hristos Anesti (Jesus has risen; Gr: Χριστός Ανέστη).

Around midnight the priest reading from the Gospel proclaims that Jesus has risen and the Easter celebration (ie partying begins).

On Sunday almost everyone has lamb.. This one was at my friend Evangelo's backyard.

Once the lamb was ready, Evangelos and I sort-of carved it and everyone seemed to enjoy it. (following are cell phone photos.  I am working on undoing the wires that kept the lamb in place;  in the second one Evangelos and I are "carving" the lamb)

As always, questions or comments are always welcome.

www.andreasthanos.com -- Commercial Photography
www.marbleheadphoto.com -- Portrait and Event Photography

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