Sunday, 15 April 2012
British Orthodox Church in Bournemouth on Good Friday.
We celebrated this through Holy Week prayer services for the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th and 12th hours as well as the Burial Service for our lord, followed reading of the Prophecies and the entire book of Psalms.
At each of the prayer hours the Gospel readings representing these certain hours are read, with readings from all 4 Gospels at Each hours. For anyone that says Orthodoxy is not a Biblical Church, this adds up to 24 Gospel readings in these 12 hours alone.
After the 1st hour the Icons are covered with a black veil until the Pascha service. This represents the mourning of the Saints.
The 6th hour is when our Lord was brought to the cross. It is also when we remember the Good Thief, Saint Dismas who asked the Lord "Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." He is traditionally depicted in Orthodox Icons as the first into heaven, he is also one of my favourite Saints along with St Moses the Black and St Samuel the Confessor. It is at this hour that the lights in the Church are turned off since the Gospels say that Between the 6th Hour and 9th Hour there was darkness.
At the 9th hour we Witness the death of our Lord. At this time we mourn for the death of our Lord on the cross.
12th Hour - When our Lord is taken from the cross and is brought to the Sepulchre. Before this service the rose petals are plucked from the Roses removed from around the Icon.
This is followed by the funeral procession when the Lord's Burial icon is taken and covered by the Petals and spices, as the Lord's body was by the women at the Tomb.
After this we read stories of Salvation and Prophecy from the OT as well as the entire book of Psalms, to remind us of the Lord's love and caring for us.
The say starts around half 6 in the morning and ends around 9:30pm.