Holy Apostles Orthodox Church
345 Ridge Rd, Lansing, NY
Orthodox Church in America
Holy Week & Pascha 2019

During Holy Week, the Church remembers Christ's Passion and Resurrection with some of her most ancient and beautiful services. Walking with Christ to His Passion through Holy Week and entering into His Resurrection on Pascha night is an experience like no other. Below is a schedule of services at Holy Apostles for this year's Holy Week, with short explanations of the services. Many of these services are held “by anticipation”: Vespers is held in the morning, with the next day's Matins in the evening. This reflects the Church's eager hurrying toward the Resurrection, and also conveys a certain sense of time being “turned upside-down” by the events of Christ's Passion.

Sunday, April 21st

9:30 AM: Palm Sunday Liturgy
We remember Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem: after raising Lazarus, He comes as already the Conqueror of death.

6:30 PM: Bridegroom Matins
The Bridegroom Matins services have as their common theme the soul's readiness to receive Christ, as seen in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1–13). They take their name from the hymn “Behold, the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night...” The first service remembers Joseph in Egypt, an Old Testament foreshadowing of Christ's unjust suffering and the triumph of righteousness.

Monday, April 22nd

6:30 PM: Bridegroom Matins
The second Bridegroom Matins service gives special attention to the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14–30) and the need to use our spiritual gifts wisely.

Tuesday, April 23rd

6:30 PM: Bridegroom Matins
The third and final Bridegroom Matins service focuses on the contrast between the woman who washed Jesus' feet with precious oil, and Judas, who rejected and betrayed Christ.

Wednesday, April 24th

8:30 AM: Presanctified Liturgy
The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts has been served for our spiritual sustenance throughout Lent. On Holy Wednesday we hold this service a final time, and then put aside the Lenten order of services in order to focus on the events of Christ's Passion.

6:30 PM: Holy Unction
The service of Holy Unction is not officially included in the cycle of Holy Week services, but it has become a custom to hold it during Holy Week “for the healing of soul and body” so that, after the Lenten struggle to cleanse our souls and bodies, we come to the Feast refreshed and made whole.

Thursday, April 25th

9:00 AM: Vesperal Divine Liturgy
This service commemorates the Mystical Supper, at which Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

6:30 PM: Matins with Passion Gospels
This service centers around the reading of the Gospel accounts of Christ's Crucifixion, along with beautiful hymns in honor of His suffering for our salvation.

Friday, April 26th

9:00 AM: Royal Hours
The service of Royal Hours is held before the greatest feasts of the Church year, with hymns and Scripture readings showing how the Old and New Testament point to the mystery of our salvation.

2:30 PM: Vespers
Holy Friday Vespers remembers Christ's Body being taken down from the Cross and laid in the tomb. The burial-shroud is carried in solemn procession and laid in the middle of the Church until the Paschal Vigil.

6:30 PM: Matins with Lamentations
The “Lamentations” are verses interspersed with the reading of Psalm 118/119. They recall the use of this Psalm in funerals, but already the verses begin to turn toward victory and the Resurrection.

Saturday, April 27th

9:30 AM: Reception of Converts and Vesperal Liturgy
Holy Saturday is traditionally a day for receiving converts into the Church, with Lent having served as a time of preparation for them. This year we'll be welcoming five new members. The Holy Saturday Liturgy begins the celebration of the Resurrection: the spiritual mood of the day remains quiet and solemn, but the vestments and coverings in the church are changed to white, and the Scripture readings refer explicitly to the Resurrection. Christ rises quietly, with the joyful ``fanfare'' waiting until the evening vigil.

11:30 PM: Paschal Vigil
The vigil service begins quietly and somberly, then, after a solemn procession, erupts into joyful song. The Gospel is read in many languages, symbolizing Christ's Words going out into the whole earth. After Matins and the Liturgy, festive foods are blessed and all share in the joy of Christ's Resurrection.

Sunday, April 28th

2:00 PM: Agapē Vespers
The Paschal Liturgy is held as part of the Vigil, but we gather on the day of the Feast as well to share once again in the joy of Our Risen Lord.

Bright Week

Bright Week, the week following Pascha, is a continued celebration of the Resurrection. Liturgies will be served on Monday and Friday. During this week, we do not fast, and even the daily prayers take on a festive character, being replaced by special “Paschal Hours.”

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