Simi Greece Good Friday at Ag. Athanasios
Photos from Good Friday on Simi, a Greek island. April 2011.
Photos that Neil took at church last night. He went up to Ag. Athanasios during the evening service and took some photos of the bier and the procession afterwards. I checked out some details at Lent.goarch.org where they have details of the services taking place during this Holy Week, and discovered that:
“On Great and Holy Friday the Orthodox Church commemorates the death of Christ on the Cross. This commemoration begins on Thursday evening with the Matins of Holy Friday and concludes with a Vespers on Friday afternoon that observes the unnailing of Christ from the Cross and the placement of His body in the tomb. Liturgically, the profound and awesome event of the death and burial of God in the flesh is marked by a particular kind of silence, i.e. by the absence of a eucharistic celebration. Great Friday and Great Saturday are the only two days of the year when no eucharistic assembly is held. However, before the twelfth century it was the custom to celebrate the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts on Great Friday. In addition to these icons, Orthodox churches process with and display a large wooden Crucifix with an image of Christ attached. At the Vespers on Friday, the image of Christ is removed from the Cross and wrapped in a white cloth. Another icon, one that depicts the body of Christ removed from the Cross, appears on the Epitaphios that is carried and placed in the Tomb during this service.”
We watched the processions as they made their way from the Castro, Ag Thanasis, Ag Triatha, and Ag Haritomeni down through the village and across, visiting other churches as they went. They were accompanied by the congregations of course, and also by the many bangers and dynamite explosions warding off the evil spirits. More of these are due to happen later today and especially tonight… [Original blog post here]