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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Holy and Glorious Pascha Preparation - Great and Holy Saturday - Junnaaz al-Maseeh - Hajmeh - Matins

Pascha
Cycle
Triodion Prophon-
isimon
Sundays
Great
Lent
Palm
Sun.
Sha-
neen-
eh
Great
and
Holy
Week
Great
and
Holy
Mon
Great
and
Holy
Tues
Great
and
Holy
Wed
Great
and
Holy
Thurs
Great
and
Holy
Fri
Great
and
Holy
Sat
Holy
and
Glor-
ious
Pascha

 

Fasting and Feasting

Holy Saturday is a day of strict fasting until the Vespers of Pascha. Feasting begins after the Vespers, which is about mid-day. Many Churches delay the Vespers until evening.

All services in Great and Holy Week are moved ahead 12 hours.

The reason is probably to make the services more convenient for the people to attend.

Great and Holy Week or Pascha Cycle
Liturgical
Service
of what
Liturgical
Day
Held on
what
Calendar
Day
Time
held
Royal Hours
(Great Hours)
of Great
and Holy
Saturday
on Great
and Holy
Friday
early
morning
often
9 am
Vespers
Jesus' descent
from the cross
of Great
and Holy
Saturday
on Great
and Holy
Friday
late
morning
Matins
Burial of Jesus
Junnaaz al-Maseeh
Epitaphios Service
of Great
and Holy
Saturday
on Great
and Holy
Friday
evening
Vespers
Blessing the new light,
Procession of Triumph,
The first proclamation
of the Resurrection,
Divine Liturgy
of Our Father among the Saints Basil
of Holy
and
Glorious
Pascha
on Great
and Holy
Saturday
morning
Matins
Hajmeh;
Paschal Orthros;
Divine Liturgy
of St. John
Chrysostom,
Blessing
of Holy Artos
(Pascha eggs
and bread)
of Holy
and
Glorious
Pascha
on Great
and Holy
Saturday
evening
/
night

Matins is the Funeral Service of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ's body (Funeral of Christ / Junnaaz al-Maseeh / Epitaphios Service) of Great and Holy Saturday, which is celebrated on Great and Holy Friday evening

  • Chanting of the lamentations at the Tomb
  • Processing around the church with the Crucified Body of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ in the Tomb
  • Venerating the Crucified Body of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ in the Tomb

Chanting of the lamentations at the Tomb

We gather around the Tomb (Epitaphion) and we sing Lamentations.

During the singing of the Lamentations (or Dirges or Praises), the priest incenses the entire church. Then, the priest sprinkles the tomb and the whole church with rose petals and / or perfumed holy water (rose-water). The verse recalls the myrrh-bearing women. The Great Doxology is sung.

Processing around the church with the Crucified Body of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ in the Tomb

The altar servers lift up the Tomb (Epitaphion). The priest leads the procession with the the Tomb (Epitaphion) around the church. The people, who follow the Tomb (Epitaphion), are carrying candles and singing "+Holy God! Holy Mighty One! Holy Immortal One! Have mercy on us. / +Quddouson (Qudooson) All‚h! Quddouson ul-qawee! Quddouson ulladhee la yamout! Irhamna. / +Agios O Theos! Agios Eeskhiros! Agios Athanatos! Eleison imas!" The procession goes out the door and around the church.
We go with Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ to Hades to proclaim the life of the approaching Resurrection.
The procession returns to the front door of the Church and stops.
The Tomb (Epitaphion) is held up. Everyone kisses the Holy Gospel book and passes under the passes under the Tomb (Epitaphion). This action signifies we symbolically die with Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ and are resurrected with Him.

Venerating the Crucified Body of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ in the Tomb

Back in the church, we read the Apostolos and Gospel.

Then everyone comes forward to venerate the Body of Christ in the Tomb (Epitaphion). At that time, the priest gives everyone a flower from the Tomb.

Closing this Liturgical Serevice

All the candles in the church are extinguished. The Light of the World lies in the Tomb, and the world lies in dark sadness. The dark church symbolizes the despair and defeat experienced before the dawn of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ's victory over the enemy of our salvation.
Those who wish may stay to pray; others should leave quietly and reverently.

Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ

Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ's body rests in the tomb while His spirit frees the righteous dead.

Name of Liturgical Service

This liturgical Service is sometimes named Ginnaz al-Maseeh. Technically, the word "Ginnaz" is wrong because a person can have only one funeral serivce.

Divine Liturgy resumes

From the time of the Crucifixion of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ at Matins (Service of the Twelve Gospels or Passion Gospels or Crucifixion Service) of Great and Holy Friday celebrated on Great and Holy Thursday evening to Vespers (Lighting of the New Fire; Procession of Triumph; First Announcement of the Resurrection; Divine Liturgy of Our Father among the Saints Basil) of Pascha is celebrated on Great and Holy Saturday morning, Divine Liturgy is not celebrated and Holy Communion is not given. The reason is that Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ is in the Tomb. The world is in dark sadness because the Light of the World has been taken away.

Liturgical Text

English MatinsText The Melkite Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand, a Microsoft Word .doc file

Liturgical Service on Web

Greek Catholic, Melkite Al-Bushra

Traditions

Traditions of Great Lent and Holy Week Melkite Greek Catholic Church Eparchy of Newton

Images

Images of Great and Holy Saturday Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Eparchy of Newton, (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States)
Images of Holy Week Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Eparchy of Newton, (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States)

Images of Holy Week Melkite Greek Catholic Church Eparchy of Newton

Pascha Cycle

Great and Holy Saturday is between Great and Holy Friday and Holy and Glorious Pascha.

How to determine when Great and Holy Saturday occurs

Great Lent is Forty Days.   A count back from the date of Pascha is made.


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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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Last Updated: Saturday, August 08, 2009, 22:28:33, CDT
The current date and time is: Friday, November 24, 2017, 08:51:53, CST or Friday, November 24, 2017, 14:51:53, GMT