On Great Friday, April 26, when the Holy Churchremembers the holy, salvific, and terrible sufferings anddeath of our Lord Jesus Christ, Bishop Nicholas ofManhattan led the divine services in the SynodalCathedral of the Sign in New York City, co-served bycathedral clergy.
On Great Friday, Liturgy is not served, because on thisday, the Lord brings Himself in sacrifice. The divineservices on the day of Christ’s Passion began with theRoyal Hours. The order of the reading of the Hours isvery ancient; dating back to Apostolic times, documentsindicate the 3rd, 6th, and 9th Hours as times whenChristians would gather for prayer. With the arrival of anew day, they would appeal to God in its First Hour andsing psalms, which led to the establishment of the 1stHour. On the Third Hour (9:00 AM by our reckoning),they would commemorate the descent of the Holy Spiriton the Apostles, and call down His grace. The Sixth Hourwas dedicated to the remembrance of the CrucifiedSavior, while the Ninth Hour was dedicated to theremembrance of His death on the Cross.
After the reading of the Hours, Vespers was served in theCathedral of the Sign, and the Shroud was brought out ofthe altar.
All those present venerated the Shroud, while the canonof the Lamentation of the Theotokos was read.
Vespers is the prelude to Matins for Great Saturday,during which the Church commemorates the Burial of theLord Jesus Christ, when the Savior’s Body was takendown from the Cross and placed in a new tomb. Thetouching singing of the cathedral clergy and the SynodalChoir lent the service a truly prayerful tone.
On Friday evening, Bishop Nicholas led Matins and theprocession with the Shroud in the Synodal Cathedral inNew York City, symbolizing the Burial of the Savior.Already here, after the burial of the tortured and murderedLord, His Resurrection is anticipated, and after theprocession, the Prophecy of Ezekiel concerning thecommon resurrection is read, followed by triumphalsinging and the reading of the Gospel.
New York City: Bishop Nicholas leads Great Friday Services in Synodal Cathedral