Saturday, 18 April 2009

Easter Epitaph

This is the Epitaph of Christ. Every year on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, we dressed the coffin of Christ with season flowers and we place an icon of Jesus inside. We all come in worship it, kiss it as if we would kiss a dead family member - some people actually do cry. The priest then comes out and sprays on everyone a perfume and a wonderful scent from a plant known as mira, just as they did 2000 years ago on Christ’s grave. After everyone has prayed, four men carry the coffin three times round the church while the bell is ringing. Then they hold it above the entrance and the people pass below it, therefore being blessed by Christ himself.

The priest then takes the icon into the altar space, which is the most sacred position in a church where he makes spiritual contact with the heavens, and prays over it.
While this is taking place the local women are chanting Easter burial hymns.

The priest makes his peace with god and then he comes out and goes to the grave and reads little papers with names of dead people given to him by those attending the service; by reading those names on Christ’s grave the angels have a clearer signal and they place the souls of those dead people in a better position in heaven.

The priest than gives a sermon to the people and asks them to take the flowers from the grave home with them. These flowers are than used as protection in the house either by being burned as incense or just placed by an icon.

1 comment:

lefteris said...

Happy easter to all in Azogires
Christos anisti