The decisive hour in the life of Christ has come. It is HOLY WEEK, that momentous series of days that have transformed this world. The Son of God comes triumphantly into Jerusalem, and the stage is set for the fulfillment of the promises of the Almighty. Change is about to come.
The icon of the Nymphios – THE BRIDEGROOM – sets the time for the week. The Lord is crowned with thorns, His hands are tied as a criminal. He carries the reed as a mock scepter. He is draped in a cape and His face hears the sad countenance of His impending suffering and death. The Bridegroom is to be taken away from us, and so the days of sadness are at hand.
At the beginning of the week, the parable of the Ten Virgins is read at services. It is found in the 25th Chapter of St. Matthew. This hymn reflects the significance of that story: “Behold, the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again, unworthy is he whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, lest you shut out of the Kingdom. Rather, rouse yourself and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God.”
Then, as the week continues, we come to the commemoration of the betrayal by Judas, the washing of the disciples’ feet, the institution of the Mystical Supper, the passion and death of the Lord, Christ’s descent into Hades, and finally the culmination of all things, PASCHA.
The Orthodox Weekly Bulletin - Cliffwood, NJ