March 30th, 2013

Great and Holy Thursday 2013

On Great and Holy Thursday, the Lenten character of the services is for the most part set aside, and we follow a format closer to normal. The liturgical colors are changed from the somber Lenten hues to bright vestments, like Fr. Pavlo’s white and gold. At this service is read the first Passion Gospel (John 13:31-18:1), known as the “Gospel of the Testament”, and many of the normal hymns of the Divine Liturgy are substituted with the following troparion:

Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither will I give Thee a kiss like Judas. But like the Thief will I confess Thee: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom.

The ceremony of the Washing of Feet is normally performed in monasteries and cathedrals, but is not typically seen in parishes. Because of the joy of the Institution of the Eucharist, on this day alone during Holy Week, the strict fast is mitigated to allow wine and oil.

In the evening, after the Liturgy, all of the hangings and vestments are changed to dark Lenten colors to signify the beginning of the Passion.

Text adapted from Maundy Thursday