Greek Orthodox Holy Thursday Religious Service Overview
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There are many events that are associated with Holy Thursday. These include washing the disciples’ feet, the Sacrament of the Last Supper and the Holy Eucharist, the events of the garden of Gethsemane and Judas’ betrayal. These events are celebrated and commemorated at the Holy Thursday service, which takes place on the Thursday before Easter, or Pascha. Here’s ore information about it:
Biblical Background of the Holy Thursday Services
Holy Thursday remembers how Jesus turned the bread into his body to showcase life and the wine into his blood to showcase the blood of Christ during the Last Supper. These represent the importance of the gift of life we receive in Christ. It is important to share in his resurrected life.
Jesus continued to represent his authority by washing His disciple’s feet in humility. It showed the love He has for those who receive Him. The events of the garden showed Jesus’ human nature and the sacrifice that was coming. It showcased his sorrow and emotions, as well as His desire to obey.
Finally, Judas’ betrayal showed the maximum sin against God. It showed the mix of joy and sorrow, showing the mix of life and death. The icon shows Christ at the center, with John to his right and Judas further away to the left taking the Eucharist.
About the Holy Thursday Services
The main service is the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil that occurs on Thursday morning that represents the Eucharist. There is a Holy Chrism that is used as consecration to baptize. It is blessed during the liturgy some years.
The second of two sacrificed lambs is given as communion to those who are ill for the Reserved Sacrament. Washing of the feet occurs as well with special solitude during the event. This represents the beautiful and dramatic way Christ showed his humility and obedience to the Father.
Hymns Sung During Holy Thursday Services
There are two hymns that are specific to Holy Thursday. These represent the many events that occurred on this day with Jesus Christ many years ago. Each has its own representation.
The Troparion, which is also called the Plagal Fourth Tone, is the first hymn associated with Holy Thursday. During it, information is given about the betrayal of Judas and the washing of the feet. It ends with a desire for evil temptations to flee.
The Communion Hymn is the second hymn utilized for Holy Thursday. It is utilized surrounding the Eucharist and Last Supper. It allows for a time of confession and obedience.
Here is a look at the words of the hymns that are sung or chanted on Holy Thursday:
Troparion (Plagal Fourth Tone)
When the glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before the supper, the impious Judas was darkened by the disease of avarice, and to the lawless judges he betrayed You, the Righteous Judge. Behold, this man because of avarice hanged himself. Flee from the insatiable desire which dared such things against the Master! O Lord Who deals righteously with all, glory to You!
Receive me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not reveal Your mystery to Your adversaries. Nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to You: Lord, remember me in Your Kingdom.
This post was written by Greek Boston