Greek Orthodox Holy Tuesday Religious Service Overview

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The Orthodox Christian Church Observes a special service known as the Service of the Bridegroom from the evening of Palm Sunday through the evening of Holy Tuesday. Holy Tuesday also calls for us to remember two parables that are related to the Second Coming. Here’s what you should know about the Holy Tuesday Service.

About Holy Tuesday Service

Holy Service Tuesday takes place during the evening in preparation for Holy Wednesday when the Matins service takes place in the morning. Many churches will also have a Matins service on Tuesday. During the singing of the hymn, the choir of the church is usually involved on Holy Tuesday.

Holy Tuesday service celebrates the holy gospel that refers to Jesus Christ’s denunciation against the religious leaders of Israel and the Secretaries and the Pharisees. The Holy Tuesday service also remembers the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of Talents.

Biblical Story of the Two Parables

On Holy Tuesday in the Orthodox Christian Church, the two parables related to the Second Coming are remembered. One parable is of the Ten Virgins, which you can read about in Matthew 25:1-3. The second parable is of the Talents, which you can read about in Matthew 25:14-30. These two parables teach two things. One is that Judgement Day will be similar to the situation the bridesmaids (virgins) of the parable found themselves in.

Some were ready for the day, some were not. The time to choose God is now, not some day in the future. The second thing we are taught is that being watchful and ready does not mean we are to be wearisome and spiritless in performing obligations. Instead, it means to be stable, joyful, tranquil, and sober and to find and do the will of God. We all receive talents, it may be one, it may be three, but we are meant to use our talents to the best of our ability.

Scripture Reading and Hymns of Holy Tuesday

During the Holy Tuesday service, which usually takes place during the evening, the Gospel reading is John 12:17-50. The Gospel of Matthew regarding the condemnation of the Pharisees is read during the Matins service.

The “Hymn of Kasiani” is sung during the service. This hymn begins “The Woman who had fallen into many sins recognized thy Godhead, O Lord; Woe to me, saith she; receive the sources of my tears, O Thou who doth gather into clouds the water of the sea. Who can trace out the multitude of my sins and the abysses of my misdeed? Oh Thou whose mercy is unbound.”

There are other hymns, too. Here are the words of hymns that could be sung or chanted during this service:


Behold, the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night, and blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching; and again unworthy is he whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, lest thou be overcome with sleep, lest thou be given up to death, and be shut out from the Kingdom. But rouse thyself and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God, through the Mother of God, have mercy on us.


Thy bridal chamber, O my Saviour, do I behold all adorned, and a garment I have not that I may enter therein. Illumine the garment of my soul, O Giver of Light, and save me.


Holy Tuesday

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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