As Orthodox Christians around the world embark on the sacred journey of Holy and Great Week, we are invited to participate in the profound mysteries of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. This holiest week in the Church calendar is a time of intense prayer, reflection, and contemplation, leading us toward the ultimate triumph of Easter Sunday—the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We Orthodox do it like no other!

Holy and Great Week begins with Palm Sunday evening and continues with the Bridegroom services Holy Monday and Tuesday, each reflecting on different aspects of Christ’s ministry and teachings. During these first few days, we are called to contemplate the end times, when Christ will come again and best understand how we are prepared to meet him. “Behold the bridegroom comes in the middle of the night, and blessed is the one whom He shall find watching.”

On Holy Wednesday we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Unction, asking our Lord to heal us of our physical and spiritual ills. Through this Sacrament, we are afforded the opportunity to receive Christ’s forgiveness and bring us toward complete healing.

The climax of Holy and Great Week is reached with the solemn services of Holy Thursday, commemorating the Last Supper and the institution of the Holy Eucharist, and Great and Holy Friday, meditating on the crucifixion and death of Christ. These services are marked by deep reverence and somber reflection as we contemplate the sacrificial love of our Savior.

Finally, as we approach the midnight service of Holy Saturday, the atmosphere shifts from mourning to anticipation, culminating in the glorious celebration of Pascha—the Resurrection of Christ. In the darkness of the night, the light of Christ bursts forth, dispelling the shadows of death and filling our hearts with joy and hope.

As Orthodox Christians, Holy and Great Week is a time of spiritual renewal and transformation, guiding us on a journey from brokenness to healing, from despair to resurrection. Through our participation in the sacred services and traditions of this holy season, we are reminded of the profound depth of God’s love for us and the promise of new life found in Christ alone.

May this Holy and Great Week be a time of profound spiritual growth and renewal for all Orthodox Christians, as we journey together toward the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.