Great and Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

Commemorated on April 26,  April 27, and  April 28

Holy Week: A Liturgical Explanation for the Days of Holy Week

3. MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY: THE END

These three days, which the Church calls Great and Holy have within the liturgical development of the Holy Week a very definite purpose. They place all its celebrations in the perspective of End Times; they remind us of the eschatological meaning of Pascha. So often Holy Week is considered one of the “beautiful traditions” or “customs,” a self-evident “part” of our calendar. We take it for granted and enjoy it as a cherished annual event which we have “observed” since childhood, we admire the beauty of its services, the pageantry of its rites and, last but not least, we like the fuss about the Paschal table. And then, when all this is done we resume our normal life. But do we understand that when the world rejected its Savior, when “Jesus began to be sorrowful and very heavy… and his soul was exceedingly sorrowful even unto death,” when He died on the Cross, “normal life” came to its end and is no longer possible. For there were “normal” men who shouted “Crucify Him” who spat at Him and nailed Him to the Cross. And they hated and killed Him precisely because He was troubling their normal life. It was indeed a perfectly “normal” world which preferred darkness and death to light and life…. By the death of Jesus the “normal” world, and “normal” life were irrevocably condemned. Or rather they revealed their true and abnormal inability to receive the Light, the terrible power of evil in them. “Now is the Judgment of this world” (John 12:31). The Pascha of Jesus signified its end to “this world” and it has been at its end since then. This end can last for hundreds of centuries, but this does not alter the nature of time in which we live as the “last time.” “The fashion of this world passeth away…” (I Cor. 7:31).

To read more about Great and Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, go to the following links:

https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2021/04/26/21-great-and-holy-monday

https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2021/04/27/22-great-and-holy-tuesday

https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2021/04/28/23-great-and-holy-wednesday

Troparion — Tone 8

Behold the Bridegroom comes at midnight, / and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching, / and again unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless. / Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, / lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom. / But rouse yourself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy, are You, O our God! / Through the Theotokos have mercy on us!

Kontakion — Tone 8

Jacob lamented the loss of Joseph, / but his noble son was seated on a chariot / and honored as a king. / For when he refused to be enslaved / by the pleasures of the Egyptian woman, / he was glorified by the Lord who beholds the hearts of men, / and bestows upon them an incorruptible crown.

Troparion — Tone 8

Behold the Bridegroom comes at midnight, / and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching, / and again unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless. / Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, / lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom. / But rouse yourself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy, are You, O our God! / Through the Theotokos have mercy on us!

Kontakion — Tone 2

You know that this is the last hour, O wretched soul, / and fear the cutting of the fig tree. / Work diligently therefore at the talent given to you / keep watch and pray: / Let us not remain outside the bridal chamber of Christ.

Troparion — Tone 8

When the glorious disciples were enlightened / at the washing of their feet before the supper, / then the impious Judas was darkened, ailing with avarice / and to the lawless judges he betrays You, the righteous Judge. / Behold, O lover of money, this man who because of money hanged himself. / Flee from the greedy soul which dared such things against the Master. / O Lord, who is good towards all men, glory to You!

Kontakion — Tone 2

With his hands the betrayer receives the Bread. / With his hands he secretly receives the silver, / the price of Him who fashioned man with His hands; / so the servant and deceiver Judas remains depraved.

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