Commemorated on May 16
The Myrrh-bearing women are those women who followed the Lord, along with His Mother. They remained with her during the time of the saving Passion, and anointed the Lord’s body was with myrrh. Joseph and Nikodemos asked for and received the Lord’s body from Pilate. They took it down from the Cross,wrapped it in linen cloths and spices, then they laid it in a tomb, and then they placed a great stone over the entrance of the tomb.
According to the Evangelist Matthew (27:57-61) Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joses (Mark 15:40) were there sitting opposite the sepulchre, and they saw where He had been laid. This other Mary was the Mother of God. Not only were these present, but also many other women, as Saint Luke says (24:10).
Today the Church honors Saints Mary Magdalene (July 22), Mary the wife of Cleopas (May 23), Joanna (June 27), Salome, mother of the sons of Zebedee (August 3), Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus (June 4), and the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, who was the stepmother of her husband Joseph’s sons James (October 23) and Joses (October 30). Today we also also remember Saint Joseph of Arimathea (July 31), who was a secret disciple (John 19:38), and Saint Nikodemos, who was a disciple by night (John 3:3; 19:38).
The holy right-believing Queen Tamara of Georgia is honored twice during the year: on May 1, the day of her repose, and also on the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women.
On this day the Church also remembers All Saints of Thessalonica, Saint Seraphim Bishop of Phanar (December 4,1610), the New Martyr Elias Ardunis (January 31, 1686), and the New Martyr Demetrios of the Peloponnesos (April 13, 1803).
Troparion — Tone 2
The Noble Joseph, / when he had taken down Your most pure Body from the tree, / wrapped it in fine linen and anointed it with spices, / and placed it in a new tomb. / But You rose on the third day, O Lord, / granting the world great mercy.
Troparion — Tone 2
The angel came to the myrrhbearing women at the tomb and said: / Myrrh is meet for the dead; / but Christ has shown Himself a stranger to corruption! / So proclaim: The Lord is risen, / granting the world great mercy!
Kontakion — Tone 2
When You proclaimed “Rejoice” to the Myrrhbearers, / You caused the lamentation of the first mother Eve to cease by Your Resurrection; O Christ God; / You bade Your Apostles to preach: / “The Savior is risen from the tomb.”