“The songs of Joseph and Nicodemus of the tomb are sung to Christ, who is now dead, and the Seraphim sing with them” (from the Lamentations on Great Saturday).

On the evening of Great Friday, the “burial” of the Lord is performed. Touching prayers are read before the holy shroud. The clergy read these prayers between verses of the 118th psalm, which is sung at the rite of burial of the dead.

In the Mount of Olives Convent, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky) and Abbot Jonah (Galishnikov) performed this rite. Afterwards Fr. Roman read the canon “By the Waves of the Sea”. After singing the great doxology, the holy shroud was carried by procession around the temple, symbolizing the descent of the Savior into hell, where he led the Old Testament righteous to freedom. After returning from the procession, Fr. Roman sang the prophecy of the prophet Ezekiel about the resurrection of the dead.

On Saturday morning Vespers was served with the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. At Vespers, the Sunday stichera of the resurrection are sung for the first day of Holy Easter. 15 Old Testament readings were read. During the reading of the Apostle, the clergy changed from black – fasting vestments to light vestments for the eve of the great feast. Then was read the Gospel of St. Matthew about the resurrection of Christ. Instead of the Hymn of the Cherubim, the touching hymn “Let all flesh be silent” was sung.

After the Divine Liturgy, bread and wine were blessed to strengthen those faithful preparing  for Holy Pascha.

Abbess Barbara (Novikova) and the sisters of the convent prayed during the divine service and partook of the Holy Mysteries of Christ.


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