Although the Holy Week is a very short period, it is the most eventful and important Church period for all Christians. The Church follows closely the last scenes of our Lord’s life. On the last three days of the Holy Week, the Church even reproduces, in a kind of sacred drama, the
last acts of the Passion of our Lord.
The Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, which commemorates the solemn entry of our Lord into Jerusalem. The multitude came out of town to welcome Him, waving palms and olive branches on this Sunday.
Great Monday commemorates the fig tree which was cursed and withered by the Lord. The day also marks the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus in Jerusalem.
Great Tuesday commemorates the parable of the Ten Virgins that shows prayerful preparation and wakefulness of vivid faith.
Great Wednesday commemorates the anointing of Christ with myrrh by the woman in the house of Simon, the leper, in Bethany.
Great Thursday commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist. Divine Liturgy is celebrated in commemoration of our Lord’s Last Supper. In the evening, the ceremony of the Washing of Feet takes place, in memory of our Lord’s washing of the feet of His disciples. At
the night, a vigil called ‘Khavaroum’ is kept that portrays the last sad hours of our Lord at Gethsemane and before the human law courts.
Good Friday celebrates the holy and saving Passion of Christ. The Crucifixion service is a dramatic and deeply moving liturgy remembering the prophecies about Christ’s death. The Burial service commemorates the taking down of Christ’s body from the cross. During the
Gospel reading, our Lord’s body is taken off the cross and wrapped in a new, white linen sheet. This act commemorates the removal of Christ’s body from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea.
On Great Saturday, the ceremony of Easter Eve takes place that is known in Armenian as “Jrag-a-louyts”, i.e., lighting of candles. The famous reading from the Prophet Daniel is read. With the Evening Divine Liturgy on Saturday, the Church starts the Easter celebrations.
Easter Sunday is the most solemn feast of the Church. It commemorates the glorious Resurrection of our Lord. The joyous character of Easter is shown by the drastic change in the atmosphere and tone of the worship in the Church.
SCHEDULE FOR HOLY WEEK CHURCH SERVICES
ST SARKIS & ST YEGHICHE CHURCHES
Palm Sunday – 28 March (Both Churches)
Divine Liturgy 11:00 AM
Opening the Doors 12:45 PM
Blessing of Palms and Children 1:00 PM
Great Monday 29 March (St Sarkis)
Cursing of the fig tree
Cleansing of the Temple 5:00 PM
Great Tuesday 30 March (St Sarkis)
10 Virgins Service 5:00 PM
Great Wednesday 31 March (St Sargis)
Anointing at Bethany 5:00 PM
Great Thursday – 1 April
Divine Liturgy (St Sarkis) 11:00 AM
Washing of Feet Service (St Yeghiche) 5:30 PM
Holy Passion Service – Khavaroum (St Yeghiche) 8.00 PM
Good Friday – 2 April
Crucifixion service (St Sarkis) 12:00 PM
Burial Service (St Yeghiche) 5:30 PM
Holy Saturday – 3 April (Both Churches)
Vigil Service and Divine Liturgy – St Yeghiche 4.30 PM
St Sarkis 5:30 PM
Easter Sunday – 4 April (Both Churches)
Morning Service 10:30 AM
Divine Liturgy 11:00 AM
Easter Monday 5 April
Memorial Service (St Sarkis) 11.00 AM
Blessings at Gunnersbury Cemetery 12.30-14.00