Descent from the Cross
The Descent from the Cross, or Deposition of Christ, is the scene, as depicted in art, from the Gospels' accounts of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus taking Christ down from the cross after his crucifixion. In Byzantine art the topic became popular in the 9th century, in the West from the 10th century; the Descent from the Cross is the 13th Station of the Cross. Other figures not mentioned in the Gospels who are included in depictions of this subject include John the Evangelist, sometimes depicted supporting a fainting Mary, Mary Magdalene; the Gospels mention an undefined number of women as watching the crucifixion, including The Three Marys, that the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene saw the burial. These and further women and unnamed male helpers are shown. In early depictions the details and posing of the composition, the position of Christ's body, are varied; the scene was included in medieval cycles of the Life or the Passion of Christ, between the Crucifixion and the Entombment of Christ.
The Lamentation of Christ, or Pietà, showing the body of Christ held by Mary, may intervene between these two, is common as an individual image in sculpture. The Bearing of the body, showing Christ's body being carried to his tomb, the Anointing of Christ's body, showing the body laid flat on the top of the tomb or a similarly-shaped "anointing-stone" are other scenes that may be shown; this last is important in Orthodox art, where it is shown on the Epitaphios. With the Renaissance the subject became popular for altarpieces because of the challenges of the composition, the suitability of its vertical shape; the Mannerist version of Rosso Fiorentino is regarded as his most important work, Pontormo's altarpiece is his most ambitious work. The subject was painted several times by both Rubens and Rembrandt, who repeated one of his paintings in a large print, his only one to be engraved, as well as making two other etchings of the subject. With articles:Deposition of Christ, by Fra Angelico, in the National Museum of San Marco, Florence.
Descent from the Cross by Rogier van der Weyden, in Museo del Prado, Madrid). The Entombment, Michelangelo, in the National Gallery, London. Deposition from the Cross, Filippino Lippi, completed circa 1506, by Pietro Perugino, in the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze. Deposition from the Cross by Rosso Fiorentino in Pinacoteca of Volterra. Deposition from the Cross by Pontormo at Capponi Chapel of church of Santa Felicita, Florence. Deposition of Christ by Bronzino in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence; the Entombment of Christ, by Caravaggio, at the Vatican Pinacoteca The Descent from the Cross, by Rubens, at the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp Descent From The Cross, by David Folley, now at the Jesus Chapel, St. Andrew's Church, Essex. Others:Codex Grecus 510 Codex Egberti. St Albans Psalter - English Romanesque miniature Externsteine relief Toros Roslin Byzantine Museum of Kastoria Nicolas Mostaert Domenico Passignano for the Collegiate Church of San Gimignano Rembrandt Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Baltimore.
Athens, Benaki Museum No. 3001 Gustave Doré Max Beckmann Enrique Miguel de la Vega Eastern Orthodox Icons of the Descent from the Cross. The Antimension Antimension Epitaphios Life of Jesus in the New Testament Seven Sorrows of Mary Pietà
The Epitaphios is a Christian religious icon consisting of a large and richly adorned cloth, bearing an image of the dead body of Christ accompanied by his mother and other figures, following the Gospel account. It is used during the liturgical services of Good Friday and Holy Saturday in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, as well as those Eastern Catholic Churches, which follow the Byzantine Rite, it exists in painted or mosaic form, on wall or panel. The Epitaphios is a common short form of the Epitáphios Thrēnos, the "Lamentation upon the Grave" in Greek, the main part of the service of the Matins of Holy Saturday, served in Good Friday evening. Armenian Orthodox have the tradition of the epitaphios, their celebration on this day is called T'aghman Kark. The word Epitáphios is composite, from the Greek ἐπί, epí, "on" or "upon", τάφος, táphos, "grave" or "tomb". In Greek the word has, inter alia, the meaning of both the English epitaph and the liturgical one presented here, the latter having been acquired during the Christian period.
The icon depicts Christ after he has been removed from the cross, lying supine, as his body is being prepared for burial. The scene is taken from the Gospel of St. John. Shown around him, mourning his death, may be his mother. Nicodemus and others may be depicted; the Four Evangelists will be shown in the corners. Sometimes, the body of Christ appears alone, except for angels, as if lying in state; the oldest surviving embroidered icon, of about 1200 is in this form. The equivalent subjects in the West are called the "Anointing of Christ's body", or Lamentation of Christ, or the Pietà, with just Christ held by Mary; the image may be embroidered or painted on fabric or some other substrate, mounted in a wide cloth border edged in gold fringe. Some cloths are missing the corners of the border; the troparion of the day is embroidered in gold letters around the edges of the icon: The Noble Joseph, taking down Thy most pure Body from the Tree, did wrap it in clean linen with sweet spices, he laid it in a new tomb.
In the Late Byzantine period, the icon depicting the burial of Jesus was painted below a Christ Pantocrator in the apse of the prothesis in Orthodox churches, illustrating a liturgical hymn which celebrated Christ "On the throne above and in the tomb below". The icon, in particular a panel mosaic version taken to Rome in the 12th century, developed in the West into the subject Man of Sorrows, enormously popular in the Late Middle Ages, though that image shows a living Christ with eyes open; the Epitaphios is used on the last two days of Holy Week in the Byzantine rite, as part of the ceremonies marking the death and resurrection of Christ. It is placed on the Holy Table, where it remains throughout the Paschal season; the Deposition from the Cross. Prior to the Apokathelosis, Vespers on the afternoon of Great Friday, the priest and deacon will place the Epitaphios on the Holy Table; the priest may anoint the Epitaphios with perfumed oil. A chalice veil and the Gospel Book is placed on top of the Epitaphios.
This may be either the large Gospel Book used at the Divine Liturgy. During the reading of the Gospel lesson which recounts the death and burial of Christ, an icon depicting the soma of Christ is taken down from a cross, set up in the middle of the church; the soma is taken into the sanctuary. Near the end of the service, the priest and deacon, accompanied by acolytes with candles and incense, bring the Epitaphios in procession from the Holy Table into the center of the church and place it on a table, richly decorated for that purpose; the Gospel Book is laid on top of the epitaphios. In some Greek churches, an elaborately carved canopy, called a kouvouklion, stands over the Epitaphios; this bier or catafalque represents the Tomb of Christ, is made of wood elaborately carved. On Good Friday morning, the bier is decorated with spring flowers white and purple, until it is covered by the flowers in its entirety; the Tomb is sprinkled with flower petals and rosewater, decorated with candles, ceremonially censed as a mark of respect.
The bells of the church are tolled, in traditionally Orthodox countries, flags are lowered to half-mast. The priest and faithful venerate the Epitaphios as the choir chants hymns. In Slavic churches, the service of Compline will be served next, during which a special Canon will be chanted which recalls the lamentations of the Theotokos; the faithful continue to visit the tomb and venerate the Epitaphios throughout the afternoon and evening, until Matins—which is served in the evening during Holy Week, so that the largest number of people can attend. The form which the veneration of the epitaphios takes will vary between ethnic traditions; some will make three prostrations kiss the image of Christ on the Epitaphios and the Gospel Book, make three more prostrations. Sometimes, the faithful will crawl under the table on which the Epitaphios has been placed, as though entering into death with Christ. Others may light a candle and/or say a short prayer with bowed head
This article describes the Paschal candle of the Western Churches. For the Paschal triple-candle used in Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches of the Byzantine rite see Paschal trikirion. A Paschal candle is a white candle used in liturgies in Western Christianity. A new Paschal candle is blessed and lit every year at Easter, is used throughout the Paschal season, during Easter and throughout the year on special occasions, such as baptisms and funerals; the equivalent of the Paschal candle in the Western Orthodox Church is the Paschal trikirion which differs both in style and usage. The term "Paschal" comes from the Latin word "Pascha", which came from the Hebrew word Pesach, which in Hebrew means Passover, relates to the Paschal mystery of salvation, it is sometimes referred to as the "Easter candle" or the "Christ candle." For congregations that use a Paschal candle, it is the largest candle in the worship space. In most cases today the candle will display several common symbols: The cross is always the central symbol, most identifying it as the Paschal candle The Greek letters alpha and omega signify that God is the beginning and the end The current year represents God in the present amidst the congregation Five grains of incense are embedded in the candle during the Easter Vigil to represent the five wounds of Jesus: the three nails that pierced his hands and feet, the spear thrust into his side, the thorns that crowned his head.
In the Church, Paschal candles reached a stupendous size. The Paschal candle of Salisbury Cathedral was said to have been 36 feet tall. Today, in the United States and Southern Europe the candle is 2 inches in diameter and 36 to 48 inches tall. On Maundy Thursday of the same week the entire church is darkened by extinguishing all candles and lamps; this represents the darkness of a world without God. At the opening of the Easter Vigil a "new fire" is lit and blessed; the minister will trace the symbols on the Paschal candle, saying words similar to: "Christ and today, the beginning and the ending. To Christ belongs all time and all the ages. Amen." The Paschal candle is the first candle to be lit with a flame from this sacred fire, representing the light of Christ coming into the world. This represents the risen Christ, as a symbol of light dispelling darkness; as it is lit, the minister may say words similar to: "The light of Christ, rising in Glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds."
The worshiping assembly processes into the church led by the Paschal candle. The candle is raised three times during the procession, accompanied by the chant "The light of Christ" to which the assembly responds "Thanks be to God". Following the procession the Exultet is chanted, traditionally by a deacon, but it may be chanted by the priest or a cantor; the Exultet concludes with a blessing of the candle: Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God. Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night! May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning: Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, shed his peaceful light on all humanity, your Son, who lives and reigns for and ever. Amen. From the New Roman Missal: On this, your night of grace, O holy Father, accept this candle, a solemn offering, the work of bees and of your servants’ hands, an evening sacrifice of praise, this gift from your most holy Church.
But now we know the praises of this pillar, which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor, a fire into many flames divided, yet never dimmed by sharing of its light, for it is fed by melting wax, drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious. O blessed night, when things of heaven are wed to those of earth, divine to the human. Therefore, O Lord, we pray you that this candle, hallowed to the honor of your name, may persevere undimmed, to overcome the darkness of this night. Receive it as a pleasing fragrance, let it mingle with the lights of heaven. May this flame be found still burning by the Morning Star: the one Morning Star who never sets, Christ your Son, coming back from death’s domain, has shed his peaceful light on humanity, lives and reigns for and ever. R. Amen. In some traditions, the base of the candle may be ritually immersed in the baptismal font before proceeding with the remainder of the service; this candle is traditionally the one. The candle remains lit at all worship services throughout Easter season, during which time it is located in the sanctuary close to the altar.
After the Easter season, it is placed near the baptismal font. Before 1955, the option existed of blessing the baptismal font on the Vigil of Pentecost, this was the only time the Paschal candle would be lit at services after Ascension; the Paschal candle is lit during baptisms to signify the Holy Spirit and
Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the foot washing and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles, as described in the canonical gospels, it is the fifth day of Holy Week, followed by Good Friday. The name comes from the Latin word mandatum, "commandment", which comes from Jesus' words "I give you a new commandment"; the date is always between March 19 and April 22 inclusive, but these dates fall on different days depending on whether the Gregorian calendar or Julian calendar is used liturgically. Eastern churches use the Julian calendar and celebrate this feast throughout the 21st century between April 1 and May 5 in the more used Gregorian calendar; the liturgy held on the evening of Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion and resurrection of Jesus. The Mass of the Lord's Supper or service of worship is celebrated in the evening, when Friday begins according to Jewish tradition, as the Last Supper was held on the feast of Passover, according to the three Synoptic Gospels.
Use of the names "Maundy Thursday", "Holy Thursday", others is not evenly distributed. What is the accepted name for the day varies according to geographical area and religious affiliation. Thus, although in England "Maundy Thursday" is the normal term, the term is less used in Ireland, Scotland or Canada. People may use one term in a religious context and another in the context of the civil calendar of the country in which they live; the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, the mother Church of the Anglican Communion, uses the name "Maundy Thursday" for this observance. The corresponding publication of the US Episcopal Church, another province of the Anglican Communion refers to the Thursday before Easter as "Maundy Thursday". Throughout the Anglican Communion, the term "Holy Thursday" is a synonym for Ascension Day; as of 2017, the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church uses the name "Holy Thursday" in its official English-language liturgical books. The personal ordinariates in the Catholic Church, which have an Anglican patrimony, retain the traditional English term "Maundy Thursday", however.
An article in the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia used the term "Maundy Thursday", some Catholic writers use the same term either or alternatively. The Methodist Book of Worship for Church and Home uses the term "Maundy Thursday". Both names are used by other Christian denominations as well, including the Lutheran Church or portions of the Reformed Church; the Presbyterian Church uses the term "Maundy Thursday" to refer to the holy day in its official sources. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the name for the holy day is, in the Byzantine Rite, "Great and Holy Thursday" or "Holy Thursday", in Western Rite Orthodoxy "Maundy Thursday", "Holy Thursday" or both; the Coptic Orthodox Church uses the term "Covenant Thursday" or "Thursday of the Covenant". In the Maronite Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church, the name is "Thursday of Mysteries". "Maundy Thursday" is the official name of the day in the civil legislation of England and the Philippines. The day has been known in English as Shere Thursday, from the word shere.
This name might refer to the act of cleaning, or to the fact that churches would switch liturgical colors from the dark tones of Lent, or because it was customary to shear the beard on that day, or for a combination of reasons. This name has cognates throughout Scandinavia, such as Danish Skærtorsdag, Swedish Skärtorsdag, Norwegian Skjærtorsdag, Faroese Skírhósdagur and Skírisdagur, Icelandic Skírdagur. Maundy is the name of the Christian rite of footwashing, which traditionally occurs during Maundy Thursday church services. Most scholars agree that the English word maundy in that name for the day is derived through Middle English and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" This statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John 13:34 by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet; the phrase is used as the antiphon sung in the Roman Rite during the Maundy ceremony of the washing of the feet, which may be held during Mass or as a separate event, during which a priest or bishop ceremonially washes the feet of others 12 persons chosen as a cross-section of the community.
In 2016, it was announced that the Roman Missal had been revised to allow women to participate as part of the 12 in the Mandatum. Others theorize that the English name "Maundy Thursday" arose from "maundsor baskets" or "maundy purses" of alms which the king of England distributed to certain poor at Whitehall before attending Mass on that day. Thus, "maund" is connected to the Latin mendicare, French mendier, to beg. A source from the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod states that, if the name was derived from the Latin mandatum, we would call the day Mandy Thursday, or Mandate Thursday, or Mandatum Thursday.
The Paschal cycle, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the cycle of the moveable feasts built around Pascha. The cycle consists of ten weeks before and seven weeks after Pascha; the ten weeks before Pascha are known as the period of the Triodion. This period includes the three weeks preceding Great Lent, the forty days of Lent, Holy Week; the 50 days following Pascha are called the Pentecostarion. The Sunday of each week has a special commemoration, named for the Gospel reading assigned to that day. Certain other weekdays have special commemorations of their own; the entire cycle revolves around Pascha. The weeks before Pascha end on Sunday; this is. Starting on Pascha, the weeks again begin on Sunday. While the Pentecostarion closes after All Saints Sunday, the Paschal cycle continues throughout the entire year, until the beginning of the next Pre-Lenten period; the Tone of the Week, the Epistle and Gospel readings at the Divine Liturgy, the 11 Matins Gospels with their accompanying hymns are dependent on it.
Zacchaeus Sunday or Sunday of the Canaanite: 11th Sunday before Pascha The Publican and the Pharisee: 10th Sunday before Pascha The Prodigal Son: 9th Sunday before Pascha The Last Judgment.
The Book of Psalms referred to as Psalms or "the Psalms", is the first book of the Ketuvim, the third section of the Hebrew Bible, thus a book of the Christian Old Testament. The title is derived from the Greek translation, ψαλμοί, meaning "instrumental music" and, by extension, "the words accompanying the music"; the book is an anthology of individual psalms, with 150 in the Jewish and Western Christian tradition and more in the Eastern Christian churches. Many are linked to the name of David; the Book of Psalms is divided into five sections, each closing with a doxology —these divisions were introduced by the final editors to imitate the five-fold division of the Torah: Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Book 5 Many psalms have individual superscriptions, ranging from lengthy comments to a single word. Over a third appear to be musical directions, addressed to the "leader" or "choirmaster", including such statements as "with stringed instruments" and "according to lilies". Others appear to be references to types of musical composition, such as "A psalm" and "Song", or directions regarding the occasion for using the psalm.
Many carry the names of individuals, the most common being of David, thirteen of these relate explicitly to incidents in the king's life. Others named include Asaph, the sons of Korah, Moses, Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman the Ezrahite; the LXX, the Peshitta, the Latin Vulgate each associate several Psalms with Haggai and Zechariah. The LXX attributes several Psalms to Ezekiel and to Jeremiah. Psalms are identified by a sequence number preceded by the abbreviation "Ps." Numbering of the Psalms differs -- by one, see table -- between Greek manuscripts. Protestant translations use the Hebrew numbering, but other Christian traditions vary: Catholic official liturgical texts follow the Hebrew numbering since 1969; the variance between Massorah and Septuagint texts in this numeration is enough due to a gradual neglect of the original poetic form of the Psalms. It is admitted that Pss. 9 and 10 were a single acrostic poem. Pss. 42 and 43 are shown by identity of subject, of metrical structure and of refrain, to be three strophes of one and the same poem.
The Hebrew text is correct in counting as one Ps. 146 and Ps. 147. Liturgical usage would seem to have split up these and several other psalms. Zenner combines into. 1, 2, 3, 4. A choral ode would seem to have been the original form of Pss. 14 and 70. The two strophes and the epode are Ps. 14. It is noteworthy that, on the breaking up of the original ode, each portion crept twice into the Psalter: Ps. 14 = 53, Ps. 70 = 40:14–18. Other such duplicated portions of psalms are Ps. 108:2–6 = Ps. 57:8–12. This loss of the original form of some of the psalms is allowed by the Biblical Commission to have been due to liturgical practices, neglect by copyists, or other causes; the Septuagint, present in Eastern Orthodox churches, includes a Psalm 151. Some versions of the Peshitta include Psalms 152–155. There are the Psalms of Solomon, which are a further 18 psalms of Jewish origin originally written in Hebrew, but surviving only in Greek and Syriac translation; these and other indications suggest that the current Western Christian and Jewish collection of 150 psalms were selected from a wider set.
Hermann Gunkel's pioneering form-critical work on the psalms sought to provide a new and meaningful context in which to interpret individual psalms—not by looking at their literary context within the Psalter, but by bringing together psalms of the same genre from throughout the Psalter. Gunkel divided the psalms into five primary types: Hymns, songs of praise for God's work in creation or history, they open with a call to praise, describe the motivation for praise, conclude with a repetition of the call. Two sub-categories are "enthronement psalms", celebrating the enthronement of Yahweh as king, Zion psalms, glorifying Mount Zion, God's dwelling-place in Jerusalem. Gunkel described a special subset of "eschatological hymns" which includes themes of future restoration or of judgment. Communal laments. Both communal and individual laments but not always include the following elements: address to God, description of suffering, cursing of the party responsib
Dormition of the Mother of God
The Dormition of the Mother of God, Albanian: Fjetja e Shën Marisë, is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of Mary the Theotokos, her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on 15 August as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God; the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Dormition not on a fixed date, but on the Sunday nearest 15 August. The death or Dormition of Mary is not recorded in the Christian canonical scriptures. Hippolytus of Thebes, a 7th- or 8th-century author, claims in his preserved chronology to the New Testament that Mary lived for 11 years after the death of Jesus, dying in AD 41; the term Dormition expresses the belief that the Virgin died without suffering, in a state of spiritual peace. This belief does not rest on any scriptural basis, but is affirmed by Orthodox Christian Holy Tradition, it is testified to in some old Apocryphal writings, but neither the Orthodox Church nor other Christians regard these as possessing scriptural authority.
The Feast of the Dormition is preceded by a two-week fast, referred to as the Dormition Fast. From August 1 to August 14 Orthodox and Eastern Catholics fast from red meat, meat products, dairy products, fish and wine; the Dormition Fast is a stricter fast than either the Nativity Fast or the Apostles' Fast, with only wine and oil allowed on weekends. As with the other Fasts of the Church year, there is a Great Feast. In some places, the services on weekdays during the Fast are similar to the services during Great Lent. Many churches and monasteries in the Russian tradition perform the lenten services on at least the first day of the Dormition Fast. In the Greek tradition, during the Fast either the Great Paraklesis or the Small Paraklesis is celebrated every evening except Saturday evening and the Eves of the Transfiguration and the Dormition; the first day of the Dormition Fast is a feast day called the Procession of the Cross, on which day it is customary to have an outdoor procession and perform the Lesser Blessing of Water.
In Eastern Orthodoxy it is the day of the Holy Seven Maccabees, Martyrs Abimus, Gurias, Eusebonus and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia, their teacher Eleazar. Therefore, the day is sometimes referred to as "Makovei", it is considered the First of the three "Feasts of the Saviour" in August, the Feast to the All-Merciful Saviour and the Most Holy Mother of God. In Orthodoxy and Catholicism, in the language of the scripture, death is called a "sleeping" or "falling asleep". A prominent example of this is the name of this feast; the Dormition tradition is associated with various places, most notably with Jerusalem, which contains Mary's Tomb and the Basilica of the Dormition, Ephesus, which contains the House of the Virgin Mary, with Constantinople where the Cincture of the Theotokos was enshrined from the 5th through 14th centuries. The first four Christian centuries are silent regarding the end of the Virgin Mary's life, though it is asserted, without surviving documentation, that the feast of the Dormition was being observed in Jerusalem shortly after the Council of Ephesus.
Up until the 5th century Church Fathers do not mention the death of the Virgin, before the 4th-5th century Dormition was not celebrated among the Christians as a holy day. For example, Epiphanius of Salamis, a Jew by birth, born in Phoenicia, converted to Christianity in adulthood and lived as a monk for over 20 years in Palestine from 335–340 to 362, writes in "Panarion" in "Contra antidicomarianitas" about the death of the Virgin Mary the following: If any think am mistaken, let them search through the scriptures any neither find Mary's death, nor whether or not she died, nor whether or not she was buried—even though John travelled throughout Asia, and yet, nowhere does. Scripture kept silence because of the overwhelming wonder, not to throw men's minds into consternation. For I dare not say—though I have my suspicions, I keep silent. Just as her death is not to be found, so I may have found some traces of the holy and blessed Virgin.... The holy virgin may have died and been buried—her falling asleep was with honour, her death in purity, her crown in virginity.
Or she may have been put to death—as the scripture says,'And a sword shall pierce through her soul'—her fame is among the martyrs and her holy body, by which light rose on the world, amid blessings. Or she may have remained alive. No one knows her end, but we must not honour the saints to excess. It is time for the error of those. Christians in the late 4th century had different opinions regarding Mary's death. For this reason, for example, wrote: Neither the letter of Scripture nor Tradition does not teach us that Mary had left this life as a con