Melkite Greek Catholic Church
 
Updated: Images of Pascha

Glorious and Holy Easter Sunday

The word Easter refers to the season of the rising sun, to new life of spring. The same feast is called Passover, or Pascha by many nations. The Hebrew Passover (Pasach) was instituted to commemorate the deliverance of the people of Israel the night before their departure from Egypt. The angel of God destroyed the first-born of the Egyptians, but "passed over" the houses of the Israelites.

By God's command, communicated by Moses, each Hebrew family was to slay a lamb without blemish and sprinkle its blood on the door frame. The lamb was to be roasted in the evening. No bones were to be broken, and it was to be eaten with unleavened bread. The same rite was to be repeated every year in a solemn ceremony on the eve of the feast, as it is still being done by Jewish people everywhere. Jesus observed it on the night before He died.

There is a significant link between the Christian Easter and the Jewish Passover since Christ died on Passover Day. The Jewish custom is also symbolic of Christ, "the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (John, 1:29). Hence the name and signification of the Hebrew Pasch was devoutly accepted and used by the Church.

Invitation to Take light from the Light

Invitation to "Take light from the Light

that never Fades"

Procession outside begins

Procession outside begins

Approaching the altar outside of the church

Approaching the altar outside of the church

Litany of Peace

Litany of Peace

"O Christ Our Savior, the angels in heaven sing a hymn of praise to your resurrection. As for us who dwell on earth, make us worthy to glorify You with pure hearts."

Proclaiming the Resurrection

Proclaiming the Resurrection

Christ Is Risen!!!

The Easter Service Continues . . .

 
Updated: Images of the Pascha Liturgy Continued

On this glorious and holy day, the whole Church celebrates with joy the final triumph and life-giving resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. After the long period of darkness brought about by original sin, after the seemingly endless expectation of the prophets, after the glad tidings of the nativity that came to pass, when the time had come, after the thirty hidden years and the three years of public life, after the frightful passion which had seemed to be the end of all hope, after the two days in the depth of the tomb, behold: CHRIST IS RISEN !

Indeed, indeed, He is risen, all is true, every promise of God has been fulfilled; the Savior has come, the Lamb of God has been sacrificed to take away the sins of the world, and supremely triumphant in his apparent defeat, He has crushed death by his death and restored everlasting life through his resurrection!

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Faithful Proclaim the Resurrection!

Christ is Risen!!

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Rapping on the doors symbolizing
Christ's Descent into Hades

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Entering the Church for Orthros

and Divine Liturgy

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Distributing Pascha eggs

A sign of Christ's Resurrection

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Breaking the Pascha eggs

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Greeting, "Christ is Risen!"

Response, "He is Truly Risen"

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Glorious Tomb of the Risen Christ

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Celebrating the Good News

 

The Passion and Death of Christ are commemorated on Great and Holy Friday. There is no Liturgy on this day, nor any distribution of communion.

Prayer service over the oil

Recalling the ointment bearing women

Prayer service over the oil

Tomb of Christ decorated with flowers

Prayer service over the oil

Throwing rose petals onto the epitaphios

Prayer service over the oil

Epitaphios carried around the Church

Prayer service over the oil

Kissing the Icon of Christ

Prayer service over the oil

Passing from death to life!

 
Updated: Images of Palm Sunday

During the fourth century, at the very place where the glorious entrance into Jerusalem had occurred, Palm Sunday was commemorated in the following fashion: first, a public reading of the gospel in which Christ is hailed as the King of Israel taking possession of his capital city, Jerusalem, symbol of the Heavenly City; then a bishop, riding an ass and surrounded by a multitude of people carrying palms and singing hymns, went up to the Church of the Resurrection. Every Eastern Church took up this celebration in the form of a procession. This also was adopted by the Church of Rome in the year 1039.

“O Christ God, enthroned in Heaven and on earth riding upon a colt, You have accepted the praise of the Angels and the hymns of the children who were crying out to You: 'Blessed are You who come to restore Adam.' ”

Procession begins

Procession begins

Blessing of the palms

Blessing of the palms

Leaving the Church

Leaving the Church

Procession continues around the Church

Procession continues around the Church

Father Philaret Proclaiming the Gospel of the Feast

Proclaiming the Gospel of the Feast

 
Images of Great and Holy Wednesday

Monday - On this day are commemorated the story of the Ten Virgins who went out to meet the Bridegroom, and that of Joseph, son of Jacob, whose brothers sold him to the Egyptians, but who remained pure and faithful to God. He is a prototype of Christ, persecuted by his own people and delivered by them to foreigners, but raised up by God to be King and Master of all nations. The third lesson of the day is the curse of the fig tree condemned by Christ because it bore no fruit. So shall we be condemned if we do not bear the fruits of penance, humility and renouncement to illicit worldly pleasures.

Tuesday - The story of the Ten Virgins is recalled once more, then that of the men who had received different talents. Any gift from the Lord must be worked and made to fructify. The last judgment and the end of the world are also remembered.

Wednesday - The example of Mary of Magdala is remembered on this day: how she washed the Lord's feet with her tears of love and repentance, wiped them with her hair, and anointed them with costly perfume.

Oil Service for the Sacrament of Holy Unction

Oil Service for the Sacrament of Holy Unction

Prayer service over the oil

Prayer service over the oil

"Behold, the Bridegroom is coming in the middle of the night: blessed is the servant He shall find awake.

Do not fall into deep slumber, lest you be delivered to death and the door of the kingdom be closed on you."

The Gospel is sung over the oil

The Gospel is sung over the oil

Veneration of the Gospel

Veneration of the Gospel

Anointing of the Deacon

Anointing of the Deacon

 

A Photograph Album of the Melkite Services from Palm Sunday through Pascha with notes from the Byzantine Daily Worship by Archbishop Joseph Raya.

Holy Wednesday

Holy Thursday

Good Friday

Holy Saturday

Palm Sunday

Easter Sunday

 

The Lord's Last Supper is commemorated on this day, together with his humility and love as He washed an kissed his disciples' feet.

Carrying the Crucifix Service

Carrying the Crucifix Service

Carrying the Cross and Body of Christ

Carrying the Cross and Body of Christ

The Crucifixion

The Crucifixion

Raising the Cross on Golgotha

Raising the Cross on Golgotha

Placing the Cross on Golgotha

Placing the Cross on Golgotha

Veneration of the Cross

Veneration of the Cross

 
The Office of the Burial of Christ

The Office is a meditation on the Savior's entombment and on his descent into Hades to save the souls of the just and open for them the gates of heaven. It is marked throughout with faith an hope, since the time of Christ remained in the tomb is seen by Christians as a period of refreshing sleep after the sufferings of the Passion, and as a prelude to the victory of the Resurrection.

Prayer service over the oil

Hades tearfully sighs! Darkness, no candles

Prayer service over the oil

Light of Christ enlightens all!

Prayer service over the oil

Procession of the New Light!

Prayer service over the oil

Spreading of the Laurel leaves

Prayer service over the oil

Proclaiming Christ's victory over death

with Laurel leaves

"The angel stood by the tomb and said to the ointment-bearing women: 'Ointments are for the dead, but Christ has proven Himself free from decay.'"

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