Good Friday Service of the Entombment

On the evening of April 3, 2015, Good Friday was commemorated with a somber service recalling the burial of our Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout Prelacy Churches, reproductions of the tomb of Jesus could be found before altars, adorned with flowers brought by parishioners.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Good Friday service and delivered his message at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino. The poignant service comprised Scripture readings, psalms and hymns recalling Christ’s suffering and burial and beseeching the mercy of our Lord who was sacrificed on the Cross for our salvation. The pre-feast service (nakhadonag) followed, during which the Prelate circled the church in a procession blessing the faithful, after which he delivered his message.

Today, with these moving hymns, said the Prelate, we paid tribute to our life-giving, immortality-granting Savior, who was willingly buried and laid in a tomb for our sin. Christ shed His innocent blood and spread His arms on the Cross for our redemption and salvation. As was prophesied, the Messiah had come to establish His heavenly kingdom here on earth with His love and mercy, willingly and at the appointed time. Even His last words on the Cross had a purpose and a mission. Jesus asked God to forgive those who crucified Him, demonstrating His compassion, He expressed His thirst, demonstrating His human nature, He sealed the protection of His mother by entrusting her care to His beloved disciple, He cried out in pain, and lastly He uttered “It is finished” and entrusted His spirit into the hands of the Father. Jesus had completed His mission until that moment, He became the Passover Lamb, but it was not yet finished.
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Our Lord had to be buried to fulfill the prophecy that He would be resurrected on the third day. Thus, in this tomb here before us, we should see not death; we should see our immortality, asserted the Prelate. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus risked their lives to give our Lord Jesus Christ a proper burial, and our forefathers risked and gave their lives for Christ, who gave His blood for us.
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And so, if we are to be worthy of being called their heirs and descendants, then in the faith and example of our forefathers let us kneel before this tomb in praise for His death and His burial which gave us life, and let us proudly proclaim that we too are disciples of Christ, concluded the Prelate.

The service concluded with the hymn “Thy Cross, Christ” sung collectively by clergy, deacons, choir, and the congregation on bended knee in veneration of the Holy Cross.

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