Today is Maundy Thursday
The Orthodox world is in the days of Holy Week, during which Christians relive the last days of the earthly life of Jesus Christ. The liturgical program of today's Maundy Thursday is saturated with a number of events related to the redemptive work of the Savior for humanity. With hymns and gospel readings, the church reminds us how Christ washed the feet of the apostles, about the Last Supper, about his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, how he was handed over to judgment and about his redemptive suffering on the Cross.
In the liturgical life of the church today, church successions recreate 4 significant events of the last days of Christ's earthly life.
The service in the morning is a commemoration of the Last Supper of the Savior with his disciples. Metropolitan Gregory of Vratsa explains the symbolism:
"The Lord, before they sat down at the table, did something that embarrassed the holy apostles - he washed the feet of his disciples. With this act of his, he showed great humility, taught everyone such humility and attitude towards one another. Let no one seek superiority over others, but on the contrary, he who wants to be first, let him be the servant of others."
"The culmination of all divine services is the Holy Eucharist - the holy liturgy, at which ordinary bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ. With these holy mysteries, believing Christians partake, for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life," says Metropolitan Gregory.
"Communion is the center of the Christian life. It is life. The Lord says - I am the vine, you are the branches. We must unite with Christ through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Communion is to become communion with Christ, who is our life, and he is eternal life. People from ancient times are looking for the panacea, the medicine for immortality and they really want to be immortal, but in fact God has given it to us for free," says a laywoman who participates in church services.
Christ's way to Calvary is recreated from the evening services of Maundy Thursday.
"In the evening, the Sequence of the 12 Gospels, of the sufferings of the Lord, is celebrated. By reading these 12 selected places from the Holy Gospel, we witness everything that happens to the Lord Jesus Christ in the last days of his life."
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