Orthodox Churches Process through Central Square in Cambridge for Holy Friday

Fr. Antony Blessing the Processional Bier with Holy Water

Cambridge, MA  –  St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church will observe Good Friday this year by processing down Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, MA to meet Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Central Square.  This event, set to take place on the night of May 3, 2013, continues an ongoing Cambridge tradition that dates back to the late 1950’s. 

Each parish will begin by celebrating a traditional Friday evening Lamentations Service consisting of psalms, hymns and readings on the death of Christ and in anticipation of the resurrection celebrated on Easter Sunday.  The high point of the service is the chanting of the Lamentations or “Hymns of Praise” – short poetic verses lamenting the passion, death, and burial of Christ.  At approximately 9:15pm, each parish will process outdoors with a flower-bedecked Sepulcher – a carved bier symbolizing the Tomb of Christ – in which is laid the Epitaphios (the embroidered cloth icon of the crucified Body of Christ).  This year, Bishop John of Worcester will participate in the procession.

St. Mary’s Orthodox Church is located at 8 Inman Street in Cambridge, right next to Cambridge City Hall.  The Good Friday service will start at 7:15pm with the procession beginning around 9:15pm.  Easter services will take place on Saturday morning May 4 at 9:00am and Saturday night May 5 (Midnight Mass) starting at 10:00pm.

For more information or to attend one of the services this evening, please visit:

About Holy Friday Night in the Orthodox Church

The service on Holy Friday evening in the Orthodox Church is actually the preparation for Great and Holy Saturday, commemorating the burial of Christ and His descent into Hades. It is the day between the Crucifixion of our Lord and His glorious Resurrection. The Matins of Holy Saturday is conducted on Friday evening, and while many elements of the service represent mourning at the death and burial of Christ, the service itself is one of watchful expectation.

At the conclusion of the service, the faithful go in procession with the Epitaphios and often the entire structure that represents the Tomb of Christ around the Church chanting the Thrice-Holy hymn, in a similar manner to the traditional procession for a funeral.

For more information, visit http://lent.goarch.org/holy_saturday/learn/

Holy Friday Procession