(Video) Holy and Great Friday

A terrible mystery. All creation is silent before the drama of Golgotha, dumbstruck by the ineffable humility and patience of its Creator, who voluntarily accepts suffering and a shameful death. The sight of His terrible sufferings, sorrow, and tears overwhelms our souls and fills our hearts with dread as we witness this frightful scene. Human speech trembles to utter words about this event, now showing our Lord handed over to sinners. The faithful soul approaches, striving to fathom the incomprehensible mystery of God. The Lord is delivered to death, to free those who have been dying for ages; the sons of darkness try to conceal the Sun of Righteousness with their darkness; the lawless bind the pure hands of the Savior and weave a crown of thorns, placing it on His divine head; they mock Him who now frees us all from the bonds of sin. Our bones tremble at the realization that our Creator stands condemned before Caiaphas, struck in the face by one of his servants. How great is the marvel to witness the meekness of King Christ! For who could remain calm in this hour of wrath? Only He! For while the crucifiers rage, the Lord endures; while they are angry, He is filled with kindness. How can the one filled with countless iniquities judge the Sinless One? This is why His long-suffering is great, for while the mind is perplexed, wondering why the most holy and sinless was betrayed, His innocence triumphs over those blinded by malice.

The heart is moved, but firmly rooted in the promise that God will not abandon His creation but will comfort, heal, and recreate it. Our Lord suffers from His immense love for us, and with Him, the sin of all humanity dies. Yes, the sight of His nailed hands and feet shakes us, but at the same time, it reveals the greatness of God’s love, its testimony, and manifestation.

The prayerful depth in the Bigorski Monastery, even on this Great Friday, continues to bear witness to these events that changed humanity. Before us is the sight of suffering and death, but simultaneously, the hope in Christ’s victory over these dreadful bonds that held all humanity captive shines like a powerful beam piercing our hearts. Christ’s bonds are our freedom, and His victory over death is the death of our death. Before it, all pains and trials permitted by the loving Lord for our salvation cease. For the one who has indissolubly bound their life to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ will never be defeated.

Gathered around our beloved Elder, Bishop Partenij of Antania, with every particle of our being, we offer profound gratitude to the King of Glory, standing before His Crucifixion with contrition in our hearts and tears in our souls, praying that He may deem us worthy to also bow before His glorious Resurrection! That crucifixional feeling, that sorrowful joy and joyful sorrow, filled the air in Bigorski during last night’s vigil, at the Matins service, which through the twelve Passion Gospels transported us “to that time” in Jerusalem, before Christ Himself. The procession after the fifth Passion Gospel took us mystically to the very Golgotha, making us witnesses of the most terrible event in history – the Crucifixion of Christ. It was enough to just look at the face of the Elder, deeply engrossed in the great mystery of our salvation, to immediately transcend the boundaries of space and time and find oneself before the hill of the Skull, about two millennia ago.

Today, at the Royal Hours dedicated to King Christ, we listened to the fulfillment of ancient prophecies, everything foretold about the Son of Man by the God-inspired men, long before He was incarnate on Earth. At the Vespers service, we participated in the descent of the Lord from the Cross and in His burial. The floral epitaph, crafted with immense love, represented the honorable Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, where the pure and divine body of Christ was laid.

You were crucified for my sake, to be a source of salvation for me; You were pierced in the side to pour forth drops of life for me; You were nailed to the cross, so that, seeing the depth of Your sufferings, I may know the height of Your power and sing to You, Life-giving Christ, glory to Your cross and Your suffering, O Savior.

The faithful and humble pilgrims of the Crucified One worldwide had the opportunity to follow most of the Holy and Great Friday services from our Sacred Monastery live through the monastery’s social media broadcasts. This dedicated effort was made possible by our dear Stojan Stojanovski and his devout team from “2S Studio.” We express our immense gratitude to them and pray for God’s blessings upon them.

Matins of Great Friday
Great Friday – Vespers with the Burial of Christ and the Laying of the Holy Shroud in the Sepulcher