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Holy Week Contemplations

Covenant Thursday to the Glorious Resurrection

On Covenant Thursday there is a rare Greek hymn which can be sung, a gem in the rites of Holy Week. It perfectly describes how we should approach the Holy Communion every time we partake of the Eucharist:

‘Of Your Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Your mystery to Your enemies, neither will I give You a kiss like Judas; but with the thief will I confess you: Remember me O Lord in Your Kingdom.’

Judas betrayed, Peter denied, the disciples fled and Jesus is alone to take up His Cross. What compelled You to leave the throne of glory, carried by the Cherubim, to be enthroned upon the Cross and crowned with the thorns of my sins? Lord, I ask You to accept my repentant soul which cannot repay You for Your holy salvation.

O Joseph and Nicodemus, tell us about the spectacle you saw that day. You carried the Eternal and Immortal One to the tomb, He who died for our sins. How can the Creator and Living God now lay in a tomb, sealed by a stone? Lord, I thank You for You humbly accepted all this for My salvation. Let us praise our Saviour, ‘Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal,’ for by weakness he has shown us what is greater than power.

When we read the book of Revelations on Bright Saturday, we recall the praise of the heavenly singing the praise of triumph and salvation, which is ours. If the angels do not need salvation yet still praise God, how much more should I, the sinner, offer my life to my Saviour for this great gift?

Let us now contemplate the serenity of the empty tomb in the garden that early Sunday morning. When Christ was crucified, the veil of the temple was torn in two, the earth quaked and the sun hid its face. Nature could not bear to witness its Creator hung on the Cross. Now that the Lord is risen, peace is restored in the Garden. For the Living One is risen and comforts His disciples with his greetings of peace.

‘Always remember, O my soul, the resurrection of your Master to realise the certainty of your own resurrection.’ - Fr Manasseh Youhanna

How should I live my life, now that He has shown me the joy of His glorious Resurrection? Let us follow the example of Mary Magdalene, and hurry to the tomb early offering the first fruits of our fragrant virtues and praises. Praise the Lord, O my soul, for today salvation is complete!



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