First Passia Service

The second week of Great Lent draws to its end, and so, this evening, the first Passia of the Holy Forty Days was served in the Trinity Cathedral of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery. With this penetrating, soulful, and sorrowful service, the Holy Church prepares us to relive the events of the last days and hours of the earthly life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“Today He Is Hung upon the tree, he who hung the earth upon the waters. He is arrayed in a crown of thorns, he who is the King of the Angels. He is wrapped in mocking purple, he who wraps the heaven in clouds. He receives a blow on the face, he who freed Adam in Jordan. He is transfixed with nails, the Bridegroom of the Church. He is pierced by a lance, the Son of the Virgin.”

This Stikhera of the Gospel speaks of the infinite mercy of God and the utmost, merciless cruelty of man. Weeping and lamenting, we exclaim, “We worship Thy Passion, O Christ, show us also Thy glorious Resurrection,” as we kneel before the Crucifixion.

The mournful and solemn akathist to the Passions of the Lord and the Divine Gospel according to Matthew about the salvific sufferings and death of the Savior mentally delivered us to Golgotha and reminded of the main goal of Lent – to be crucified along with Christ. As we gaze upon the wondrous and forgiving face of the Lord on the cross, we draw spiritual strength to continue our life-saving deeds of self-restraint, repentance, and reform.