April 29, 2016
New York City: First Hierarch of Russian Church Abroad leads Bringing out of Shroud on Great Friday in Synodal Cathedral

On Great Friday, April 29, when the Holy Church remembers the holy, salvific, and terrible sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, led the divine services in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, co-served by Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and cathedral clergy.

On Great Friday, Liturgy is not served, because on this day, the Lord brings Himself in sacrifice. The divine services on the day of Christ’s Passion began with the Royal Hours. The order of the reading of the Hours is very ancient; dating back to Apostolic times, documents indicate the 3rd, 6th, and 9th Hours as times when Christians would gather for prayer. With the arrival of a new day, they would appeal to God in its first hour and sing psalms, which led to the establishment of the 1st Hour. On the Third Hour (9:00 AM by our reckoning), they would commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, and call down His grace. The Sixth Hour was dedicated to the remembrance of the Crucified Savior, while the Ninth Hour was dedicated to the remembrance of His death on the Cross.

After the reading of the Hours, Vespers was served in the Cathedral of the Sign, and the Shroud was brought out of the altar. It was carried by the cathedral clergy, and under it, the First Hierarch bore the Holy Gospel.

All those present venerated the Shroud, while the canon of the Lamentation of the Theotokos was read.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese