The Great Lent period ends on the Friday before Palm Sunday. The Holy week is the last week of Lent, and it is the week just before Easter.
It starts since Palm Sunday and ends in Holy Saturday. Each day of Holy week has a special meaning and church services take place every day.
Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday
On this day Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, in where people welcomed and declared him as their King. The Triumphal entry in Jerusalem is one of the few events described in all four canonical gospels. Moreover, churches have a service referred to as the Bridegroom Services, in the evening.
Holy Monday is the day, which we remember that Jesus cursed the fig tree, on his way to Jerusalem.
A Matins service takes place in churches, in order to prepare us for the following events, while on the evening church service, the beautiful ‘Hymn of ‘Cassiane’ is sung.
This is the day, when Jesus’ feet were anointed with myrrh. Usually, there is a morning and an evening church service. Moreover, The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is celebrated on this day, while Christians have the opportunity to receive the Holy Communion during Holy Week.
Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday)
On this day, the Mystical Supper is celebrated during which, Jesus predicted the events that would follow, including his betrayal, his death and resurrection. Holy Thursday is the day when, Jesus was sentenced to death and He was crucified.
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his death on the cross. At the evening church service, the procession of the Epitaphs takes place and many hymns are sung.
Holy Saturday is the biggest holiday for Greeks. Many church services take place during Holy Saturday. However, the most important one is in the evening, when hymns are sung and Christians are getting ready for His resurrection. After midnight the hymn of ‘Christos Anesti’ is sung.
Easter (Greek Pascha)
At the end of the Holy Week, Greek Pascha follows. Easter is considered one of the biggest celebrations in Greece and many families eat traditional dishes on this day including lamb, Greek tsoureki and red eyed eggs among others, as the fasting period is over. In the evening, the Divine Liturgy service named the ‘Agaph’ service, takes place.