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Icons for the days of Holy Week


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#1 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 04:29 PM

Is there a definitive list of which icons are displayed for each of the days of Holy Week, or are there varying customs?

#2 Olga

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 08:40 PM

Holy Monday: Christ the Bridegroom
Holy Tuesday: The five wise and five foolish virgins, with Christ in their midst.
Holy Wednesday: The anointing of Christ by the sinful woman (this may be one reason most Greek churches conduct the service of Holy Unction on Holy Wednesday evening, instead of the Matins of Holy Thursday)
Holy Thursday: The Mystical Supper
Great Friday: The Crucifixion
Holy Saturday: The Deposition from the Cross (afternoon vespers), the Lamentation (evening)

#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:57 PM

Thank you, Olga!

#4 Olga

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 11:00 PM

It must be remembered, however, that not all churches would have the full complement of icons for this time of the year. If this is the case, then the Bridegroom (Nymphios) icon is used for the first three days of Holy Week. There are also icons in the Russian tradition which depict four scenes in the one icon, corresponding to the events of Christ's Passion. There is a famous 15th century series of four such quadripartite icons from the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom in Novgorod. Click on the thumbnails for a better view:

Attached File  Passion Week novgorod.jpg   306.03K   56 downloads

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Edited by Olga, 28 March 2010 - 11:06 PM.
adding images


#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:11 PM

The third one has an unusual rendering of the Crucifixion.

#6 Nina

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:19 PM

Holy Wednesday: The anointing of Christ by the sinful woman (this may be one reason most Greek churches conduct the service of Holy Unction on Holy Wednesday evening, instead of the Matins of Holy Thursday)


My SF's parish which is MP has the Holy Unction service (preceded by Confesion) on Wednesday evening. My GO parish has Matins of the Holy Thursday on the Holy Thursday so it is not that we are missing it and in the Greek Orthodoxy we all have tradition to receive Holy Communion that day, if prepared of course. I know that other Russian/Slavic parishes have Holy Unction on Wednesday evening, since we had the same discussion some days ago on facebook with several people from OCA and Slavic tradition (in US at least) saying that their parishes all will have the Holy Unction on Holy Wednesday.

#7 Father David Moser

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:33 PM

Actually, the Russian tradition is to only have the general sacrament of annointing during Lent (soborovannie) when the Bishop is present to do the service. We actually had the service last week since the Bishop has to travel to all the various parishes for this. (He had three services in three days - and then on the 4th day did a baptism before he caught the plane home for Presanctified the next day.) Thus for us, we will have the Matins of Holy Thursday on Wed evening and then the Vesperal Divine Liturgy for the Last Supper on Thursday morning and the the Crucifixion (Friday Matins) on Thursday evening.

Fr David Moser

#8 Nina

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:50 PM

My GO parish has Matins of the Holy Thursday on the Holy Thursday so it is not that we are missing it


Actually I made a mistake because in my GO parish, we have the Matins of the Holy Thursday on Wed. evening and the service of the Holy Unction is late afternoon:

Holy Wednesday, March 31
10:00 a.m. Presanctified Divine Liturgy (Chapel)*
4:00 p.m. Sacrament of Holy Unction
7:00 p.m. Service of the Bridegroom followed by the anointing of the faithful

#9 Niko T.

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:33 PM

The following site has a nice sampling of icons for the movable feasts of Triodion, Holy Week, and Pascha through Pentecost:

http://christopherkl...le_calendar.htm

#10 Nina

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 03:22 PM

Mr. Niko. Thank you so much for this link! I had never seen an icon of Joseph the Righteous and love it so thank you again for all of them.

#11 Carolyn C.

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:56 AM

Thank you for the link to the icons of Holy Week. I have a question about the Descent into Hades icon. I was told that the young man on the right with the shepherd's crook is Abel, but who are the other two men standing behind Abel? On the left side of the icon are three figures. Is the first one John the Baptist? I think I was told once that the two crowned figures are David and Solomon. Is this correct? If so, is the older man David and the young man Solomon?

#12 Jean-Serge

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 11:25 AM

Thank you for the link to the icons of Holy Week. I have a question about the Descent into Hades icon.

 

Just a remark, this icon is called Icon of Resurrection, not Descent into Hades icon.



#13 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:30 PM

It is by means incorrect to call the Resurrection icon, ‘The Descent into Hades’.  Ouspenksy and Lossky explain the matter in detail.  The Orthodox Church, as is well known, does not have any icon of the actual Resurrection of Christ since no one saw it and there is no account of it.  It is an ineffable mystery.  The icons we have are of the Descent into Hades immediately before the Resurrection and of the Myrrhbearers at the open tomb immediately after.


In the Greek tradition, the icon of the Descent into Hades is called H Aναστασις, but in the Russian tradition is called Сошествие во ад (which is Κατελθόντα εἰς τὰ κατώτατα in the Greek).  However, that does not mean that either is wrong.  Both express aspects of the spiritual dynamic of Holy Saturday and the Day of Pascha.  Christ’s victory over hades, the release of those there, and the despoiling of hades are clearly bound up with His actual Resurrection.  Christ’s descent into hades opened the way to our ascent to paradise.  The Resurrection icon depicts the events of Holy Saturday but is also a type of the Resurrection of Christ the New Adam as the first-fruit, and the eventual resurrection of all the descendants of Adam and Eve. 


It goes without saying that the iconographic tradition of the Church and the service texts are in harmony in these things.



#14 Olga

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:05 PM

A third name for this icon is The Harrowing of Hades, most clearly exemplified by the broken wooden gateposts of hades on which Christ triumphantly stands, and which are very often arranged in the shape of a cross. We also see the broken locks and bolts of hades, the chaos of the abyss, and the binding in chains of the personification of sin and death.

 

All of these motifs are expressed in the hymnography of Holy Saturday and Pascha, as Andreas pointed out.



#15 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:25 PM

The word 'harrowing' (like 'harrying' as in 'the harrying of the North') come from OE hergung meaning to spoil, plunder, lay waste.  This is one aspect of the complex dynamic of what Christ accomplished and is, as Olga indicates, described in the iconography and hymnography of our Church.  It is why we ought always to refer to 'hades' and not 'hell' in this context.



#16 Jean-Serge

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:09 PM

Сошествие во ад : translation needed!!

 

This icon of resurrection always bears the name written on it of Resurrection which is Anastasis in Greek. In Russia, it should be checked too. There may have been catholic influences. You can put this icon in parallel with the troparion of Easter and the icon is a picture of the words of the Troparion of Easter. It is a dogmatic icon

 

This dogmatic Icon of the Resurrection highlights, with truly exceptional emphasis, not an individual historical event (the bodily Resurrection of the Savior), nor an historical moment (the Savior’s egress from the Tomb), but, rather, the dogma of the abolition of Hades and death as well as the Resurrection of humanity.

 

I also objected the name Descent into Hades because that would mean that the icon of Resurrection could be that awful picture sometimes found in some orthodox church with coming out the tumb, which is a catholic influence.

 

If my souvenir are correct, for Holy Saturday, the icon in church is the epitaphion and the icon of Resurrection is only exposed from Easter, which confirms it is the icon of Easter and not of Holy Saturday too...

 

More about this here.


Edited by Jean-Serge, 28 April 2013 - 10:11 PM.


#17 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:53 AM

Сошествие во ад means 'Descent into Hades' (as thirty seconds on Google translate would have shown).  Russians icons of the Resurrection since the XIVth century have been called 'Descent into Hades'.  (There are the famous icons of Pskov and of St Andrei Rublev.)  For the reasons given in post #13, this should not be regarded as wrong.

 

The quotation in post #16 has no ascription but expresses what I tried to express in post #13. 

 

The article to which a link was given in post #16 is about an entirely different matter, namely the error of western artists in showing the actual Resurrection.  I note that the article refers repeatedly to the Resurrection icon as 'Descent into Hades', and as authority the author cites Ouspensky and Lossky, The Meaning of Icons, to which I referred.  Accordingly, there is no conflict of view here.  The Greeks call the Resurrection icon Η Αναστασις and the Russians call it Сошествие во ад.  Both are correct.



#18 Jean-Serge

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:49 AM


Not everybody knows google translation. In 30 seconds, you could have written the translation too. Personally, since the forum is English-speaking and although English is not my native tongue, I try always to translate. The article indeed is a different matter but insists however that the icon of Resurrection rarely bears the name "Descent to Hades" or "the Resurrection of Christ". Quotation :

 

 

 

 


"It should be noted that “all traditional depictions [of this type], whether in manuscripts, frescoes, or portable Icons, bear the inscription THE 
RESURRECTION. Such inscriptions as ‘The Resurrection of  Christ’ or the ‘Descent into Hades’ are rare.”12

 

Source : 12 Monk Ioannes-Charilaos Branos, Θεωρία Ἁγιογραφίας [The theory of iconography] (Thessalonica: Ekdoseis “P. Pournaras,” 1977), p. 223.


Edited by Jean-Serge, 29 April 2013 - 08:51 AM.


#19 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:54 AM

This refers to Greek icons which are always called Η Αναστασις.  Russian icons are called Сошествие во ад.  I repeat: both are correct - there is no problem here.






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