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Holy Week 2015: St. John the Divine - Jacksonville, FL

At our Church, you will never hear Rev. Dr. Nicholas Louh call us a parish or congregation. Instead, we are a "Church Family". Everyone in the pews, at the chant stand or in the altar is one family within the House of God. Throughout Holy Week and Pascha, it was a blessing to see how involved each family member became, whether cleaning, chanting, serving in the altar or offering their undivided attention while we celebrated service every day.

On Holy Friday, our Church Family does something special and unique. Upon taking Christ down from the Cross during Vespers, we stretch a white, linen sheet (syndoni or burial shroud) down the aisle and have people hold onto the outskirts. Then, Father, ever so gently, places Christ on the sheet and begins to anoint Him with spices and Holy Water. The spices consist of cloves and cinnamon, which offer a rich and wonderful aroma. Once he is done, he passes the basket of spices and the Holy Water around to everyone present so that they may too anoint Christ, taking on the role of the myrrh bearing women. We each take turns as Christ is gently moved from one end to the next. It is so moving, and truly brings you into the life of Christ even more than you were before.

Saint John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church
3850 Atlantic Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32207

Phone: (904) 396-5383
Holy Week Services at St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church, Jacksonville, FL
Taking Christ down from the Cross.