If you can go to one as an Orthodox Christian, which one would be better to attend?

  1. Holy Thursday - 12 Gospels or
  2. Holy Friday - Lamentations
  • 2
    what do you mean by "better"? Which is given more weight by the church? Which is more beneficial to the soul? – Thomas Shields Apr 11 '12 at 17:43
  • @Thomas Shields more weight I guess. For instance, if one is given the choice to attend Vespers or Divine Liturgy, I think the right choice would be Liturgy. We are somewhat ingrained in our culture that Good Friday is important but in Orthodoxy, isn't Holy Thursday evening actually where the crucifixion is commemorated? – BeauGeste Apr 11 '12 at 19:48
  • This is an excellent question, for a strange and unusual reason. Please see my answer. If the procession doesn't happen they might not do the 'entering under the bier' (I don't know if all traditions do exactly this.) – user304 Apr 12 '12 at 21:53
  • BTW--technically, the reading of the twelve gospels is on Holy Friday, since liturgically Holy Friday begins Thursday evening. Similarly, the Lamentations are a Holy Saturday service Friday evening. – Robert Haraway Apr 18 '12 at 18:28


And here is why. While the 12 Gospels contains much more theological material, at the end of Lamentations there usually is (at least in my experience) the moment where you enter the church 'under the bier', as though you are entering the grave following Christ, which you only come out of after the procession early on Sunday morning.

So, symbolically in the liturgical dance of the Church, Lamentations is more significant. But The 12 Gospels is probably more pedagogical.

  • thanks. I suppose one could extrapolate from your answer and consider the different emphases on the crucifixion (and resulting soteriologies ) b/w west and east... – BeauGeste Apr 12 '12 at 22:34
  • I agree. Definitely. – Dan Apr 15 '12 at 23:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.