Epitaphios

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An epitaphios (also called the Epitaphios Thrinos, epitaphion, or epitaphioi) is a large cloth icon used during the services of Great Friday in a commemoration of the death of Christ on the cross.


In this icon, Christ has been removed (or unnailed) from the cross and his body is being prepared for burial. Shown around the body, and mourning his death, are his mother, the Theotokos and Virgin Mary, John the beloved disciple, Joseph of Arimathea, and Mary Magdalene.


Enkomia (praise-songs) and threnoi (laments) are usually sung before the epitaphios. These epitaphios thrinos or lamentations are why the service is often referred to as the “Lamentations service.

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