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Christ the Bridegroom

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[[Image:Bridegroom.jpg|thumb|right|Christ the Bridegroom icon]]
'''Christ The Bridegroom''' comes from the central figure in the parable of the ten Virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13); [[Christ]] is the divine ''Bridegroom of the Church''. This title is suggestive of His divine presence and watchfulness (''"Behold the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night ..."'') during [[Holy Week]].
=== Palm Sunday evening ===
During the first service, '''Palm Sunday''' evening, the priest carries the [[icon]] of ''Christ the Bridegroom'' into the church. We sing the ''Hymn of the Bridegroom'' during this procession, and the icon is brought to the front of the church and remains there until Holy Thursday. In the icon, we behold our Christ as the Bridegroom of the [[Church]], bearing the marks of His suffering, yet preparing the way for a marriage Feast for us in His Kingdom. He is dressed in the icon according to the mockery of the Roman guards just prior to his crucifixion.
*''The crowns '' - The crown of thorns are a symbol of His marriage to the [[Church]].*''The rope '' - the rope symbolises our bondage to sin, death and corruption which was loosed only when Christ opened His arms on the Cross. This is highlighted in the Third [[Ode]] of the [[Canon]] of [[Holy Friday]] - ''You have stretched forth Your hands, O Saviour, and gathered the things dispersed of old; and by Your burial in the linen and the grave You have loosed the captives, who shout, "There is none who is Holy apart from You, O Lord."'' *''The reed '' - a symbol of His humility; God rules his kingdom with humility.
=== The '''Kontakion''' for Holy Monday ===
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