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Christ the Bridegroom

4 bytes added, 15:40, April 22, 2008
cleaned up more "we" language
== Bridegroom Matins ==
Bridegroom Matins is a service specific to the first four evenings of [[Holy Week]] (though it is often omitted on Holy Wednesday in favor of the service of [[Holy Unction]]) and commemorates the last days in the earthly life of our the Lord. Incorporated into these services is the theme of the first three days of Holy Week; which is the last teachings of Christ to his disciples. As such, these services incorporate readings and hymns inspiring this theme. The mood of the services is to experience sorrow and to feel Christ's voluntary submission to His passions and highlight the purpose behind the evil that is about to take place against the Lord. The atmosphere is one of mourning (for our sins) and is symbolic of the shame we the Christian should feel for the Fall of Adam and Eve, the depths of hell, the lost Paradise and the absence of God. The vestments of the Priest and the altar clothes are black or deep purple to symbolise and enhance the atmosphere of mourning and remembrance of our sins. The main emphasis of the Bridegroom Service is ''[[metanoia]]'' and each service has its own particular theme on repentance and watchfulness. One of its primary features is its [[troparion]]:
:Behold, the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night, and blessed is the servant He shall find vigilant; but unworthy is he whom he shall find neglectful. Beware therefore, O my soul, lest you be weighed down by sleep, lest you be given over to death and be closed out from the kingdom; but rise up crying out: "Holy! Holy! Holy are You our God; through the intercessions of the Theotokos, have mercy on us."
=== Palm Sunday evening ===
During the first service on [[Palm Sunday]] evening, the priest carries the [[icon]] of Christ the Bridegroom into the church. The Bridegroom troparion is sung during this procession, and the icon is brought to the front of the church and remains there until Holy Thursday. The icon depicts Christ as the Bridegroom of the [[Church]], bearing the marks of his suffering, yet preparing the way for a marriage Feast for us feast in His his Kingdom. He is dressed in the icon according to the mockery of the Roman guards just prior to his crucifixion.
*The crowns - a symbol of his marriage to the [[Church]].
*The rope - a symbol of bondage to sin, death and corruption which was loosed with Christ's death on the Cross.
===Holy Tuesday evening ===
On [[Holy Tuesday]], the Parable of the Ten Virgins is read. It tells the story of the five virgins who filled their lamps in preparation for receiving the bridegroom while the other five allowed their lamps to go out and hence were shut out of the marriage feast. This parable is a warning that we Christians must always be prepared to receive our the Lord when He he comes again. The theme of the day is reinforced by the exaposteilarion hymn:
: I see Thy Bridal Chamber adorned, O my Savior, but have no wedding garment that I may enter. O Giver of Light, enlighten the vesture of my soul, and save me.
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