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Christ the Bridegroom

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{{Inprogress|Ixthis888}}[[Image: Bridegroom.jpg|thumb|right|Christ the Bridegroom of the Churchicon]]'''Christ The the Bridegroom''' comes from is the central figure in the [[parable ]] of the ten Virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13); [[Christ]] is the divine ''Bridegroom of the Churchas described in the Book of [[Isaiah]] (chapter 54), as well as the primary image of '''Bridegroom Matins'''. This The title is suggestive of His his divine presence and watchfulness (‘’’"Behold the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night ..."’’’) during [[Holy Week]] and his selfless love for his Bride, the [[Church]].
The '''Bridegroom''' is also the name given to the central icon used in '''The Service of the Bridegroom'''Matins. The '''Bridegroom''' icon and service has been more is also commonly known in the Greek tradition as '''"O Nymphios"''' but over the last decade, this title has caused much confusion to the ever-growing English speaking christian population.
== Service of the Bridegroom Matins ==The '''Service of the Bridegroom''' Matins is an [[Orthros]] type a service specific to the first three 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 the Lord. These 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 are chanted in anticipation incorporate readings and hymns inspiring this theme. The mood of Christ’s crucifixion the services is to experience sorrow and to feel Christ's voluntary submission to His passions and resurrection (“Marriage” highlight the purpose behind the evil that is about to take place against the “Church”Lord. The atmosphere is one of mourning (for sins) and is symbolic of the shame 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 passage from death Priest and the altar clothes are black or deep purple to lifesymbolise and enhance the atmosphere of mourning and remembrance of sins. Each The main emphasis of these services the Bridegroom Service is ''[[metanoia]]'' and each service has its own particular themeon 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 ===
At During the first service of '''on [[Palm Sunday''' ]] evening, the priest carries the [[icon]] of Christ the Bridegroom in into the church. The Bridegroom troparion is sung during this procession, and we sing the ''"Hymn icon is brought to the front of the Bridegroomchurch and remains there until Holy Thursday."'' We behold The icon depicts Christ as the Bridegroom of the [[Church]], bearing the marks of His his suffering, yet preparing the way for a marriage Feast for us feast in God's his Kingdom.==== The Bridegroom icon ====The He is dressed in the icon depicts Jesus dressed according to the mockery of the Roman guards just prior to his crucifixion.*The crowns - The crown of thorns are a symbol of His his marriage to the church[[Church]].==== *The Hymn rope - a symbol of bondage to sin, death and corruption which was loosed with Christ's death on the Bridegroom ====Cross.*''The reed'' - a symbol of his humility; God rules his kingdom with humility. Sunday evening also includes this kontakion:“Behold:Jacob lamented the loss of Joseph, the Bridegroom cometh but that noble one was seated in a chariot and honored as a king; for by not being enslaved then to the middle pleasures of the nightEgyptian woman, and blessed is he was glorified by Him that servant whom He shall find watching; beholdeth the hearts of men and again unworthy is he ..bestoweth an incorruptible crown.{{stub}}
=== Holy Monday evening ===
On '''[[Holy Week|Holy Monday''']], the Blessed Joseph, the son of Jacob the Patriarch, is commemorated. Joseph because he is often seen as a prototype of Christ.  Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by them. In the same way, our the Lord was rejected, betrayed by His his own, and sold into the slavery of deathand like Joseph forgave and spared his brothers during the famine when they came to him, so too, [[Jesus]] [[Christ]] offers himself as a sacrifice and forgives all those who come to him in faith.  The Gospel reading for the day is The of the Barren Fig Tree, which Christ cursed and withered because it bore no fruit. The fig tree is a parable representative of those who have heard God's word, but who fail to bear the fruit fruits of obediencefaith. Originally the withering of the fig tree was a testimony against those Jews who rejected God's word and His his Messiah. However, it It is also a warning to all people, in all times, of the importance of not only hearing the God's word, but putting it into action.  Monday evening also includes this kontakion::Being mindful of the hour of the end, O my soul, and fearing because of the cutting down of the fig tree, labor diligently with the talent that was given thee, O hapless one, and be watchful and cry: Let us not remain outside the bridal chamber of Christ. 
===Holy Tuesday evening ===
On '''[[Holy Week|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 expostelarion exaposteilarion hymn we sing ''":: 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. Holy Tuesday's Bridegroom Matins also includes commemoration of [[Kassiani the Hymnographer|Kassiani]] ([[September 7]]), also known by the names of ''Kasia'', ''Kasiani'' or ''Ikessia'', was a great [[hymnographer]] from the 9th century. According to the Synaxaristi not many details of her life have been recorded but she has remained in ecclesiastical history for her great hymns. His Eminence Metropolitan Sophronios Eustratiadis of Leontopoleos <ref> Σωφρόνιος Ευστρατιάδης (Μητροπολίτης Λεοντοπόλεως) </ref> writes that Kassiani was "an orphaned girl from the Byzantine era, beautiful and wise, a saintly ascetic and respectful virgin". <ref> «ορφανή κόρη του Βυζαντίου εκ των ευπατρίδων, ωραία και σοφή, οσία ασκήτρια και ευσεβέστατη παρθένος» περ. «Εκκλ. Φάρος Αλεξανδρείας», τ.ΛΑ'(1932) σελ. 92 </ref> Kassiani is also linked to the Emperor Theophilos (9th century) and his search for a bride. Theophilos was angered with a reply by Kassiani to a question of his, and he impulsively chose St. Theodora, who was standing next to Kassiani, to be his elected bride. Kassiani also played a great role in the restoration of the Holy Icons.  Heartbroken by Theophilos, one of those poems was the beautiful hymn of Kassiani, which in the Byzantine tradition is such a major feature that the service held on Holy Tuesday evening is often referred to simply as the ''Hymn of Kassiani''. Theophilos searched for Kassiani and found her at a convent and the two never saw each other again. Her repentance and love for Christ is the theme of the wonderful Hymn of Kassiani which is chanted on this night, reminding all that they may be forgiven if they repent. The text of the hymn, based on the account of the sinful woman who is introduced by the Evangelist St Luke in his Gospel (7:36-50). Kassiani contrasts the repentance of the sinful woman with Eve's fall (Gen. 3:8-11)::The woman who had fallen into many sins, perceiving Your divinity, O Lord, received the dignity of a [[myrrh-bearer]], for with lamentation she brought fragrant myrrh to You before Your burial. And she cried: Woe is me, for love of sin and stings of lustful passion envelop me as the night, dark and moonless. As You cause the clouds to drop down the waters of the sea, accept the fountain of my tears. As by Your indescribable condescension You bowed down the heavens, so incline to the groaning of my heart. I shall kiss Your most pure feet and wipe them with the hair of my head, those same feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise when she hid herself in fear. Who can count the multitude of my sins? Who can measure the depths of Your judgments, O Saviour of my soul? Do not turn away from me, Your servant, for You have immeasurable mercy. Tuesday evening also includes this kontakion::I have transgressed far more than the harlot, O Good One, yet have never brought you showers of tears; but entreating in silence, I fall before you, as I kiss your immaculate feet with love, that as Master you may grant me forgiveness of offences, as I cry out, O Saviour: deliver me from the filth of my works.
We == See also remember ''Kassiane'', who anointed our Lord in anticipation of His death. Her repentance and love for ==*[[Holy Week]]*[[Kassiani the Hymnographer]]*[[Jesus Christ is the theme of the wonderful ''"Hymn of Kassiane"'' which is chanted on this night, reminding us one more time, before ''"it is too late,"'' that we too may be forgiven if we repent.]]
(Kassiane came == External links ==*[ Holy Week - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday] - from an aristocratic family of Byzantium during the 9th century. She played a great role in ''Holy Week: A Liturgical Explanation for the restoration Days of the Holy Icons and dedicated her life to the composition of sacred poetryWeek'' (St Vladimir's Seminary Press), by Very Rev.)[[Alexander Schmemann]]
=== The Hymn of Kassiane ==={{stub}}[[Category:Liturgics]]

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