The Services of Holy Week step us through the week that lead to the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The services transport the faithful to the eternal present of Jesus’ suffering, crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
Visitors are most welcome at any service.
On the Saturday before Holy Week, the Orthodox Church commemorates the miracle of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when he raised Lazarus from the dead after he had lain in the grave four days. Here, at the end of Great Lent and the forty days of fasting and penitence, the Church combines this celebration with that of Palm Sunday. In triumph and joy the Church bears witness to the power of Christ over death and exalts Him as King.
Palm Sunday: The Entrance of Christ into Jerusalem
At the beginning of Holy Week the Orthodox Church celebrates one of its most joyous feasts of the year. Palm Sunday is the commemoration of the Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem following His glorious miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. Having anticipated His arrival and having heard of the miracle, the people went out to meet the Lord and welcomed Him with displays of honour and shouts of praise. On this day, we receive and worship Christ in this same manner, acknowledging Him as our Lord and King.
Services of the Bridegroom
On the evenings of Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday, the Orthodox Church observes a special service known as the Service of the Bridegroom. Each evening service is the Matins service of the following day (e.g. the service held on Sunday evening is the Orthros service for Holy Monday). The name of the service is from the Bridegroom featured in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1–13).
The Mystery of Holy Unction
On the evening of Great and Holy Wednesday, the Mystery of Holy Unction is conducted. The Mystery of Holy Unction is offered for the healing of soul and body and for forgiveness of sins. At the conclusion of the service, each person is anointed with oil; and the grace of God is called down upon each person. Where possible the Sacrament is performed by a gathering of priests.
Great and Holy Thursday
On Thursday of Holy Week four events are commemorated: the washing of the disciples' feet, the institution of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas.
Great and Holy Friday
On Great and Holy Friday the Orthodox Church commemorates the death of Christ on the Cross. This is the culmination of the observance of His Passion by which our Lord suffered and died for our sins. This commemoration begins on Thursday evening with the Matins of Holy Friday and concludes with a Vespers on Friday afternoon that observes the un-nailing of Christ from the Cross and the placement of His body in the tomb.
Great and Holy Pascha
On the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha, Orthodox Christians celebrate the life-giving Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This feast of feasts is the most significant day in the life of the Church. It is a celebration of the defeat of death, as neither death itself nor the power of the grave could hold our Saviour captive. In this victory that came through the Cross, Christ broke the bondage of sin and through faith offers us restoration, transformation, and eternal life.
All services are in the English language and are held in the Religious Centre at Monash University, Clayton Campus, conveniently located in the centre of Melbourne’s residential population. Sunday services are held in the Main Chapel and other services are held in the Small Chapel.
Parking in the University car parks is free on weekends and after 7:00pm each weekday, but please take note of all signs regarding Loading Zones, No Standing and Disabled Parking as these restrictions apply and are enforced even at the weekends. Permit zones do not apply at the weekends but apply until 7:00pm every weekday.