Services for Holy Week at Sioni Cathedral will be held thus:
Holy Wednesday: Administration of the sacrament of Holy Unction, the anointment of the faithful with oil at the conclusion of the liturgy. Commences at 5 p.m.
Holy Thursday: The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil, incorporating the Twelve Gospel Readings of the Passion of Christ. The readings are:
- John 13:31-18:1
- John 18:1-29
- Matthew 26:57-75
- John 18:28–19:16
- Matthew 27:3-32
- Mark 15:16-32
- Matthew 27:33-54
- Luke 23:32-49
- John 19:19-37
- Mark 15:43-47
- John 19:38-42
- Matthew 27:62-66
The service commences at 6 pm
Holy Friday: The Deposition of the Body of Christ from the Cross is commemorated with a Liturgy. Christ’s body is represented by the Epitaphios ,an icon of His dead body embroidered on a silk cloth, which is borne around the church by the clergy and solemnly installed in a “tomb” within the sanctuary of the cathedral. This service commences at 2 pm, the same time as Christ was reported to have died.
Holy Saturday: The Vigil of the Resurrection begins at midnight on Holy Saturday, preceding the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ, Pasqa. The service typically continues until dawn, although not all will stay for that length.
The Vigil service is very heavily attended and past experience is that one must be inside the cathedral by 10.30 p.m. or one will not gain admittance. Many hundreds of people congregate outside the cathedral and participate in the service despite being outside, and they can witness the parade of resurrection icons circling the cathedral and join in the Resurrection Hymn, Kriste Aghsdga.
May you all have a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Pascha.