Tonight the flickering candles illuminate our faces as we join theVirgin in a lament at the tomb of her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We gather around tightly, as if seeking consolation for our grief,
in our closeness to one another. The most holy Theotokos, Mary,
our mother, is here with us. We can feel her presence and her pain.
We can also feel her strength and her joyful sorrow. And verse
by verse like arrows also pierce our hearts;
"In a tomb they laid Thee, O Christ the life. By Thy death Thou
hast cast down the might of death, and become the font of
life for all the world."
"The spiritual powers and the angelic hosts stand in silence
overcome with wonder before the awesome mystery of Thy
"The ewe saw her lamb slaughtered and cried aloud in grief.
She was pierced with anguish, and the flock of Christ
assembled to join her lament"
"Tears of lamentation the pure Virgin shed for Thee with a mother's
grief, O Jesus she cried out: How can I lay Thee in the grave my
"Who will give me water, a spring for my tears, that I may weep
for my sweet Jesus? cried the Virgin Bride of God."
"Alone among women, O my child, without pain I bore Thee.
Now I can not bear the pain I suffer, said the Holy Virgin"
"Come, let us sing our lament to Christ who died for us..."
It was my sin that killed Him. It was my sin which caused
such grief to His mother, the Virgin.
Mary, O most pure, I can not bear the pain I suffer for
causing you such sorrow!
"Simeon's prophecy is fulfilled today for the sword, of which
he spoke, has pierced my heart. O my son Emmanuel."
Even now, the Mother is not without consolation. Her Son
speaks quietly to her heart, "Do not lament me, O mother,
seeing me in the tomb. For I shall arise and be glorified
with eternal glory as God. I shall exalt all who magnify
Thee in faith and in love"
The verses in this devotional have been selected from
the service of 'The Lamentations' as sung on Great and
Holy Friday evening.