Behold the Man – Fr Evans (Mp3)

Click on the images  Taken from GOARCH Website

Holy Friday Vespers

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 unnailing of Christ from the Cross and the placement of His body in the tomb.


116 min.

Holy Friday Service of the Hours

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 unnailing of Christ from the Cross and the placement of His body in the tomb.


104 min.

Great and Holy Friday and Saturday  

(Video – Real Player)  


Discourse On the Passion of the Saviour by Our Venerable Father Ephrem the Syrian

I am afraid to speak

and touch with my tongue

this fearful narrative

concerning the Saviour.

For truly it is fearful

to narrate all this.

Our Lord

was given up today

into the hands of sinners!

For what reason then

was one who is holy

and without sin given up?

For having done no sin

he was given up today.

Come, let us examine closely

why Christ our Saviour

was given up.

For us, the ungodly,

the Master was given up.

Who would not marvel?

Who would not give glory?

When the slaves had sinned

the Master was given up.

The sons of perdition

and the children of darkness

went out in the darkness

to arrest the sun

who had the power

to consume them in an instant.

But the Master, knowing

their effrontery

and the force of their anger,

with gentleness,

by his own authority,

gave himself up

into the hands of the ungodly.


The Earth Trembled in Fear – Efrikse Gi – Holy Friday Heirmos

And lawless men, having bound

the most pure Master,

mocked the one

who had bound the strong one

with unbreakable bonds,

and set us free

from the bonds of sins.

They plaited a crown

of their own thorns,

the fruit borne

by the vine of the Jews.

In mockery

they called him ‘King’.



The lawless spat

in the face of the most pure,

at whose glance

all the Powers of heaven

and the ranks of Angels

quake with fear.

See, once again grief and tears

grip hold of my heart,

as I contemplate the Master

enduring outrage and insults,

scourgings, spitting

from slaves, and blows


(Above photo: Ecce Homo convent is located on the former Roman Pretorium where Christ was judged and condemned by the Hebrew, this monastery is also the first of the Stations of the Cross Road. This “way of sorrows” – Via Dolorosa – reminds us about the supreme love that God has for man, by giving His only Son to be crucified. On Great Friday, may Christians walk in the footsteps of the Savior, on the narrow streets of the ancient city of Jerusalem)

Come, observe well

the abundance of compassion,

the forbearance and mercy

of our sweet Master.

He had a useful slave

in the Paradise of delight,

and when he sinned

he was given to the torturers.

But when the Good One

saw his weakness of soul

he took compassion on the slave

and had mercy on him

and presented himself

to be scourged by him.

I wished to remain silent

because my mind

was utterly amazed;

but then again I was afraid

lest I reject

by my silence

my Saviour’s grace.

For my bones tremble

when I think of it.


Holy Friday Lamentations (fragment) – Greek


The fashioner of all things,

our Lord himself,

was today arraigned

before Caiaphas,

like one of the condemned;

and one of the servants

struck him a blow.

My heart trembles

as I think on these things:

the slave is seated,

the Master stands,

and one full of iniquities

passes sentence

on the one who is sinless.


Lamentations, Romanian



The heavens trembled,

earth’s foundations shuddered;

Angels and Archangels

all quailed with terror.

Gabriel and Michael

covered their faces

with their wings.

The Cherubim at the throne

were hidden beneath the wheels;

The Seraphim struck their wings

one with the other

at that moment,

when a servant gave

a blow to the Master.

How did earth’s foundations

endure the earthquake

and the tremor

at that moment,

when the Master was outraged?

I observe and I tremble

and again I am stunned,

when I see the long-suffering

of the loving Master.

For see my inward parts

tremble as I speak,

because the Creator,

who by grace fashioned

humanity from dust,

he the Fashioner is struck.

Let us fear, my brethren

and not simply listen.

The Saviour endured

all these things for us.

Wretched servant,

tell us why

you struck the Master?

All servants,

when they are set free,

receive a blow,

that they may obtain

freedom that perishes;

but you, miserable wretch,

unjustly gave a blow

to the liberator of all.

Did you perhaps expect

to receive from Caiaphas

a reward for your blow?


1st station Lamentations – English translation from Greek



Had you perhaps not heard,

had you perhaps not learned

that Jesus is

the heavenly Master?

You gave a blow

to the Master of all things,

but became slave of slaves

to age on age,

a disgrace and abomination,

and condemned for ever

in unquenchable fire.

A great marvel, brethren,

it is to see the gentleness

of Christ the King!

Struck by a slave

he answered patiently,

with gentleness

and all reverence.


Live from Balamand Monastery (Greek and Arabic)


A servant is indignant,

the Master endures;

a servant is enraged,

the Master is kind.

At a time of anger,

who could endure

rage and disturbance?

But our Lord

submitted to all this

by his goodness.

Who can express

your long-suffering,


You that are longed for

and loved by Christ,

draw near, with compunction

and longing for the Saviour.

Come, let us learn

what took place today

in Sion, David’s city.

The longed-for and chosen

offspring of Abraham,

what did they do today?

They gave up to death

the most pure Master

on this day.

Christ our Saviour

was unjustly hanged

on the tree of the Cross

through lawless hands.

Come, let us all

wash our bodies

with tears and groans,

because our Lord,

the King of glory,

for us ungodly people

was given up to death.

If someone suddenly hears

of one truly beloved

having died,

or again, suddenly sees

the beloved himself


2nd stasis –English translation from Greek 


lying a dead corpse

before their eyes,

their appearance is altered,

and the brightness

of their sight is darkened.

So, in heaven’s height,

when it saw

the outrage to the Master

on the tree of the Cross,

the bright sun’s

appearance was altered;

it withdrew the rays

of its own brightness,

and unable to look on

the outrage to the Master,

clothed itself

in grief and darkness.




Likewise the Holy Spirit,

who is in the Father,

when he saw

the beloved Son

on the tree of the Cross,

rending the veil,

the temple’s adornment,

suddenly came forth

in the form of a dove.

All creation was

in fear and trembling

when the King of heaven,

the Saviour suffered;

while we sinners

for whom the only immortal

was given up

ever treat this with contempt.

We laugh each day

when we hear of the Saviour’s

sufferings and outrage.

We enjoy ourselves daily

filled with great zeal

to deck ourselves in fine clothing.

The sun in the sky

because of the outrage to its Master

changed its radiance

into darkness,

so that we, when we saw it,

might follow its example.


3rd stasis – Greek 



The Master on the Cross

was outraged for your sake,

while you, miserable wretch,

ever deck yourself

in splendid raiment.

Does your heart not tremble,

does your mind not quail,

when you hear such things?

The One who alone is sinless

was for you given over

to a shameful death,

to outrages and revilings,

while you hear all this

with lofty indifference.


Live – Blamand Monastery


The whole rational flock

should look intently

on its shepherd,

and ever long for him

and respect him,

because for its sake

he suffered, he

the dispassionate and all pure.

Nor should it deck itself

in corruptible garments,

nor yet indulge in pleasure

and worldly nourishment,

but should give its Maker pleasure

by ascesis and true reverence.

Let us not become

imitators of the Jews;

a people harsh and disobedient

and that ever rejects the blessings

and benefactions of God.


15th Antiphon for Great and Holy Friday

“Today is hung upon the Tree, He Who did hang the land in the midst of the waters. A Crown of thorns crowns Him Who is King of Angels. He is wrapped about with the purple of mockery Who wrapped the Heavens with clouds. He received buffetings Who freed Adam in Jordan. He was transfixed with nails Who is the Bridegroom of the Church. He was pierced with a spear Who is the Son of the Virgin. We worship Thy Passion, O Christ. Show also unto us thy glorious Resurrection.”




God Most High

for the sake of Abraham

and his covenant

from the beginning bore

the stubbornness of the people.

From heaven he gave

them Manna to eat;

but they, the unworthy,

longed for garlic,

evil-smelling foods. 

Again, he gave them water

from the rock in the desert,

while they in place of these

gave him vinegar

when they hanged him on a Cross.

Let us be careful, brethren,

not to be found

as fellows of the Jews

who crucified the Master,

their own Creator.

Let us always be fearful,

keeping before our eyes

the Saviour’s sufferings.

Let us always keep in mind

his sufferings,

because it was for us he suffered,

the dispassionate Master;

for us he was crucified,

the only sinless One.

What return can we make

for all this, brethren?

Let us be attentive to ourselves

and not despise his sufferings.


Romanian, Greek and Arabic


Draw near all of you,

children of the Church,

bought with the precious

and holy blood

of the most pure Master.

Come, let us meditate

on his sufferings with tears,

thinking on fear,

meditating with trembling,

saying to ourselves,

‘Christ our Saviour

for us the impious

was given over to death’.

Learn well, brother,

what it is you hear:

God who is without sin,

Son of the Most High,

for you was given up.

Open your heart,

learn in detail

his sufferings

and say to yourself:

God who is without sin

today was given up,

today was mocked,

today was abused,

today was struck,

today was scourged,

today wore

a crown of thorns,

today was crucified,

he, the heavenly Lamb.

Your heart will tremble,

your soul will shudder.

Shed tears every day

by this meditation

on the Master’s sufferings.

Tears become sweet,

the soul is enlightened

that always meditates

on Christ’s sufferings.

Always meditating thus,

shedding tears every day,

giving thanks to the Master

for the sufferings

that he suffered for you,

so that in the day

of his Coming

your tears may become

your boast and exaltation

before the judgement seat

Endure as you meditate

on the loving Master’s


endure temptations,

give thanks from your soul.

Blessed is the one

who has before his eyes

the heavenly Master

and his sufferings,

and has crucified himself

from all the passions

and earthly deeds,

who has become an imitator

of his own Master.

This is understanding,

this is the attitude

of servants who love God,

when they become ever

imitators of their Master

by good works.


Sermon on Great Friday – Fr Anthony, MI

(Click on the Image bellow)

Shameless man, do you watch

the most pure Master

hanging on the Cross,

while you pass the time

that you have to live on earth

in pleasure and laughter?

Don’t you know, miserable wretch,

that the crucified Lord

will demand an account

of all your disdainful deeds,

for which, when you hear of them, you show no concern,

and as you take your pleasure

you laugh

and enjoy yourself with indifference?

The day will come,

that fearful day,

for you to weep unceasingly

and cry out in the fire

from your pains,

and there will be no one at all

to answer

and have mercy on your soul.

Byzantine Chant for Great Friday

I worship you, Master,

I bless you, O Good One,

I entreat you, O Holy One,

I fall down before you, Lover of humankind,

and I glorify you, O Christ,

because you, only-begotten

Master of all,

alone without sin,

for me the unworthy sinner

were given over to death,

death on a Cross,

that you might free

the sinner’s soul

from the bonds of sins.

And what shall I give you

in return for this, Master?

Glory to you, Lover of humankind!

Glory to you, O Merciful!

Glory to you, O Long-suffering!

Glory to you, who pardon

every fault!

Glory to you, who came down

to save our souls!

Glory to you, incarnate

in the Virgin’s womb!

Glory to you, who were bound!

Glory to you, who were scourged!

Glory to you, who were crucified!

Glory to you, who were buried!

Glory to you, who were raised!

Glory to you, who were proclaimed!

Glory to you, who were believed!

Glory to you, who were taken up!

Glory to you, who were enthroned

with great glory

at the Father’s right hand,

and are coming again

with the glory of the Father

and the holy Angels

to judge every soul

that has despised

your holy sufferings

in that dread

and fearful hour,

when the powers of heaven

will be shaken;

when Angels, Archangels,

Cherubim and Seraphim

will come all together

with fear and trembling

before your glory;

when all the foundations

of the earth will tremble,

and everything that has breath

will shudder at your great

and unendurable glory.


Descent from the cross

In that hour

your hand will hide me

under its wings

and my soul be delivered

from the fearful fire,

the gnashing of teeth,

the outer darkness

and unending weeping,

that blessing you, I may say,

‘Glory to the One, who wished

to save the sinner

through the many acts of pity

of his compassion.


(Translation by Archimandrite Ephrem, 1997)