Great and Holy Tuesday

Great and Holy Tuesday is the second day of Great and Holy Week - the final week before the feast of Pascha. During the days of Great and Holy Week, we follow the events in the life of our Savior from his entry into Jerusalem to his glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday.

At Matins

As on Great and Holy Monday, Bridegroom Matins is held on Tuesday morning (or anticipated on Monday evening).

The Gospel at Matins (Matthew 22:15 - 23:30) recounts the attempts of the Pharisees and Sadducees to trap the Lord Jesus into making statements which they could use against him; and our Lord's response. After telling the crowd to follow the teachings of their leaders, but not their actions, he makes his own denunciation of those leaders: "Woe, you scribes and Pharisees!"

In the kontakion, we meditate on the sterility of the barren fig tree, and the likelihood that if we do not bear fruit for God, we will be kept out of the coming wedding feast. This subject is continued throughout the day's hymns.

At the end of the canon, we sing (slowly and solemnly) the Hymn of Light, "I see your bridal chamber", to a special melody of its own.

At the Hours

As on Monday, we hear more of the prophecy of Ezekiel. In monasteries, the rest of the Gospel according to Saint Mark, and two-thirds of the Gospel according to Saint Luke are read.

At the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

The reading from Exodus tells of the finding of the baby Moses in the waters of the Nile River by the daughter of Pharaoh.

The reading from the book of Job tells of the loss of Job's children and of Job's splendid confession: "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord!"

In the long reading from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew (24:36 - 26:2), our Lord continues his discourse about the end of the world. He tells the parable of the ten bridesmaids, and the parable of the talents (a talent being a quantity of precious metal, rendered as numbers of silver coins in the New American Bible translation), and describes the final judgment. In the closing verse, he says: "You know that in two days' time it will be Passover, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."

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