Good Friday

“Velykodn ‘ia Piatnytsia”, Good Friday, is a solemn time that commemorates the day our Lord was crucified.  This day is observed as a strict fast, so no meat or dairy products are consumed. No manual labor is allowed.  All conversation is done quietly.  Part of the services of that day includes the ancient custom of the Veneration of the Holy Shroud (“Plaschenytsia").  The Holy Shroud is a representation of the sheet that Christ was buried in following his death on the cross. The body of Jesus with His wounds is depicted, laying in repose, often pictured with other individuals who were part of the events of Good Friday, such as Joseph and Nicodemus, who took Jesus down from the cross. 

There is also a solemn procession around the church, lead by a worshipper carrying the Crucifix. In the procession, the elders of the parish carry the Holy Shroud, the priest carries the Holy Eucharist and the altar boys carry lighted candles and the wooden clappers. This procession is symbolic of the journey from Christ’s Crucifixion on Calvary to His Tomb. The procession reenters the front doors of the church and the Holy Shroud is placed on a representative tomb. The tomb is usually surrounded on three sides by candles, palms and flowers. As a show of devotion and adoration, the faithful approach the "Plaschenytsia" on their knees, make the Sign of the Cross and kiss all five wounds of Christ pictured on the Holy Shroud. The time between noon and three o’clock is known as the "Devotion of Three Hours”.  During that time, members of families and church organizations take turns keeping vigil as guards of honor at the Holy Grave.


Holy Saturday