Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Oakmont, PA

Service of the Hours

This Orthodox Tidbit will feature a series of articles on the Orthodox worship services known as "Service of the Hours".

The first in the series will be an explanation of the significance of the days of the week in our church services. These articles are excerpted from 2 books by a prolific author of several works on Orthodoxy, Father Anthony Coniaris: Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth and Introducing The Orthodox Church; Its Faith and Life.

The Three Holy Hierarchs (St. Gregory the Theologian, St. John Chrysostom & St. Basil the Great) by Philip Zimmerman The Days of Each Week:

Each day of the week has its own memory. The first day of the week is Sunday, which is a "little Easter," commemorating the resurrection of Jesus. We begin each week with the resurrection. As Easter is the center of the year, so Sunday is the center of the week. Thus, a positive mood of victory is established at the very beginning in order to carry us through the entire week. The Christian week begins on the node of the celebration of life. We work all week long in order to get to Sunday. We begin each new week with the remembrance and celebration of the greatest victory this world has ever known.

Monday is dedicated to the archangels, angels and the hosts of invisible powers.

Tuesday is dedicated to the memory of St. John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets, the first and greatest saint (after the Theotokos), and the greatest man who was ever born of woman (Matt. 11:11).

Wednesday is dedicated to the Theotokos and to the passion of Christ. Considered to be the day on which Judas betrayed Jesus, it is a day of fasting.

Thursday is dedicated to the apostles and all the Church Fathers.

Friday is remembered as the day on which Jesus was crucified. It is a day of fasting.

Saturday is dedicated to the holy martyrs and to the faithful who have departed from this world. It is the day on which Christ resurrected Lazarus. It is also the day on which Christ the Lord lay dead in the tomb, "resting from all His works", and "trampling down death by death." All Saturdays of the church year receive their meaning from these two decisive Saturdays. Thus, Saturday became the proper day for remembering the dead and offering prayers in their memory. This is why prayers for the dead are offered on the various Memorial Saturdays during the church year, i.e., before Lent and Pentecost.

Part 2: The Daily Cycle

Thanks to Philip Zimmerman, Come and See Icons for allowing us to use the Icon image of The Three Holy Hierarchs (St. Gregory the Theologian, St. John Chrysostom & St. Basil the Great).

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