THE ROYAL HOURS OF HOLY FRIDAY AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Holy Friday morning, April 13/26, 2019, which the is the primary day of the salvific Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ for our sake, the Royal Hours of the day were read at Praetorion, the place that served as the Lord’s prison and condemnation.
Immediately after the reading of the Royal Hours, the Procession of the faithful through Via Dolorosa towards Golgotha began, led by the Most Reverend Archbishop Demetrios of Lydda, who carried the Cross on his shoulders, followed by thousands of faithful who sang “Thou hast redeemed us from the curse of the law with thine precious blood” and “Thy Cross we venerated of Master”.
During the contrite procession there was a stopover at the chapel of Simon of Cyrene, who carried the Lord’s Cross at the soldiers’ command. The final stop of the procession was at the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the ascent to the Horrendous Golgotha followed, where the Royal Hours were read again. This happened after the Dragouman Reverend Archimandrite Mattheos and the Master of Ceremonies Archimandrite Bartholomew with other Hagiotaphite Fathers came down to the Church earlier in the morning for the opening of the main Gate of the Church by the Orthodox faithful, according to the Status Quo.