I cannot believe we are half-way through Holy Week already and the first three services of Holy Week are complete.
In the first three services, called Bridegroom Matins, we sing a hymn that jolts me awake. It teaches me I must be awake at all times..
Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight,
and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching;
and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.
Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep,
lest you be given up to death,
and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom!
But rouse yourself, crying: “Holy, holy, holy, are You, O our God!”
Through the Theotokos have mercy on us!
This hymn reminds us that Christ is the Bridegroom and we need to be watchful and ready for His arrival.
This hymn reminds me of the the Kontakion Hymn sung each evening in the first week of Lent. I spoke about this in a post that week.
My soul, my soul, arise! Why art thou sleeping? The end is drawing near, and thou wilt be confounded. Awake, then, and be watchful, that thou mayest be spared by Christ God, Who is everywhere present and fillest all things.
I love how Great Lent ends the very same way it began…imploring us to wake up, be watchful!
We will never know when our Bridegroom will come, do not waste your very precious time sleeping but watch and see He Who is everywhere present and filling all things.
I love these hymns, I need these hymns, that remind me to always be watchful.
My prayer is that I don’t forget these words soon after Great Lent ends but to keep them in my heart and soul throughout the year, that I may always be watchful and awake.
I pray you have a very blessed end to Holy Week! May you get to attend as many services as possible. Or if you have never attended an Orthodox Church, this is the week to check it out! You will never regret it! Want to see what Good and Holy Friday is like in the Orthodox Church, Vespers of Entombment is my recommendation. Or how the Resurrection of Christ is celebrated? Check out your local Orthodox Church. Staying up for the midnight service Saturday night is energizing, electrifying and the culmination of the entire year! THE most glorious Sabbath! For He is the Life of ALL! Check it out!
Through the Cross, Joy has come into all the world!