Archive for April 23rd, 2022

Last night, in the major churches, on Skopelos town, Elios, Glossa and Loutraki the Εpitafio procession was held.

Easter Epitafio 2022

The word epitaphios is an adjective meaning “funerary, happening on a grave”.

Within a liturgical context, this is also the name of an icon, usually made of cloth and richly embroidered, depicting the body of Christ being laid in the grave, often by the Virgin Mary and some disciples.

byzantineEpitaphios cloth, circa 1300 A.D. (Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki)

On Good Friday morning, the icon is placed on a platform, resembling a bier, typically topped with a kouvouklion, an elaborately carved wood canopy. In most cases, the canopy is heavily decorated with ornate flower arrangements, ribbons and sometimes candles.

Christ Church Easter Epitafios 2022

Throughout the day, people can come into the church and venerate it. In the evening the service begins; near the end of the ceremony, the canopied platform bearing the icon is lifted on the shoulders of priests or churchgoers (usually four to six people) and carried through the streets. Members of a congregation go to the church that they belong to and they will only walk in this particular Epitafio procession.

The clergy lead the solemn procession, chanting hymns such as “Oh my sweet springtime”- the Virgin Mary’s lament- while the bells ring the funeral toll. The congregation follow carrying candles. They usually chants along with the priests. In towns with more than one parish, the processions starting from different churches may converge to a single spot, where they temporarily stop and a common hymn is sung before they resume their routes. 

In Skopelos town this is the case and four churches normally join in the procession. This year two churches with its congregation walked the whole route and one church a smaller route. One other church did not join in this year. Young and old joined the Epitafio procession this year. A lot of people have come to Skopelos to be part of Greek orthodox Easter this year.

At 24.00 tonight it is Easter, those that are on Skopelos will hear the church bells and fireworks! Κάλο Πάσχα ! Χριστός Ανέστη !

Source: https://www.greeknewsagenda.gr/topics/culture-society/6686-the-tradition-of-the-epitaphios-procession and skopelosnews

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