(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Hundreds of faithful Greeks honored Good Friday and attended a sermon officiated by the Archbishop of Greece, Ieronymos, at the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens before joining the procession of the Epitaph as part of Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations.
The Friday of Holy Week, traditionally called Good Friday, is a day of mourning in Christianity. It commemorates the execution of Jesus by crucifixion.
The Epitaph or Epitaphios, as it is called in Greek, is an elaborate wooden bier adorned traditionally by young girls and women with fresh flowers which symbolizes the tomb of Jesus after he has been crucified and taken down from the cross. In the middle of the bier an icon of Christ is placed.
Athens residents, but also many tourists holidaying in the Greek capital, gathered outside the Metropolitan Church to watch the solemn candlelit procession, which was led by Archbishop Ieronymos and military contingents and bands, while tens of hundreds waited outside the parliament building to join in the annual prayer led by by Greece's Archbishop.
The Easter holidays have been overshadowed by the tough economic squeeze of the last few years and some Greeks who attended the ceremony said they hoped the resurrection of Christ would signal a brighter future for the debt laden country, while others expressed their dismay for the Syriza leftist-led government.