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Holy Tuesday

Holy Tuesday

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Holy Tuesday or Great and Holy Tuesday (Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: Μεγάλη Τρίτη, Megale Trite) is the Tuesday of Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

, which precedes the commemoration of the death of Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...


Western Christianity

In the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, the readings are ; , , ; ; and , .

Holy Tuesday is notable for being the day on which the chrism
Chrism , also called "Myrrh" , Holy anointing oil, or "Consecrated Oil", is a consecrated oil used in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Rite Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, in the Assyrian Church of the East, and in Old-Catholic churches, as well as Anglican churches in the administration...

Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

 is celebrated in each diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

. Usually held in the diocese's cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

, in this mass the holy oils are blessed by the bishop, consisting of the chrism
Chrism , also called "Myrrh" , Holy anointing oil, or "Consecrated Oil", is a consecrated oil used in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Rite Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, in the Assyrian Church of the East, and in Old-Catholic churches, as well as Anglican churches in the administration...

, oil of the sick
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick, known also by other names, is distinguished from other forms of religious anointing or "unction" in that it is intended, as its name indicates, for the benefit of a sick person...

, and oil of catechumens
Oil of catechumens
Oil of the Catechumens is the oil used in some traditional Christian churches during baptism; it is believed to strengthen the one being baptized to turn away from evil, temptation and sin....

. The oil of the catechumens and chrism are to be used on the coming Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday , sometimes known as Easter Eve or Black Saturday, is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter...

 at the Easter Vigil
Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in many Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Historically, it is during this service that people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into...

, for the baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 and confirmation of those entering the church

Eastern Christianity

In the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, and those Eastern Catholic Churches that follow the Byzantine Rite
Byzantine Rite
The Byzantine Rite, sometimes called the Rite of Constantinople or Constantinopolitan Rite is the liturgical rite used currently by all the Eastern Orthodox Churches, by the Greek Catholic Churches , and by the Protestant Ukrainian Lutheran Church...

, this day is referred to as Great and Holy Tuesday, or Great Tuesday. On this day the Church commemorates the Parable of the Ten Virgins
Parable of the Ten Virgins
The Parable of the Ten Virgins, also known as the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, is one of the well known parables of Jesus. It appears in only one of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament...

 , which forms one of the themes of the first three days of Holy Week, with its teaching about vigilance, and Christ as the Bridegroom. The bridal chamber is used as a symbol not only of the Tomb of Christ, but also of the blessed state of the saved on the Day of Judgement. The theme of the Parable of the Talents
Parable of the Talents
The Parable of the talents or minas, , is one of the well known parables of Jesus. It appears in two of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament. The differences between Matthew and the Luke are substantial, and the two parables may not be derived from the same source...

  is also developed in the hymns of this day.

The day begins liturgically with Vespers
Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Western Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours...

 on the afternoon of Great Monday, repeating some of the same stichera
A sticheron is a particular kind of hymn used in the Divine Liturgy, acolouthia or other services of the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite....

 (hymns) from the night before. At Great Compline a triode
A triode is an electronic amplification device having three active electrodes. The term most commonly applies to a vacuum tube with three elements: the filament or cathode, the grid, and the plate or anode. The triode vacuum tube was the first electronic amplification device...

Canon (hymnography)
A canon is a structured hymn used in a number of Eastern Orthodox services. It consists of nine odes, sometimes called canticles or songs depending on the translation, based on the Biblical canticles. Most of these are found in the Old Testament, but the final ode is taken from the Magnificat and...

 composed of three Odes
A canticle is a hymn taken from the Bible. The term is often expanded to include ancient non-biblical hymns such as the Te Deum and certain psalms used liturgically.-Roman Catholic Church:From the Old Testament, the Roman Breviary takes seven canticles for use at Lauds, as follows:*...

), written by St. Andrew of Crete
Andrew of Crete
For the martyr of 766 of the same name, see Andrew of Crete .Saint Andrew of Crete For the martyr of 766 of the same name, see Andrew of Crete (martyr).Saint Andrew (Andreas) of Crete (also known as Andrew of Jerusalem) For the martyr of 766 of the same name, see Andrew of Crete (martyr).Saint...

 is chanted.

The Matins
Matins is the early morning or night prayer service in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox liturgies of the canonical hours. The term is also used in some Protestant denominations to describe morning services.The name "Matins" originally referred to the morning office also...

 service for Monday through Wednesday of Holy Week is known as the Bridegroom Service or Bridegroom Prayer, because of their theme of Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church, a theme movingly expressed in the troparion
A troparion in Byzantine music and in the religious music of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a short hymn of one stanza, or one of a series of stanzas. The word probably derives from a diminutive of the Greek tropos...

 that is solemnly chanted during them. On these days, an icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

 of "Christ the Bridegroom" is placed on an analogion
An Analogion is a lectern or slanted stand on which icons or the Gospel Book are placed for veneration by the faithful in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches...

 in the center of the temple
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template," a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out...

, portraying Jesus wearing the purple robe
A robe is a loose-fitting outer garment. A robe is distinguished from a cape or cloak by the fact that it usually has sleeves. The English word robe derives from Middle English robe , borrowed from Old French robe , itself taken from the Frankish word *rouba , and is related to the word rob...

 of mockery and crowned with a crown of thorns
Crown of Thorns
In Christianity, the Crown of Thorns, one of the instruments of the Passion, was woven of thorn branches and placed on Jesus Christ before his crucifixion...

 (see Instruments of the Passion). These Matins services are often chanted the evening before so more of the faithful may attend. The Matins Gospel
Matins Gospel
The Matins Gospel is the solemn chanting of a lection from one of the Four Gospels during Matins in the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic churches which follow the Byzantine Rite....

 read on this day is from the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...


The four Gospels are divided up and read in their entirety at the Little Hours
Little Hours
The Little Hours are the fixed daytime hours of prayer in the Divine Office of Christians, in both Western Christianity and the Eastern Orthodox Church. These Hours are called 'little' due to their shorter and simpler structure compared to the Night Hours...

 (Third Hour, Sixth Hour and Ninth Hour) during the course of the first three days of Holy Week, halting at . There are various methods of dividing the Gospels, but the following is the most common practice:
Holy and Great Tuesday
  • Third Hour—The second half of Mark
  • Sixth Hour—The first third of Luke
  • Ninth Hour—The second third of Luke

At the Sixth Hour there is a reading from the Book of Ezekiel
Book of Ezekiel
The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, following the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah and preceding the Book of the Twelve....


At the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, informally Presanctified Liturgy, is an Eastern Christian liturgical service for the distribution of communion on the weekdays of Great Lent....

, some of the stichera from the previous night's Matins (Lauds
Lauds is a divine office that takes place in the early morning hours and is one of the two major hours in the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, it forms part of the Office of Matins...

 and the Aposticha
The Aposticha are a set of hymns accompanied by psalm verses that are chanted towards the end of Vespers and Matins in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches that follow the Byzantine Rite....

) are repeated at Lord, I have cried (see Vespers). There are two Old Testament readings: and . There is no Epistle
An epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Egypt as part of the scribal-school writing curriculum. The letters in the New Testament from Apostles to Christians...

 reading, but there is a Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

 reading from .

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