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My spirit required eternal life, and eternity. Lord, strengthen the faith in us and have mercy on us. St. Sophrony the Anthonite

αποκαθήλωση_Положение во Гроб_Jesus Christ Crucifixion_Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_144567659Forefeast of the Procession of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of the Lord.
Righteous Joseph of Arimathea who buried the Master Christ (1st century).
Virgin Martyresses Sisters aged 14 MAXIMA and very young DONATILLA & aged 12 SECUNDA (Septima) in Tebourba (or Tuburbo) in North Africa (303)
St. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre in Gaul (448).
Righteous Eudocimus of Cappadocia, Military Commander of Cappadocia (9th century)
Translation of the Relics of Apostle Philip to Cyprus.
Saint Arsenius, Bishop of Ninotsminda in Georgia (1082)
Repose of Elder Gerasim the Younger of Kaluga’s St. Sergius Skete (1918).

Commemorated on July 31

Homily:
About Joseph of Arimathea
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

At that time Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the Kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. There was another great man who had come from Arimathea, or Ramathain, on Mount Ephrem: the Prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1 ).
This Joseph is mentioned by all four Evangelists, specifically in connection with the dead Lord’s burial. John calls him a disciple of Jesus secretly (19:38); Luke – a good man and a just (23:50), Matthew – a rich man (27:57). (The Evangelist does not call Joseph rich from vanity, to show that the Lord had rich men among His disciples, “but in order to show how it was that he was able to get Jesus’ body from Pilate. To a poor and unknown man, it would not have been possible to penetrate to Pilate, the representative of Roman power.”- Jerome: “Commentary on Matthew“.) He was noble in soul: he feared God and waited for the Kingdom of God. In addition to his outstanding spiritual traits, Joseph was also a rich man of good standing. Mark and Luke call him a counsellor. He was, then, one of the elders of the people, like Nicodemus. Also, like Nicodemus, he was a secret admirer and disciple of the Lord Jesus. But, even though these two men were secret followers of Christ’s teaching, they were nevertheless ready to lay themselves open to danger by standing together with Christ. Nicodemus once asked the embittered Jewish leaders to their faces, when they were seeking an excuse to kill Christ: “Doth our law judge any man before it hear him?” (John 7:51). Joseph of Arimathea laid himself open to even greater danger by taking thought for the Lord’s body when His known disciples had fled and dispersed, and when the Jewish wolves, having killed the Shepherd, could at any moment fall on the sheep. That what Joseph was doing was dangerous is indicated by the Evangelist by the word “boldly”. He needed, then, more than courage; he needed daring to go to Caesar’s representative and ask for the body of a crucified felon. But Joseph, as Nicephorus says, “in his greatness of soul, threw off his fear and shook off all subservience, showing himself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ”.
+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Homilies: Commentary on the Gospel Readings for Great Feasts and Sundays Throughout the Year, Volume 1, “22. The Second Sunday After Easter: The Gospel on the Myrhh-Bearing Women”

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Homily:
About the trial of our faith
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearance of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

Ιωσήφ της Αριμαθαίας_St Joseph of Arimathea_ Иосиф Аримафейский__Saint-Joseph-of-Arimathea-cf83cf89cebcceb1-cf84cebfcf85-cf87cf81ceb9CX4K2833Brethren, our faith is tried more often than is the reed rocked by the winds. Trials are like the winds: a weak faith they will uproot and a strong faith will be strengthened even more. Trials are also like the flame in which straw is burned and gold is purified.

Man’s intellectual pursuits and suppositions also try our faith. These are very strong and bitter winds. But we can overcome them if we are willing to adhere to the words of God and if, in opposition to those intellectual pursuits, we are able to emphasize the teachings of the Faith of Christ.

Our faith is further tried by fear and shame: fear of men who persecute the Faith and shame of men who arrogantly despise the Faith. These also are strong winds which we must resist if we wish to remain alive. How will we resist them? By the fear of God which should always be greater in our soul than the fear of men and of shame before the apostles, saints and martyrs who were not ashamed of their faith before emperors, princes and sages of this world.

Our faith is further tried by suffering and misery. This is the fire in which our faith either has to be burned like straw or to be tempered as pure gold. We will resist these trials if we would but remember Christ crucified on the Cross for us and so many thousands of martyrs for the Faith who, in their patience, conquered all and emerged from the flames as gold and who for centuries glow among the angels and among men.

Our faith is also tried by death, the death of our relatives and friends and the death of mankind in general. This is the bitter fire in which the faith of many have been burned. Is death the end of everything? It is not, but rather believe that it is the beginning of everything; it is the beginning of a new and just life. Believe in the Resurrection of Christ, believe in life beyond the grave and believe in the general resurrection and the Dreadful Judgment.

O Good Lord, strengthen the faith in us and have mercy on us.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.com/2010/04/prologue-july-2-july-15.html

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St. Sophrony the Anthonite

Ιωσήφ Αριμαθαίας_St Joseph of Arimathea_Иосиф Аримафейский__Saint-Joseph-of-Arimathea-CX4K2833“No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are given over to God’s will, and they bear all things with fortitude for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this world but the man who is given over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass.”

My profound conviction is that if you—this goes for everybody—do not live through these ordeals[:] poverty, humiliations, perhaps even hunger, utter abandonment by everybody—by men and even by God too . . . you will never know divine love.” 

“The heart that is not broken by the wounds of tribulations and has not been humbled unto the end by every form of poverty, both spiritual and material, will never be fitted to receive divine grace.”

Everything subject to decay lost its value for me. When I looked at people, without thinking further I saw them in the power of death, dying, and my heart was flooded with fellow-suffering. I wanted neither fame from those ‘dead mortals’ nor power over them. I did not look to people to like me. I despised material wealth and did not think much of intellectual assets which afforded no answer to what I was seeking. Had I been offered centuries of happy life, I would have refused them. My spirit required eternal life, and eternity.

“It is vital to have experienced, if only once, the heavenly fire which Christ brought with Him to know with our entire being what it is to be even a little like Christ.”

“Essentially speaking, it is impossible to ‘live’ as a Christian. It is only possible to ‘die’ as a Christian, a thousand deaths every day.”

“[The soul] cannot come down from the cross because every time she considers ‘coming down’ [cf. Matt. 27:40] from this cross the flow of real eternity decreases in her.”

No one descends from the Cross, but they take him down” Christ to Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)

St Germanus the Bishop of Auxerre discerned a special divine purpose for St. Geneviève of Paris
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/st-germanus-the-bishop-of-auxerre-discerned-a-special-divine-purpose-for-st-genevieve-of-paris/

Troparion of the Forefeast, Tone 1.

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant Thou unto Orthodox Christians victories over adversaries, and by Thy Cross preserve Thy people.

Troparion of St JOSEPH ― Tone 2

Noble Joseph took Thine immaculate Body down from the tree,/ wrapped It in a clean shroud and spices,/ and having embalmed It, laid It in a new sepulcher./ But on the third day Thou didst rise, O Lord,/ granting the world great mercy.

Apolytikion of St JOSEPH ― Tone 2

The noble Joseph, taking down thy most pure Body from the Tree, wrapped it in clean linen and sweet spices and laid it in a new tomb. But on the third day thou didst rise, O Lord, granting the world great mercy.

Apolytikion of St JOSEPH ― Plagal Tone 1

Let us honor the man that gave burial to God and showed compassion to Him by Whose mercy all things exist, Christ the Angel of Great Counsel’s Noble Counselor, who gave his narrow grave to Christ and received as recompense the vast spaciousness of Heaven, where he entreateth the Savior to show His mercy to those praising him.

Apolytikion of St GERMANUS ― Plagal Tone 4

By endurance you gained your reward, venerable Father, you persevered in prayer unceasingly, you loved the poor and provided for them in all things. Blessed Germanus of Auxerre, intercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Troparion of St Eudocimus, Tone 4.

He who did call thee from earth unto heaven keepeth thy body unharmed after death, holy Eudocimus; for thou didst live a sober and holy life and didst not defile thy flesh; so with boldness intercede with Christ that we may be saved.

Kontakion of the Forefeast, Tone 4.

O Thou Who was raised up on the Cross of Thine own will, do Thou bestow Thy bounties now upon Thy people which is named after Thee, O Christ our God. Gladden Orthodox Christians with Thy power, granting them victories over their adversaries; for they have for their aid Thy weapon, the invincible trophy of peace.

Kontakion of St JOSEPH ― Tone 2

Joseph of Arimathea took Thee, the Life of all, down from the Tree as one dead,/ and wrapped Thee in clean linen and spices./ He yearned to embrace and kiss Thy pure Body with heart and lips/ yet he restrained himself with fear./ He cried to Thee rejoicing:/ Glory to Thy condescension, O Lover of Mankind.


God wants that all men be saved, that is why He descended into Hades… Pyramid of being… St. Nikolai Velimirovich – St. Sophrony Sakharov

αποκαθήλωση_Положение во Гроб_Jesus Christ Crucifixion_Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_0_9eb28_ae7ef99e_XX XLSynaxarion.
On Great and Holy Saturday, we celebrate the burial of the divine Body and the descent into Hades of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through which He recalled our human race from corruption and passed it over into life eternal.

Verses
In vain you guard the grave, O guards
No tomb can hold Him who is life itself.

HOMILY
About the great desire of God
by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“Who wills everyone to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4).

God wants that all men be saved, that is why He descended into Hades to save those who lived on earth before His coming. For, had He not descended into Hades, an enormous number of righteous souls would have perished forever. And yet, had He not descended into Hades, the main habitat of evil against God and the human race, Hades would have remained undestroyed.
Therefore, the two reasons which motivated Christ, the Giver-of-Life, to descend into Hades in the Spirit are: First, to destroy the nest of the powers of Hades and, Second, to bring from Hades to Heaven, the souls of ancestors, prophets and righteous men and women, who have fulfilled the Old Dispensation (The Old Law of God) and, by that, pleased God.

Before satan was totally jubilant at gazing upon Christ humiliated and lifeless on the Cross, Christ appeared alive and almighty in the midst of Hades, the primary abode of satan. What unexpected and dreadful news for satan! For three years satan wove snares against Christ on earth and in three days, behold, Christ destroyed satan’s kingdom and carried away the most precious booty in the form of a swarm of righteous souls.

O Lord, You want that all men be saved. We pray to You, save even us. For there is no salvation nor Savior outside of You. In You do we hope, You alone do we worship, You, the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always. Amen.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/April3.htm

Μονή Προδρόμου Έσσεξ-St. John Baptist Monastery-Essex-England-Монастырь св Иоанна Крестителя Эссекс-Ιησούς Χριστός_Jesus-Christ_047

Pyramid of being…
St. Sophrony Sakharov

Fr. Sophrony [Sakharov], in his book on St. Silouan, presents this theory of the “inverted pyramid.” He says that the empirical cosmic being is like a pyramid:
In the structure of the world we observe a hierarchical order, a division into upper and lower — a pyramid of being. Yet the idea of equality is deeply rooted in our consciousness and is not to be denied.

But is equality possible where liberty is the fundamental principle of existence? Millenary experience of the history of humanity suggests a reply in the negative.

What, then, can be done to alter this state of affairs, so unacceptable to the human conscience? We cannot ignore our longing to see all men equal in plenitude of divine life.

Let us see how Christ resolved the dilemma.

The Lord does not deny the fact of inequality, hierarchy, division into upper and lower, into overlord and servant; but He turns the pyramid upside down and thus achieves the ultimate perfection.

Ιησούς Χριστός αποκαθήλωση_Положение во Гроб_Jesus Christ Crucifixion_Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_snyatie1The incontestable apex of this pyramid is the Son of Man Himself, the Unique, True, Eternal Savior; and He says of Himself that He ‘came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life as a ransom for many.’ (Mat. 20:28) Concerning the angels, we learn that they are beings superior to us in their knowledge and mode of existence, in comparison with our terrestrial mode of existence, but the Apostle speaks of them as ‘ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.’ (Heb. 1:14) The Savior bade His disciples follow the example He gave them when He washed their feet. ‘Ye know,’ He told them, ‘that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.’ (Mat. 20:25-27; Mk. 10:42-44) Here we are shown both the designation and the raison d’être of the ecclesiastical hierarchy — to raise those low in the spiritual scale to a higher degree of perfection, as the Apostle puts it, ‘And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’ (Eph. 4:11-13)

Christ as Creator — and in this sense, cause — of the created universe, took upon Himself the burden, the sin of the whole world. He is the summit of the inverted pyramid, the summit on which the whole weight of the pyramid of being falls. In an inexplicable way those who follow after Christ become like Him in taking upon themselves the burdens of the infirmities of others. ‘We then who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.’ (Rom. 15:1)

Ἄκρα Ταπείνωσις_ Christ Extreme Humility_5_496843145835597590_n…The Christian goes downwards, into the depths of the overturned pyramid where the crushing weight is concentrated — to the place where the Lord is, Who took upon Himself the sins of the world — Christ… At the base of the overturned pyramid — the unfathomable base which is really the summit — is He Who took upon Himself the sins and burdens of the world, the Christ crucified in love for the world. And there we remark a quite especial life, a quite especial light, an especial fragrance. This is where love attracts the athletes of Christ. Love for Christ martyrizes the chosen one, weighs heavily on him, makes his life unbearably hard, until this love arrives at its ultimate desire, and the ways the soul elects to attain to that ultimate end are peculiar. (St. Silouan the Athonite, p. 237-239) 

One of the strongest elements drawn out in both the life and teachings of St. Silouan is just this word of humility as illustrated in my opening quote. To be a follower of Christ is to accept a “downward path,” to follow Christ into the depths of His humility. This is not a new word, but echoes that of the Apostle (which itself seems to have been a hymn which the Apostle was quoting):
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phillipians 2:5-11).

Ιησούς Χριστός_Jesus-Christ_Господне Иисус-Христос-Byzantine Orthodox Icon_εν ταφω_653756862436“Τον ήλιον κρύψαντα” (Seeing the sun hide its rays)

This hymn is a lament chanted from the perspective of Joseph of Arimathea, pleading with Pontius Pilate for the Body of Jesus. It is one of the most beautiful hymns of the Holy Week, Matins of Holy and Great Saturday.

To all the strangers of this world…

Plagal of First Tone

Ιωσήφ της Αριμαθαίας_St Joseph of Arimathea_ Иосиф Аримафейский__Saint-Joseph-of-Arimathea-cf83cf89cebcceb1-cf84cebfcf85-cf87cf81ceb9CX4K2833As the sun hid its very rays at the Savior’s death, and the curtain of the temple was rent in twain,Joseph of everlasting memory approached Pilate beseeching him in this manner;

Give me this stranger, who from infancy has been as a stranger,a sojourner in the world.

Give me this stranger, whon His own race has hated and delivered unto death as a stranger.

Give me this stranger, who in a strange manner is a stranger to death.

Give me this stranger, who has received the poor as guests.

Give me this stranger, whom the jews from envy estranged from the world.

Give me this stranger, that i may hide him in a tomb, for as a stranger He has no place to lay His head.

Give me this stranger, whose Mother seeing His dead body cries out:”O my Son and my God, I am sorely wounded within me and my heart is rent,seeing Thee as one dead:but in Thy Resurrection I take courage and magnify Thee”.Thus entreating Pilate with these words, noble Joseph receives the body of the Savior: and wrapping it with fear in a linen with myrrh, he places in a tomb Him Who bestows upon all eternal life and great mercy.

Idiomelon. Mode 2.

Today, the sepulcher holds Him who holds creation in the palm of His hand, and a stone covers Him who covers the heavens with virtue. Life sleeps, and Hades trembles, and Adam is released from his bonds. Glory to Your dispensation, through which, when You had accomplished all, You gave us the eternal Sabbath rest, Your all-holy Resurrection from the dead.

Second Stanza. Mode pl. 1.

Truly you are Myrrh, * truly, Word of God, the Myrrh Unfailing, * so it was myrrhbearers brought myrrh to you, * to the Living God brought myrrh as to the dead.

Both now. Theotokion.
Mode 1

Let us praise Mary the Virgin, glory of all the world. Born of human parents, she gave birth to the Lord, and is the doorway to heaven. The adornment of the faithful, she is hymned by the angelic hosts. For she has been shown to be heaven and the temple of the Godhead. She is the one who, breaking down the wall of enmity, ushered in peace and threw open the Kingdom. With her as the anchor of our faith, we have a defender in the Lord, to whom she gave birth. Take courage, therefore, people of God, take courage; for he, the Almighty, will defeat your enemies.

Grave Mode.

Arise, O God; judge the earth, for You shall inherit all the Gentiles.

τρεις παίδες εν καμίνω_Three Holy Youths-Анания, Азария и Мисаил-2557071Chanted during Holy Saturday Morning Service
THE EIGHTH ODE – The Hymn of the Holy Three Children (Dan. 3: 57-88)

Praise the Lord, ye creatures which He hath made.
Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages

Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, all ye angels of the Lord, and ye heavens of the Lord: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, all ye waters that are above the heavens, and all ye powers of the Lord: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, O ye sun and moon, and ye stars of heaven: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, every shower and dew, and all ye winds: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, O ye fire and heat, ye winter cold and summer heat: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, O ye falls of dew and snow, ye ice and cold: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, O ye frosts and snows, ye lightning and clouds: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, O ye light and darkness, ye night and day: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above for ever.
Bless the Lord, O ye earth, ye mountains and hills, and all things that spring up therein: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, O ye fountains, ye seas and floods, ye monsters of the sea, and all things that move in the waters: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, all ye winged creatures of the air, ye beasts and all cattle: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, O ye sons of men; let Israel bless the Lord: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
For 8 verses
Bless the Lord, O ye priests of the Lord, ye servants of the Lord: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages

Bless the Lord, O ye spirits and souls of the righteous, ye holy and humble of heart: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
For 6 verses
Bless the Lord, O Ananias, Azarias and Misael: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
Bless the Lord, O ye apostles, ye prophets and martyrs of the Lord: Praise Ye the Lord and Supremely Exault him unto the ages
For 4 verses
Let us bless the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Lord: Praising the Lord and Supremely Exaulting him unto the ages
Let us praise, and bless, and worship the Lord: Praising the Lord and Supremely Exaulting him unto the ages

The Song of the Three Holy Youths


Righteous Joseph of Arimathea the secret disciple who buried the Lord Jesus Christ.

Forefeast of the Procession of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of the Lord.
Righteous Joseph of Arimathea who buried the Master Christ (1st century).
Virgin Martyresses Sisters aged 14 MAXIMA and very young DONATILLA & aged 12 SECUNDA (Septima) in Tebourba (or Tuburbo) in North Africa (303)
St. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre in Gaul (448).
Righteous Eudocimus of Cappadocia, Military Commander of Cappadocia (9th century)
Translation of the Relics of Apostle Philip to Cyprus.
Saint Arsenius, Bishop of Ninotsminda in Georgia (1082)
Repose of Elder Gerasim the Younger of Kaluga’s St. Sergius Skete (1918).

Commemorated on July 31

And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counselor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. (Luke 23:50-51)

Ιωσήφ της Αριμαθαίας_St Joseph of Arimathea_ Иосиф Аримафейский__ ΖΗΤΩΝ ΤΟ ΣΩΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥThe noble Joseph, a wealthy man and member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, was secretly a follower of Christ. “Now when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, Joseph by name, who was himself a disciple of Jesus” (St. Matthew 27:57). “Now after these things Joseph of Arimathea, because he was a disciple of Jesus (although for fear of the Jews a secret one), besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus” (St. John 19:38). Together with Nicodemus, Joseph removed the body of Christ from the cross and placed it in his sepulchre. Because of this, he was shackled by the Jews and thrown into prison. But the resurrected Lord appeared to him and convinced him of His resurrection. After that, the Jews released him from prison and banished him from the fatherland. He went throughout the world to preach the Holy Gospel of Christ, and that “good news” he brought to England where he reposed in the Lord.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/July31.htm

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Hymn of Praise
Saint Joseph of Arimathea
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Ιωσήφ της Αριμαθαίας_St Joseph of Arimathea_ Иосиф Аримафейский__Saint-Joseph-of-ArimatheaJoseph a noble and rich man,
Of Christ the Crucified, (he) did not scandalize,
But when the sun darkened and the earth shook,
He to Pilate went and brought him news
That the Lord died, the Life-giving Lord,
The secret disciple thus became public.
When the public one hid, the secret became public,
Thus Joseph the wise, in a day became famous.
And together with Nicodemus, the body of Christ
In his garden in a new tomb placed it.
The Jewish spies heard, reported it,
The righteous Joseph in chains they placed.
In the darkened dungeon, Joseph languished
While his Lord in Hades glowed.
Joseph pondered his remembrance of Christ,
Mentioning his miraculous works,
Miracles and words and prophecies many,
Before Him, he stood in the presence of God,
And now darkness everywhere from without and within,
Dark days, nights, evenings and mornings
After a glowing flash, than the sun, more radiant,
O desperate darkness, darker than Hades!
But behold suddenly in the dungeon dawned:
The Resurrected One appeared to the shackled servant.
O Joseph brave and noble
Neither of the Resurrected One did you scandalize.
About the dead Christ, you to Pilate informed
And recognized and glorified the Resurrected One.
Let the land of Britain honorably glorify you,
You, for her, planted the first seed of salvation.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

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Homily:
About Joseph of Arimathea
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Ιησούς Χριστός αποκαθήλωση_Положение во Гроб_Jesus Christ Crucifixion_Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_snyatie1At that time Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the Kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. There was another great man who had come from Arimathea, or Ramathain, on Mount Ephrem: the Prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1 ).

This Joseph is mentioned by all four Evangelists, specifically in connection with the dead Lord’s burial. John calls him a disciple of Jesus secretly (19:38); Luke – a good man and a just (23:50), Matthew – a rich man (27:57). (The Evangelist does not call Joseph rich from vanity, to show that the Lord had rich men among His disciples, “but in order to show how it was that he was able to get Jesus’ body from Pilate. To a poor and unknown man, it would not have been possible to penetrate to Pilate, the representative of Roman power.”- Jerome: “Commentary on Matthew“.) He was noble in soul: he feared God and waited for the Kingdom of God. In addition to his outstanding spiritual traits, Joseph was also a rich man of good standing. Mark and Luke call him a counsellor. He was, then, one of the elders of the people, like Nicodemus. Also, like Nicodemus, he was a secret admirer and disciple of the Lord Jesus. But, even though these two men were secret followers of Christ’s teaching, they were nevertheless ready to lay themselves open to danger by standing together with Christ.

Nicodemus once asked the embittered Jewish leaders to their faces, when they were seeking an excuse to kill Christ: “Doth our law judge any man before it hear him?” (John 7:51).

Joseph of Arimathea laid himself open to even greater danger by taking thought for the Lord’s body when His known disciples had fled and dispersed, and when the Jewish wolves, having killed the Shepherd, could at any moment fall on the sheep. That what Joseph was doing was dangerous is indicated by the Evangelist by the word “boldly”. He needed, then, more than courage; he needed daring to go to Caesar’s representative and ask for the body of a crucified felon. But Joseph, as Nicephorus says, “in his greatness of soul, threw off his fear and shook off all subservience, showing himself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ”.
+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Homilies: Commentary on the Gospel Readings for Great Feasts and Sundays Throughout the Year, Volume 1, “22. The Second Sunday After Easter: The Gospel on the Myrhh-Bearing Women”

St Germanus the Bishop of Auxerre discerned a special divine purpose for St. Geneviève of Paris
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/st-germanus-the-bishop-of-auxerre-discerned-a-special-divine-purpose-for-st-genevieve-of-paris/

“Τον ήλιον κρύψαντα” (Seeing the sun hide its rays)

This hymn is a lament chanted from the perspective of Joseph of Arimathea, pleading with Pontius Pilate for the Body of Jesus. It is one of the most beautiful hymns of the Holy Week,Matins of Holy and Great Saturday.

To all the strangers of this world…

Plagal of First Tone

Ιωσήφ Αριμαθαίας_St Joseph of Arimathea_Иосиф Аримафейский__Saint-Joseph-of-Arimathea-CX4K2833As the sun hid its very rays at the Savior’s death, and the curtain of the temple was rent in twain,Joseph of everlasting memory approached Pilate beseeching him in this manner;

Give me this stranger, who from infancy has been as a stranger,a sojourner in the world.

Give me this stranger, whon His own race has hated and delivered unto death as a stranger.

Give me this stranger, who in a strange manner is a stranger to death.

Give me this stranger, who has received the poor as guests.

Give me this stranger, whom the jews from envy estranged from the world.

Give me this stranger, that i may hide him in a tomb, for as a stranger He has no place to lay His head.

Give me this stranger, whose Mother seeing His dead body cries out:”O my Son and my God, I am sorely wounded within me and my heart is rent,seeing Thee as one dead:but in Thy Resurrection I take courage and magnify Thee”.Thus entreating Pilate with these words, noble Joseph receives the body of the Savior: and wrapping it with fear in a linen with myrrh, he places in a tomb Him Who bestows upon all  eternal life and great mercy.

Troparion of the Forefeast, Tone 1.

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant Thou unto Orthodox Christians victories over adversaries, and by Thy Cross preserve Thy people.

Troparion of St Eudocimus, Tone 4.

He who did call thee from earth unto heaven keepeth thy body unharmed after death, holy Eudocimus; for thou didst live a sober and holy life and didst not defile thy flesh; so with boldness intercede with Christ that we may be saved.