St. Mary's 125th Anniversary

Golgotha: Parishioners will notice a new piece of liturgical furniture at St Mary's, a large icon of the Crucifixion together with the Theotokos and the Beloved Disciple, St John. This wonderful, anonymous gift has been painted by our iconographer Dmitry Shkolnik, as a memorial to the founders, benefactors and members of St Mary's Cathedral on our 125th Anniversary.  May their memory be eternal!



As we face the altar, a Golgotha can be either on the left (as at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Chicago) or the right (at St Nicholas Cathedral, DC). 

Throughout the year it is the focus of memorial services - the parastas - which is celebrated before it.  It is brought to the center of the church for the 12 Passion Gospels service on the night of Holy Thursday (and through Holy Friday).  During the Passion Gospels, the crucifixion side of the Golgotha faces the people.

Later, before the Royal Hours on Holy Friday, the icons of Saint John and the Virgin are removed, and the cross is turned around. The empty cross remains behind the tomb with the shroud (plaschenitsa) in front of it, until the Matins of Holy Saturday.

It is returned to its place with the non-crucifixion side facing the people, and without the icons of Saint John and the Virgin, until Ascension, when it is set back to 'normal' until the next Holy Week.



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