Greek Orthodox Easter 2011
St. Demetrios Procession Photos - Astoria
I arrived shortly after the procession had begun. There were likely thousands in attendance on this damp, cool spring night. The rain that had been forecast had not yet materialized and it looked like it wouldn’t for the duration of this procession.
Photos Of Holy Friday In Astoria
The procession is lead by a man carrying the cross, who is preceded by a small marching band. The man carried the cross in front of him, more like a standard bearer, than like the re-enactment of Jesus’ trip up Mount Calvary. On this day 2011 years ago, Jesus carried the cross up Mount Calvary, where he was crucified and died. In the Friday night procession in Astoria, several clergy members walk alongside the man carrying the cross. The clergymen were followed by a number of altar boys who were carrying staffs with medallions, candles and possibly incense.
Epitaphios - Greek Culture In Astoria
Next is the epitaphios, which symbolizes the shroud of Jesus, taken off his body before he was laid to rest in the tomb. The cloth is put onto the white flower-covered bier, which is the frame upon which the shroud is carried. For the passers-by, the epitaphios is an eye-catching symbol, as it is at once beautiful, while conveying the mournfulness historical and religious event
Choir girls and altar boys marched alongside the epitaphios and they were followed by a a very large crowd that likely numbered in the thousands as you can see in the photos in the slide show below. The Greek Orthodox parishoners make up this procession, and it includes everyone from the very young to the very old. As is normal at a funeral, it seems everyone is dressed in dark clothing.
The procession circles around the neighborhood, making a complete circle around the church. The route of the procession, which starts at the front of St. Demetrios is one block south along 31st Street from St. Demtrios, two blocks east along 31st Avenue, one long block up along 34th Avenue, two blocks east along 30th Avenue and then one block back south along 31st Street ending at St. Demetrios. The procession generally lasts an hour.
Greek Orthodox - Holy Week In Astoria
It’s worth noting that the public is welcome to march in the procession and that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in Astoria also encompasses three other churches in the Astoria neighborhood, including St. Irene’s, St. Catherine & St. George and St. Markella. Click this link to visit the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.
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