6th Hour

The Six Hour of Good Friday: the Crucifixion

The carrying the Cross

After that they forced Him to carry His weapon of execution, the Cross, under which He fell three times on His way to Calvary. “And He bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha” (John 19:17). Here is another symbolism in old Testament similar to the story: “So Abraham [symbol of God the Father]  took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac [symbol of Christ] his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.  But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” [Gen. 22: 6-8].

The Cross was so heavy that they forced a man called Simon the Cyrene to carry it the rest of the way to the Gologota. When Christ reached at Golgotha , they took His robe and the rest of His Clothes, which left Him completely naked.  The one who covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve when they sinned, become necked, with no fault of His own. He allowed this because nakedness was a sign and punishment of sin. It showed the state of humankind.

when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. [ Gen 37:23-24].

He has stripped me of my glory [Job 19:9]

Then they pierce and drove huge nails into His hands and leg using a heavy hummer. It is beyond imaginable to think how much suffering  He endured at those moments. Then they rose the Cross and put it in the hole they dug for it in the ground. As they do this, the Body is pulled down, and its whole weight pushes on the three spots where the nails are. This produces tremendous pain.

‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’ [Zech 13:6]

Him, Who had no wickedness, they crucified as wicked.

Him, Who is the maker of life, they numbered with the wicked.

Oh the hands which formed Adam were nailed with the nails of the cross.

Oh the feet which walked in the garden were nailed with the nails of the cross.[the Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom]

“The bridegroom of the Church is fastened with nails

He who clothes himself with light as with a garment stood naked for trial

He was struck on the cheek by the hand that He Himself had made

A people that transgressed the law nailed the Lord of Glory to the Cross

Then the curtain of the temple was torn in two, then the sun was darkened”

O You, Who on the sixth day and in the sixth hour was nailed to the cross, for the sin which our father Adam dared to commit in Paradise, tear the handwriting of our sins, O Christ our God, and save us. I cried to the Lord and He heard me. God hear my prayer, and do not refuse my petition. Be attentive to me and hear me in the evening, in the morning, and at midday. I say my words, and He hears my voice and delivers my soul in peace. [Agpeya of the Six hour]

At the 6th Hour (the Hour of the Crucifixion), before the Gospel readings, the priest sings:

“We prostrate in front of Your Cross, O Master, and all of us, we glorify Your holy Resurrection, now and forever).

Deacon chants: They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones.They look and stare at Me.  [Psalm 22:16-17]. which is repeated by the people.

When the mother of God saw this, she wept bitterly, saying, “My child, what unjust death and no one suffer with you. Peter doesn’t accompany You– he said to You, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” [Mt. 26:33]. Tomas has left You– he said, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” [11:16]. “a sword has gone through my heart, O Son,” said the Virgin in her grief, as she beheld Christ her son and Master hanging on the tree, “and my heart is sorely rent, O Master, from my grief, as Symon once told me of old. But do you now arise, O Word. And i Pray Thee, O Immortal one, do you glorify your mother and and maid with this.” [Lamentation of St Mary] One saint said, “the pain which, in ways surpassing nature, your mother did not undergo at Your birth, she suffered at you holy Passion. For she was filled with agony when she saw You nailed of Your own will by the Jews upon the Cross, O you who has set the earth upon the foundation of the waters”.

On Christ’s suffering and death, St. Cyril of Alexandria said, “God, who is beyond suffering, suffered in His own flesh as a human being. In becoming man, though God, in no way did He cease being God; ..being master according to His divinity, He “took upon Him the form of servant” [Phil. 2:7] yet He still has the inseparable dignity of a Master; being the Only-Begotten, He become “the firstborn among many brethren”[Rom. 8:30]. So the all-wise Paul says that Christ Jesus, who, being “in the form of God [Phil. 2:6] and equal to God the Father, ‘became obedient unto death, even the death at the Cross’”[Phil. 2:8].

Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened [Lk 23:44-45]

O Strenge murder! O strenge injustice! The Master has been insulted, his body stripped naked and he has not been deemed worthy of a covering to keep him concealed. That is why the lights of heaven have been turned off, and he day darkend, to hide him who was naked on the cross, to drape, not the body of the Lord but the eye of humankind. [St. Melito of Sardis]

“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God, “That I will make the sun go down at noon,

And I will darken the earth in broad daylight [Amos 8:9]

“I clothe the heavens with blackness,

And I make sackcloth their covering.” [Is. 50:3]

O Jesus Christ, our God, who was nailed to the cross in the sixth hour, and killed sin by the tree, and by Your death You made alive the dead man, whom You created with Your own hands, and had died in sin. Put to death our pains by Your healing and life‑giving passions, and by the nails with which You were nailed. Rescue our minds from thoughtlessness of the earthly deeds and worldly lusts, to the remembrance of Your heavenly commandments, according to Your compassion. [Agypeya of the Six Hour]

He who suspended the earth is himself suspended; he who fixed the heaven is himself transfixed; he who made all things fast is made fast upon the tree. The king of Israel has been slain [St. Melito of Sardis]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *