9th Hour-Death

The Ninth Hour: Death

Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. The Church recreates this eclipse by turning off all the light in the church. The three huge wounds of the hands and the feet bleed profusely; and the internal organs are under physical stress and began to deteriorate because of the diminished amount of blood getting into them. While on the cross Jesus Christ spoke seven times. Seven is one of the numbers that means perfection, and in this particular case meant that Jesus’ mission was perfectly completed. The whole body is dehydrated. Finally the vital organs began to stop functioning, and when the heart stops, He died before the two thieves who were crucified with Him.

At the 9th hour, before the Gospel reading, three priests sit down in front of the picture of Crucifixion (as if in front of the Cross itself); a large black cloth is put on their heads (symbolizing people coming to mourn in front of the Cross), and they say three times: «Amnestiti moukyria enti fassilia sou» (distortion of Greek «mnestiti mou kyrie en ti vassilai sou»), «Lord remember me in your Kingdom»

At the 9th Hour (the Hour of Christ’s death), (while pulling at the censer) the three priests sing in turn: «He tasted death in His Flesh», three times and faithful will repeat it and prostate.

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? … Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” [Lk 23:39]

“The thief, whose hand were defiled with blood

Thou did accept as thy fellow-traveler

With him, number us also, O lord

For Thou are good and lovest mankind

But we, imitate the righteous thief, cry out in faith

Remember us also, O savior, in thy kingdom”

With St. Mary, mother of God, at the time of crucifixion was with St. John the disciple. He alone among the disciple did not abandoned the Lord. He remained faithful to the very end, and was present to accept Jesus’ last command.  “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. The mother of God experience agony:-

“Today the blameless virgin

Saw Thee suspending upon the Cross, O ward,

She mourned within herself and was sorely pierced in her heart

She groaned in agony from depth of her soul”

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”  Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine,  

Deacon: They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. [Psalm 69:21]

He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drink wormwood. [Lam 3:15]

He said, “It is finished!”And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.Then, the soldiers broke their legs of the two thieves to hasten their death, but when they came to Jesus they found that He was already dead. Then one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, diagonally ending in the heart. This was a prophecy mentioned in Psalm: “ my heart is wounded” [109:21]. Immediately blood and water came out from His side. As Moses struck the rock in the desert, and water poured out that saved the life of the people of Israel, when the soldier pierced the side of our Saviour on the Cross, blood and water came out. It is now up to us to satisfy our thirst from the water of life. The soldier who thrust this spear was named Longinus, after this majestic events, he confessed Christianity and become himself a martyr.

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. [Gen 2:21]

If you desire further proof of the power of this blood, remember where it came from, how it run down from the Cross, flowing from the Master side… Now the water was a symbol of baptism and the blood, of the Holy Eucharist. The soldier pierced the Lord side, He breached the wall of the sacred temple, and i have found treasure and made it my own………….. Since the symbol of baptism and eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he has fashioned Eve from the side of Adam .. God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after his own death. [St. John the Chrysostom].

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