The Holy Trinity Monastery has renewed the practice of serving the Lamentations and Burial of the Most Holy Theotokos in our monastery. Forty years ago, the English language mission of the monastery, served by Hieromonk Ioannikiy and then later the late Archpriest Laurence Girard served this service in English at the conclusion of the regular All-Night Vigil in the cathedral of the monastery. After a few years, unfortunately, the practice stopped.
Bishop Luke last year decided to renew the practice but as part of the general services and not after the Vigil but on the Forefeast, in other words, August 14/27. The Vespers were served as usual on the eve of the Forefeast. Then, after supper, Matins was started by one of the monastic clergy, and upon the intonation of “The Lord is God,…” His Grace, Bishop Luke censed the Burial Shroud of the Mother of God, which was then carried in procession by Vladyka and the monastery clergy to the middle of the church and placed it on the tomb. The clergy with Vladyka shared in the reading of the Lamentations with the monastery choir singing the verses from the Psalter, according to the Kiev Caves chant. Upon the conclusion of this very moving part of the service, the clergy returned to the altar, and the rest of the Matins service proceeded. When it came time for the Great Doxology, Vladyka Luke and the monastic clergy once again returned to the center of the church. Towards the end of the Doxology, Vladyka and the clergy took the shroud out of the church in procession and went around the church once. Just as on Holy Saturday Matins, the shroud was taken up to the Royal Gates and then replaced on the Tomb. The rest of the Matins service proceeded as normal..