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Experience 360° video of Holy Week liturgies in Lviv, Ukraine

Release Date: 
March 5, 2019

Holy Week services captured in 360° video at three different Ukrainian Greek Catholic churches in Lviv, Ukraine, allow viewers to immerse themselves in the liturgical traditions of each parish. Observe the standing congregation; the use of an iconostasis; the chant, cantor and choir; processions out of and into the church; frequent marking of the sign of the Cross. Use your mouse or finger to move around the image on the screen.

In the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Good Friday is marked by the Great Vespers of the Entombment, when a plaschenytsia, a body-sized cloth icon of the dead Christ in burial shroud, is processed three times around the exterior of the church. It is then brought inside to be venerated.

In the darkness of the eve before Pascha, or Easter, Ukrainian Greek Catholics gather at liturgy to continue to venerate the dead Christ through the the icon of the plaschenytsia. The celebrants change their vestments from red for mourning to white for celebration, beginning a part of the service known as the Resurrection Matins. An icon of the risen Christ is presented to the faithful, among lit candles signaling the light of Christ brought back into the world. A procession leaves the church, into the dark streets, to indeed bring the image of Christ into the world. When the procession returns to the church, the priests knocks on the closed door of the church, and proclaims for the first time the message, "Khrystos voskres! Christ is risen!

In the Byzantine tradition, the week after Pascha is known as Bright Week, and each day as Bright Monday, Bright Tuesday, etc. Though not mandatory days for church attendance, these liturgies are among the most heavily attended days of the year. During the liturgies, the royal doors at iconostasis are left open, just as the tomb is now open for all to see in.

Learn more and watch annotated videos of Holy Week in Ukraine»

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