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Elijah and Fiery Chariot

Image Description
The Friday vesper service of Holy Week in the Eastern Church is dedicated to the burial of Christ. The hymn that is sung during this burial service summarizes the message of The Entombment icon. ďThe Noble Joseph took down from the cross, your most pure body, wrapped it in pure linens, anointing it with spices and placed it in a new tomb.Ē (Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15: 43-47, Luke 23:50-53, John 19:38-42) In the Icon of the Entombment, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, Christís two defenders from within the Sandhedrin, the Jewish ruling body, lowers Christís body off the cross. The ladder that Nicodemus climbed to bring Christís body down from the cross is either depicted as leaning against the cross or is held by Nicodemus. John the Divine is pictured among the witnesses to the event. The Holy Women are drawn at the foot of the cross and anoint Christís body with fragrant spices and wrap him in pure linens to prepare his body for entombment. The Holy Women are the myrrh bearing women that came to the tomb after The Resurrection. Joseph of Arimathea, a man of wealth, owned a burial plot near the site of the crucifixion. After they wrapped the body they took him to this tomb.

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