Synaxarion For the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers

On this day, the third Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Myrrh-Bearing women; and we also commemorate Joseph of Arimathæa, who was a secret disciple, and also Nicodemos, who was a disciple by night.

Of these Saints, the women were the first and unerring witnesses of the Resurrection of Christ, while Joseph and Nicodemos were witnesses of His burial, which are the primary and most essential elements of our dogmatic teaching. For Nicodemos was expelled from the synagogue as soon as he decided to part company with the Jews, while Joseph, after burying the Lord’s body, was cast by the Jews into a pit, from which he was snatched up by Divine power and brought to Arimathæa, his homeland. After arising, Christ appeared to him while he was still in fetters, and gave him greater assurance of the mystery of the Resurrection. Although Joseph suffered greatly at the hands of the Jews, he was no longer able to keep silent about this mystery, but boldly recounted to everyone what had happened. It is said of Nicodemos that, by virtue of his writings, he was the first to explain in detail the events surrounding the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, because, coming from the synagogue, he was better informed about the schemes and deliberations of the Jews, and, in short, he knew everything about them. And because, as we have said, Joseph and Nicodemos were reliable witnesses of the Lord’s burial, they were ranked together with the women who beheld the Resurrection.

These women were the first to behold the Resurrection, and it was they who announced the glad tidings to the Disciples; for it was fitting that the sex which had first fallen to sin and had inherited the curse should be the first to behold the Resurrection and to hear the joyous greeting, having formerly heard the words: “in pain thou shalt bring forth children.” They were called Myrrh-Bearers, because Joseph and Nicodemos, being in a hurry to bury the body of the Lord on the Friday, since the next day was the great day of the Sabbath, anointed it according to Jewish custom, but not as they ought to have done; they only anointed it with aloes and spices, wrapped it in a winding-sheet, and committed it to the grave; for this reason, having an ardent love for Christ, as disciples of His, these women purchased costly myrrh and came by night, both for fear of the Jews and because the Law permitted them to mourn earlier in the day and to anoint the body, thereby making up for a deficiency that had been due to pressure of time. When they arrived at the tomb, they saw different sights: the two shining Angels inside the tomb, and the other sitting on the stone; after this, they beheld Christ and worshipped Him; St. Mary Magdalene asked Him about Himself as if He were the gardener.

Many were the Myrrh-Bearers, but the Evangelists mentioned only the important ones, leaving the others aside. First of them all was Mary Magdalene, from whom Christ had cast out seven demons; after the Ascension of Christ, she went to Rome, as the story has it, and delivered Pilate and the High Priests to an evil death, after relating to the Emperor Tiberius the events surrounding Christ; she later reposed in Ephesus and was buried by St. John the Theologian; her Relics were translated to Constantinople by Emperor Leo the Wise. The second was Salome, who was a daughter of St. Joseph the Betrothed and whose husband was Zebedee; she gave birth to St. John the Evangelist and St. James. For Joseph had begotten four sons: James, called the Less, Joses, Simon, and Jude; and three daughters: Esther, Thamar, and Salome, the wife of Zebedee. Hence, when you hear in the Gospel about Mary, the mother of James the Less and Joses, keep in mind that she is the Theotokos; for the Theotokos was reckoned to be the mother of the sons of Joseph, and, as it turns out, St. John the Evangelist was a nephew of Christ, since he was the son of a sister. The third of the Myrrh-Bearers was Joanna, the wife of Chuza, the administrator and steward of King Herod’s household. The fourth and the fifth were Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. The sixth was Mary, the wife of Clopas, whom some call Cleopas. The seventh was Susanna. And there were very many others, as the Divine Luke records, who supported Christ and His Disciples from their own resources.

Because these women proclaimed the Resurrection and contributed greatly to assuring us, with utter certainty, of Christ’s Resurrection, the Church of God received the tradition of celebrating them after St. Thomas, for they were the first to see Christ risen from the dead, preached the message of salvation to all, and most excellently pursued the life according to Christ and as befitted women who were disciples of Christ.

By the intercessions of the Holy Myrrh-Bearers, O God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Troparia, tone 2

When Thou, the Deathless Life, didst go down to death, then didst Thou slay hell by the lightning flash of Thy Divinity. And when Thou didst raise the dead from the lower world, all the Powers of Heaven cried aloud: Christ our God, Giver of Life, glory to Thee.

Noble Joseph took Thy immaculate Body down from the Tree, wrapped It in a clean shroud and spices, and having embalmed It laid It in a new sepulchre. But on the third day Thou didst rise, O Lord, granting to the world great mercy.

To the myrrbearing women at the sepulchre an Angel appeared and cried: Myrrh is fit for the dead, but Christ has shown Himself a Stranger to corruption. So cry: The Lord has risen, granting to the world great mercy.

Kontakion, tone 2

Thou didst command the Myrrbearers to rejoice, O Christ our God, Thou didst dry the tears of our first mother Eve by Thy Resurrection, and Thou didst command the Apostles to preach: The Saviour has risen from the tomb.

See also
The Myrrhbearing women and the Christian women of today The Myrrhbearing women and the Christian women of today
Elder Sofian (Boaghiu)
The Myrrhbearing women and the Christian women of today The Myrrhbearing women and the Christian women of today
Elder Sofian (Boaghiu)
The Christian mothers will offer our Master their most precious mirth, which is the birth, raising and education of children in the fear of God. But also the older mothers, the grandmothers and widows that are always present in the holy churches of God, may bring their ointment of tears and prayers as they piously keep the Orthodox faith and legacy passed on by our ancestors.
Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women
Archbishop Savva (Raevsky)
Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women
Archbishop Savva (Raevsky)
Before Pascha, you heard the Gospel reading in which the Lord, not long before His suffering and death, visited the home of Simon the Leper in Bethany. One woman, filled with great love and gratitude to the Savior, brought a vessel of valuable oil and poured it onto the head and feet of the Savior, wiping them with her hair. The house was filled with its aroma. But the aroma of this love was interrupted by the stench of the greedy Judas.
Homily on the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women. On Spiritual Deadness Homily on the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women. On Spiritual Deadness
St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov)
Homily on the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women. On Spiritual Deadness Homily on the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women. On Spiritual Deadness
St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov)
Who shall roll the stone from the tomb for us? These words of the holy women have their own mysterious meaning. They are so edifying that love of neighbor and a desire for his spiritual benefit will not allow us to be silent about it. The tomb is our heart. The heart was once a temple, but it became a tomb. Christ enters it by means of the sacrament of Baptism, in order to dwell in us and work in us.
The Myrrh-Bearing Women : Sacrificial Love The Myrrh-Bearing Women : Sacrificial Love
Archimdrite Kirill (Pavlov)
The Myrrh-Bearing Women : Sacrificial Love The Myrrh-Bearing Women : Sacrificial Love
Archimdrite Kirill (Pavlov)
The pure hearts of the myrrh-bearing women could feel the holiness of the Savior and his love of people and responded to him with the same strong and passionate love.
The Faith of the Myrrhbearing Women The Faith of the Myrrhbearing Women
Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko)
The Faith of the Myrrhbearing Women The Faith of the Myrrhbearing Women
Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko)
Actually, in terms of reason, what these weak women wanted to do was not only impossible, but was just a mad risk. And yet they went anyway. How? Why? What powerful force was drawing them? This force was the Word of God expressed in the Law of Moses. And fulfilling what was for them a holy law, they bought perfumes and went to anoint Him. This required their conscience.
The Myrrh-Bearing Women The Myrrh-Bearing Women
(Acts 6: 1-7; Mark 15: 43-16:8)
The Myrrh-Bearing Women The Myrrh-Bearing Women
(Acts 6: 1-7; Mark 15: 43-16:8)
Dr. M. R. Brett-Crowther
The gospel reading shows the diakonia carried out for the body of the crucified Jesus. The anointing done by Mary in Bethany (John 12: 3-8) is now to be done for the actual burial. But the King of Palm Sunday has already become the King of Life. This reading tells the story from Joseph of Arimathea’s taking possession of the dead body by permission of Pilate and enshrouding it and burying it with a stone being rolled against the door of the tomb. Joseph of Arimathea, an admirer of Jesus, has declared himself, by taking a risk to help.
Comments
chris5/4/2014 11:29 pm
there is a beautiful speech for this sunday,from saint Gregorios Palamas archiepiskop of Thesalonika, in which he explains what exactly happened in the resuraction of Christ,
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