Greek Orthodox Traditions of Good Friday
Good Friday is an eminently mournful day commemorating the Passion of the Christ across Greece. Even the most remote churches honor the tradition of the epitaph, filling the atmosphere with piety and devoutness.
In every Greek city, village or island, the Passion of the Christ is revived through various traditions. From the early morning hours in all the Greek churches, the Epitaph, decorated with flowers, is ready to receive the body of Jesus. In most areas, the epitaph procession begins around 9pm, but in some parts of the country procession takes place at noon or even on the morning of Holy Saturday.
In Athens, in the Monastery of Kaisariani, the epitaph procession takes place during the day and is a unique experience for anyone in attendance. The epitaph comes out of the church around 2pm, with special permission from the Ministry of Culture since the monastery belongs to the Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.
The procession takes place on Mount Hymettus, through the flowery nature, while the Christian Youth Brotherhood chants.
In Corfu, the epitaph procession of the St. Spyridon Church takes place at 9am on Holy Saturday. In 1574, the Venetians wouldn’t allow the orthodox community to have a procession on Good Friday, so the Corfiot
s decided to bring the epitaph along with the St. Spyridon procession. In Greece, there is also the tradition of faithful people passing from under the epitaph, and it is considered to be a very pious habit.