“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Saint Luke 23:34)
In the Orthodox Church, Holy Thursday evening is really Friday morning- anticipated. There are twelve passion gospel readings; after the fifth gospel reading- by which time all is dark- a Cross and an icon of Christ crucified, with arms open wide, is carried in procession through the sanctuary and attached to the solea in the front of the sanctuary. And there Christ is nailed to the Cross for us.
And with us, for we are nailed to the Cross with Him.
In this way we participate in Christ’s sufferings together, in heart, mind, and body. After the service, some stay to do vigil at the Cross, and others leave, quietly, reflectively, reverently, soberly, in light of all that Christ suffered for us.
But this is not the end of the Story.
Just as disability is not the end of story for those who have one or more of them. What happens on the third day is very good news for all people. For those with disabilities, it means the sure promise of the ultimate termination of their disabilities.