April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday in Patmos 2014 (photos + video)

Holy Thursday was celebrated today with much splendor, as every year, on Patmos, the island of the Apocalypse, with the annual Service of the Sacred Basin. It is a reenactment of the Mystical Supper of the Lord and His supreme act of humility by washing His disciples feet the night before His Crucifixion.

This beautiful and old ceremony brings a large number of people to Patmos every year. This year was especially significant since the ceremony was led by the new abbot of Sacred Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, Abbot Kyrillos Pentes.

The ceremony takes place in the main square of the island. It begins with the procession of the icon "Christ in Chains" painted by El Greco that is treasured in the Monastery, and when it arrives at the Square the Abbot prays before it due to its symbolism and significance for the Passion of Christ. Sitting on a platform is the Abbot of the Monastery, who represents Christ in the ceremony, surrounded by twelve hieromonks, representing the twelve disciples.

This Ceremony of the Sacred Basin dates back to the fourth century and is mentioned in the Typikon of Saint Savvas the Sanctified. It has been celebrated in Patmos since the eleventh century.