In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Christ is here, in our midst! He is and ever shall be!

This service, the service tonight [Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ], and the service tomorrow morning [Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy] are the essence of joyful morning in the Christian Church. The Father’s tell us that the Christian life is to be one of joyful morning – mourning over our sins and the separation from God that comes of our sins, and joy in the grace, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation that comes to us in Christ.

Today, we’re filled with a mix of joy and sorrow – the height of the sorrow is really today, and tomorrow we begin to glimpse more fully the joy, but both are present for us even now. Joy, of course, because our Lord had to endure the Cross in order to rise again on the third day and deify human flesh and seat it at the right hand of the Father. And we glimpse that joy even now, with our Lord lying in the tomb. But our hearts are filled with sorrow, and this sorrow is something we should meditate on, a sorrow we must sit with for next many hours.

Our Christ lies in the tomb, dead, because of us. Our sins, and the sins of all humanity, are the reason we need redeeming, which is the cause of our Saviour’s death. We are reason our Lord ascended the Cross, and lies now in the tomb – the sorrow we feel now should be a sorrow for our sins. A deep sorrow [not despair, because we know the end of this story], a repentance producing sorrow, a sorrow that our failings were the cause of this [motion to the Shroud and Tomb].

Come now and venerate the Life-giving Tomb of God in the flesh, offering sorrow and repentance for our lives of sin, and taking away the grace and the joy of what this ultimately means – our Lord has died so that we can be saved.

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!