Good Wednesday is part of the Good Week, which leads up to the celebration of Easter Sunday. During the Good Week, Orthodox Christians engage in prayer, fasting, and reflection as they prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In the Orthodox Christian tradition, Good Wednesday is dedicated to the anointing of Jesus Christ with myrrh by a woman in Bethany, which is described in the New Testament (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, and John 12:1-8). The woman is traditionally identified as Mary, the sister of Lazarus.
On this day, many Orthodox churches hold a special service called the “Service of the Holy Unction,” which involves the anointing of the faithful with holy oil. This service is intended to provide spiritual and physical healing to those in need, and it is usually conducted in the evening of Good Wednesday. The anointing of Jesus with myrrh by the woman in Bethany is considered a significant event in the life of Jesus Christ. It is seen as a foreshadowing of his burial and an expression of the woman’s love and devotion to Jesus.
The Service of the Holy Unction is usually held in the evening of Good Wednesday, although some churches may hold it on a different day during Good Week. The service is open to all Orthodox Christians who wish to participate, and it is common for people to bring a small piece of bread to be blessed during the service.
The holy oil used in the Service of the Good Unction is made up of a blend of olive oil and several aromatic spices, including myrrh, frankincense, cinnamon, and rose petals. The oil is blessed by a bishop or priest during a special ceremony known as the “consecration of the holy oil.”
In conclusion, Good Wednesday is part of Good Week, which leads up to the celebration of Easter Sunday. During the Good Week, Orthodox Christians engage in prayer, fasting, and reflection as they prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.