Unfamiliar custom

I had a lot of fun reading this post from six years ago and the following comments! We still haven’t done the harrowing of hell during Holy Saturday Liturgy, but I hope we do one day!

Praying With My Feet

Ok, this is completely out of season, but Father came across a video and we were just stunned. There are several videos from this particular church (St. Barbara in ? Greece, 2010) but the one we viewed contained something we’d never seen before. I sure do hate to spoil the surprise so I won’t. (:

First, here’s a video I’ve posted before. This is at an OCA church here in America (Birmingham, AL – St. Symeon’s) and the service is Holy Saturday Liturgy, the first Liturgy of the Resurrection. This video was taken during the hymn, “Arise O God”. Bay leaves are thrown. Everywhere. It’s so joyous, just watch it again. (:

Now, this is the video from the Greek church. The chanter is chanting “Arise O God” too and bay leaves are also thrown. However, it’s what happens after the bay leaves are all out and the priests return…

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9 thoughts on “Unfamiliar custom

    • The harrowing of hell is imitating the earthquake and the breaking down the gates of hell. So some churches bang on the seats, bang pots and pans, all kinds of things to make a tremendous noise. Look at the comments on the original post to see what some people said they do at their churches. 🙂 It’s neat!


  1. Soooooooo – the banging of the door and the people banging on the floor is the Harrowing of Hell?? I watched one priest throwing the leaves and flower petals riding up and down the isles on a scooter!!!!!! Have you seen that one? He sure was having a good time and his robe was flying behind him.



  2. I found your blog! If y’all want to do this at our parish next year, we will enthusiastically participate! When I’ve seen videos of this tradition, it’s always seemed like such a happy way of driving home the reality of the Harrowing of Hell.

    Liked by 1 person

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