Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women
Hear the voice of gladness, O women; for I have trodden down rebellious Hades, and raised the world from corruption. Wherefore, hasten ye and proclaim the glad tidings to My beloved; for I desire that joy shall break forth thence upon My creation, whence first came forth sorrow.
—Orthros of the Feast, Tone 2
On this day, the third Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the feast of the holy Myrrh-bearing women. And we also make commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea, who was a secret disciple, and Nicodemus, who was a disciple by night.
The women disciples bring myrrh unto Christ;
And I bring a hymn as it were myrrh unto them.
The women went to Christ’s tomb on Holy Pascha to anoint His body, only to discover it empty. We know the names of only seven of these women: Mary Magdalene; Mary the Mother of James and Joses; Joanna the wife of Chuza; Salome the mother of the sons of Zebedee; Susanna; and Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. Joseph was a rich and noble man, and a member of the Privy Council of Jerusalem. He dared to ask Pilate for the undefiled body of our Savior, which he took and buried in his own tomb. Accompanying Joseph to the sepulcher was Nicodemus, a Jerusalemite who was one of the leaders of the Pharisees. Nicodemus brought 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes to scent and embalm the body of Christ.
By the intercessions of the holy Myrrh-bearers, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, O God, have mercy on us. Amen.
When Thou didst cry, Rejoice, unto the Myrrh-bearers, Thou didst make the lamentation of Eve the first mother to cease by Thy Resurrection, O Christ God. And Thou didst bid Thine Apostles to preach: The Savior is risen from the grave.
As the Myrrh-bearers went to Thy tomb, O Savior, they were perplexed in mind and said to themselves: Who will roll the stone away from the sepulcher for us? And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled away. They were awestruck by the form of the Angel and his raiment. They were taken with trembling and thought to flee; and the youth cried to them: Be not afraid; He Whom ye seek is risen; come, behold the place where the body of Jesus lay, and go quickly, proclaim unto the Disciples: The Savior is risen from the grave.
--Kontakion and Oikos of the Feast