Today the Orthodox Church observes Holy Wednesday, the third day of the Holy and Great Easter Week, culminating in four days with Pascha, as Easter Sunday is called by the Church – from the Aramaic word for “Passover”.

The Orthodox liturgy for Holy Wednesday revolves around the Biblical account of the two women, who according to the more discerning interpreters of the Gospel, anointed Jesus Christ with myrrh. The first, a long time before Christ’s “Passion”, as the New Testament recounts; the other, a few days before. According to the Scriptures, one was a harlot and sinner; the other, chaste and virtuous.

The Holy Passion, as Easter Week is known in Greece, began two days ago, on Holy Monday.

The Orthodox Christian faith commemorates this reverent act today, Holy Wednesday. While mentioning here-in the person of the harlot, the Gospels also mention Judas Iscariot’s betrayal; for, according to the account in Matthew, both of these deeds took place two days before the Passover, on Wednesday.

On the afternoon or evening, the sacrament or Mystery of Holy Unction is conducted in Orthodox parishes. This sacrament is performed by a gathering of priests, ideally seven in number, however, it can be performed by a lesser number and even by a single clergyman.