The lamentations (or Praises) are sung interspersed with the verses of Psalm 118 (Psalm 119 in the Hebrew Psalter), precisely as at the lamentations before Christ’s tomb on Great and Holy Saturday. Beginning with the first verse of the psalm, the psalm verse is followed by the refrains of the lamentations, below. In common practice, the psalm verses are sung by the choir, and the lamentation refrains read by the priest—though there is wide variation in this.

The rite of the Burial of the Mother of God, of which these lamentations form a part, can be performed as an independent service; however, it is most often performed as part of the Vigil for the Feast. In this case, the winding sheet (plashchinitsa, epitaphios) of the Theotokos is brought out from the Altar to the centre of the Church after ‘The Lord is God…’, with the Royal Doors opened but the lights not illumined. Placed in the centred of the Church in the tomb, it is censed three times round about, together with the iconostasis and the people, while the people light and hold candles. The present service of the lamentations then takes the place of the Polyeleos. A small litany follows the first and second stases, with a censing of the shroud, the iconostasis and the people. At the end of the third stases, the priest censes the shroud, the iconostasis and the whole temple, while the choir sings the Evloghitaria of Matins.

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