Our Passion Week is called simune himamat (occasion of sufferings). Our Good Friday is called siqlet (crucifixion). Passion(s), theologically understood, is close enough, but good is a smidgen different than crucifixion. ‘Tis good to have the eyes of our hearts fixed on his resurrection, but we should not be too quick to flip and skip to the end of the scroll. Read it aloud, and in canonical order. (1 Cor 2:2; 1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 3:16,17)
Glory and honor be to his name, our Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ, according to our tradition, is called ri’uq bi’isee (the naked man). I gave a short presentation on the Ge’ez and Amharic biblical commentary of Galatians Chapter One to my fellow Orthodox Christian (mostly clergy) podcasters of the Ephesus School Network a couple months ago, and mentioned this title to them. It struck a chord. As it should.
Today, all over the cosmos, Ge’ez Rite christians will hear the following words chanted hauntingly in remembrance of the naked man’s greatest labor of love:
the sun darkened
the moon became blood
the stars speedily fell
so that they would not see the nakedness
of he who clothed them with light