His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel officiated the Service of the Lamentations of the Lord on 14 April 2017 at the Patriarchal Cathedral. Together with His Beatitude served His Grace Varlaam of Ploiesti, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch.
Patriarch Daniel addressed the faithful present with a homily in which he focused on the spiritual symbolism of the Lamentations.
To begin with, the Patriarch pointed out the meaning of hell, saying that hell is the impotency to love; it means existing in isolation from God and fellow people. The patriarch explained that the greatest suffering one can experience in hell is the lack of communion with others.
Christ’s descent into hell shattered loneliness, sadness and the solitude existing in hell.
The patriarch also referred to the service of the Lamentations saying that it reflects a theology of Christ’s crucifixion, His death and Resurrection, which is concentrated and poetically exposed so that it can be sung.
His Beatitude noted that the Service of the Lamentations is not an emotional lamentation, but rather a mourning full of hope that springs from the belief that the One Who dies, did not die for Himself, but for us.
At the end of the Doxology, His Beatitude led the traditional procession around the Patriarchal Cathedral, symbolising Christ’s carrying to the tomb.