What the Orthodox Celebrate on Holy Tuesday

On Holy Tuesday during the Great and Holy week leading up to Easter, the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the holy gospel which refers to Christ’s denunciation against the religious leaders of Israel, the Secretaries and the Pharisees and also commemorates the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of Talents.

First off, the Gospel of Matthew regarding the condemnation of the Pharisees is read during Tuesday’s Matins service.

Next the Parable of the Ten Virgins which is one of the well-known parables of Jesus is read. This story has a clear eschatological meaning — to be prepared for the Day of Judgment. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the five virgins who are prepared for the bridegroom’s arrival are rewarded, while the five who are not prepared are disowned.

Then, the Parable of the Talents is read, which has been seen as an exhortation to Greek Orthodox people to use their God-given gifts in the service of God.

The Parable of the Talents according to the Gospel of Matthew tells the story of a master who entrusts his property to his three servants and in accordance to the abilities of each man, each servant received a talent. One of the three servants received five talents, the second servant received two talents, and the third servant received one talent. The servants were sent out to make use of their talents and when they returned home the master asked his three servants for an accounting of the talents he entrusted to them. The first and the second servants explained that they each put their talents to work and doubled the value of the property with which they were entrusted and each servant was rewarded by the master. However, the third servant had not utilized his gift and merely hid his talent, so he was punished by his master.