Celebrations of Holy Tuesday


In the Greek Orthodox Church, Holy Tuesday is dedicated to the holy gospel referring to Christ’s denunciation against the religious leaders of Israel, the Secretaries and the Pharisees; it also commemorates the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of Talents.

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

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is one of the well-known parables of Jesus. 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. The parable has a clear eschatological meaning, to be prepared for the Day of Judgment.

The Parable of the Talents which appears in the Gospel of Matthew, is also commemorated on Holy Tuesday. It tells the story of a master who entrusted his property to his servants. According to the abilities of each man, one servant received five talents, the second servant received two talents, and the third servant received one talent. Upon their returning at 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 have doubled the value of the property with which they were entrusted; each servant was rewarded, the third servant, however, had merely hidden his talent and was punished by his master.

The parable of the talents has been seen as an exhortation to Greek Orthodox people, to use their God-given gifts in the service of God.