Thanks for starting this topic. I think it would be better if I explained Holy Week as it happens, and so please remind me to do so if I forget. But I will briefly describe the first service of Lent, which is the Service of Forgiveness. Technically, it's supposed to be done on Monday, I think, but in our parish, it's done on Sunday after the Liturgy. It is a simple service, with some prayers, psalms, hymns, and an Epistle and Gospel. At one point, the priest prostrates himself three times before the people and asks their forgiveness, and the people respond to this in kind. In our parish, it is usually in Malayalam, and so for those of us for whom it is not our first language, it gets difficult. Fortunately, I received in my email a copy of one of the main prayers of that service, which I include below:
O Christ, our God, the eternal Tranquility of creation, and the true peace of the uttermost parts of the world;
Thou Who art love and art called love, and Who delighteth in this title more than all other titles;
Thou Who giveth honor to those who hold to this love.
By Thy love for us, Thou offereth Thyself as an acceptable sacrifice and a sweet fragrance.
By Thy crucifixion, Thou breakest down the barrier of enmity and by Thy blood, Thou hast reconciled the dwellers of heaven and earth and hast removed the enmity from the middle and united them as one.
By the indivisible unity of Thy Godhead from eternity and Thy human nature in time, Thou hast called all those who were far off and those who were near, and thus Thou has joined them together with the concord of Thy divine love.
By this same love, Thou hast counted them among the household of Thy eternal kingdom and brought the whole world good tidings of peace and tranquility. At Thy birth, the heavenly hosts proclaimed peace to the
shepherds. Thou gavest peace to the women, who went and announced Thy glorious resurrection. In peace, Thou assureth Thy holy apostles of Thy resurrection in the upper room where they gathered. When Thou wast
ascending to Thy Father, Thou gavest Thy peace to Thy disciples, saying to them: “My peace I leave with you; not as the world giveth, do I give it to you. This is my commandment that you should love another, just I have loved you.” Keep this love entrusted to us, our Savior, and by it, confirm our minds.
By Thy love, may we be bound together.
By Thy love, drive out from among us divisions and controversies.
By Thy love, make us keep Thy life-giving commandments.
By Thy love, hold afflictions and sufferings from us.
By Thy love, make us children of peace and tranquility.
By Thy peace, unite the shepherds and their flocks.
By Thy peace, cause priests to delight in their offerings.
By Thy peace, perfect Thy Church and her children.
By Thy peace and tranquility, guide and adorn Thy Church.
By Thy peace and tranquility, lead her congregations and make her children glad.
In Thy tranquility, keep those who are near her.
In Thy peace, purify her deacons.
In Thy tranquility, unite her leaders.
In Thy peace, reconcile the wrathful.
In Thy tranquility, unite those that are divided.
In Thy peace, fill bitter souls with happiness.
In Thy tranquility, keep Thy flock.
In Thy peace, settle doubting minds.
In Thy tranquility, purify our thoughts.
In Thy peace, deliver us from merciless people in authority.
In Thy tranquility, adorn us in all Thy festivals.
In Thy peace, accept our fasting and our prayers.
In Thy tranquility, grant us mercy and forgiveness.
In Thy peace, loosen us from the bonds of wickedness.
In Thy tranquility, break us out of the yoke of the adversary.
May Thy peace be with us and may Thy tranquility reign among us. Bind our minds with Thy Love and establish Thy loving-kindness in our hearts that we may offer thanks to Thee, O Lord of tranquility, and to Thy Father, the Giver of peace, and to Thy Holy Spirit, the Perfector of true love, now and forever.