St. Andrew Orthodox Church
A Parish of the Moscow Patriarchate
How to Get Involved

Sign up for slots (in half-hour increments)

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  • You can sign up for as long a session (e.g. 1.5 hours) or for as many different sessions as you would like (e.g. Fri 8-9pm and Saturday 8:30-10am).
  • Most people find 1-2 hour sessions desirable.
    • Note: Slots in are half-hour increments simply to allow for flexibility, so most people will want to sign up for 2 or more slots.
  • Feel free to come alone or share the session with someone else.

Stay Informed

  • Join the Remind group list for Gravewatchers.
    • Reminders come as text and/or email per your preference
    • Works just like the announcement System we use for the Parish.
  • Read up on more specific information
    • Do's and Don'ts
    • Expectations
    • What If's
  • Any questions, problems signing up or concerns?
    • Feel free to call or text Josh Greve at 517-420-3922.
Learn More:

What is "Gravewatching"?

Members and friends of St. Andrew's volunteer to hold an around-the-clock Vigil by the tomb of Christ (i.e, Gravewatch).  This begins immediately after the Burial Service on Holy Friday (around 4pm) and ends when the Paschal Vigil starts (at 10pm, Saturday Night).

While this is a communal effort to keep the Vigil going throughout the night and next day, the action itself is not a service attended as a community, but rather a string of individuals or partners who come a certain scheduled times to read the Psalms or the Gospels and Acts.  (You can sign up for sessions here)

Why do we do this?

This is based on an ancient Jewish tradition whereby the faithful would keep vigil over the body of a departed loved one by reading prayers and the Psalms by their body for three days.  

This tradition continued to be practiced by Orthodox Christians since the birth of the Church.  Many Orthodox parishes fulfill this tradition for Christ out of love for Him and a remembrance that, although God, He is also Man and really did die as part of His Salvific work for us.  

One joyous difference, of course, is that unlike the countless vigils that have been kept for loved ones over countless centuries inevitably ending in sadness, this Vigil ends in His glorious Resurrection: Pascha.