How to Get Involved
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.