From the Greek island of Santorini, the ‘Lazarus’ is a large wooden cross covered with rosemary and flowers. On the eve of Holy Week, it is a pre-celebration of the life-giving nature of the Cross which will soon be experienced.

Lazarus Sat - cross - Santorini-1The cross is made on the morning of Lazarus Saturday and kept on display until Pascha, when it is taken down and left outside the church. It stays there until the day of the Ascension, when it is disposed of respectfully.

Large models of the Lazarus cross (as pictured) are placed in public areas, like town squares. Smaller versions (as pictured) are made by individual families who leave them over their threshold until the Ascension.


– Make a modest-sized cross by cutting two pieces of inch-wide pine timber 30 cm long. Nail the horizontal cross-tier about ¾ from the bottom of the vertical piece.

– Tack a small loop of wire to the back of the Cross, roughly where the two pines intersect, so it can be hung.

– Tie twigs of rosemary, bay leaves and flowers using twine.


Photos used with permission:
By Klearchos Kapoutsis (large Lazarus)
By Chris Vlahonasios (2013, church door & home)
Photo of mayor used from

Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+



Chris Vlahonasios

Chris Vlahonasios is a law graduate from Victoria University and Orthodox media writer for TRANSFIGURE Media.


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