Ukrainian Catholic Veneration of the Holy Shroud

The noble Joseph
took down Your most pure body from the tree.
He wrapped it with a clean shroud and,
with aromatic spices, placed it in a new tomb.

We sing this hymn at the Vespers service on Great and Holy Friday as the icon of the burial of Jesus (plashchanytsia) is laid in the tomb that has been set up in the middle of the church. Our practice is to approach this image of Christlaid-in-the-tomb on our knees, bowing profoundly before it, and venerating it with great love and devotion. The shroud we use depicts the body of Jesus wrapped in a winding sheet and placed in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea accompanied by Mary, the Mother of our Lord, Mary Magdalene and others. While our Church began this custom of veneration between the 14th to 16th centuries, some wonder how this practice was inspired – could it have come from what we know now as the Shroud of Turin?