On Good Friday, the Epitaphio, which symbolises the Tomb of Christ, is adorned by young girls and women with fresh flowers in preparation for the body of Jesus.
13-year-old, Ilyana Paterakis, is one of these young girls. Every year, she helps to decorate the epitaphio at All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Belmore and it was this which inspired her to create a mini Epitaphio for a recent school assignment.
“Ilyana studies Greek at her high school and the Greek teacher asked the class to make something Greek for an assignment. And because we’ve gone to church almost every year to help decorate the Epitaphio, Ilyana wanted to create her own in the lead up to Easter,” Ilyana’s mum, Thea Horozakis, tells The Greek Herald.
From there, Ilyana and her mum went shopping to choose paper flowers which they thought would really make the Epitaphio stand out.
“We chose those specific flowers because they are similar to what we have been using in real life to decorate the Epitaphio at church. She wanted to make the Epitaphio as real as possible,” Thea says.
It’s no surprise then that, despite the miniature size, the final Epitaphio model actually does look real, with its perfectly shaped cross and pillars all covered by pink, white and yellow flowers.
“We as parents are both very, very blessed and proud of her creativity,” Thea says with a smile.