The Myrrhbearers

The Myrrhbearers; were the women who came to the tomb of Christ early in the morning and were the first witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus; the name is mainly used in Eastern Orthodoxy, in the Western Church the two women at the tomb, Three Marys or other variants are normally used. Also included are Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, who took the body of Jesus down from the cross, embalmed it with myrrh and aloes, wrapped it in clean linen, and placed it in a new tomb.

The women followed Jesus during his earthly ministry in Galilee, providing for him and his followers out of their own means. They remained faithful to him even during the most dangerous time of his arrest and execution, and not only stood by the cross, but accompanied him to his burial, noticing where the tomb was located. Because of the impending Sabbath, it was necessary for the burial preparations to be brief. Jewish custom at the time dictated that mourners return to the tomb every day for three days. Once the Sabbath had passed, the women returned at the earliest possible moment, bringing myrrh to anoint the body. It was at this point that the Resurrection was revealed to them, and they were commissioned to go and tell the Apostles. They were, in effect, the apostles to the Apostles. For this reason, the myrrhbearing women, especially Mary Magdalene, are sometimes referred to as "Equal to the Apostles."

The Myrrhbearers are traditionally listed as Mary Magdalene, Mary, the wife of Cleopas, Joanna, Salome, the mother of James and John, Susanna.