On Wednesday, the 21st of November/4th of December 2013, the Entry of Theotokos into the Temple was celebrated at the Patriarchate, commemorating the entry of the Blessed Mary into the temple of Solomon and the Holy of Holies, as well as her preparation there for the role intended for her by God, namely the incarnation of the Son and Word of God by the Holy Spirit through herself.

The feast was celebrated in the Church of Sts Constantine and Helena of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, led by His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, who opened the “Christ is born, praise” hymns.

The same feast was festively celebrated at the Convent of the Great Panaghia, which today numbers approximately twenty nuns. His Eminence Demetrios, Archbishop of Lydda, led the Vespers and the divine Liturgy on the day of the feast. Co-officiating were Hieromonks and Deacons, in the presence of a crowd of pious faithful including pilgrims and nuns. The head cantor of the Church of the Resurrection, Archimandrite f. Aristovoulos, chanted in Greek, Russian and Arabic.

The Hegoumen of the Sacred Pilgrimage of the Shepherds’ Field, serving as vicar in the Convent, Archimandrite Ignatius, preached the Word of God to the pious congregation, describing the entry of Theotokos into the Temple as the “prelude to God’s favour and the declaration of the salvation of man, and the annunciation of Christ and Theotokos towards the fulfillment of God’s economy”.

During the divine Liturgy, His Beatitude Theophilos and his retinue of Hagiotaphite members arrived in the church to venerate.

At the end of the divine Liturgy, the Mother Superior, nun Melanie hosted a reception for the Prelatic retinue and the congregation, at the abbess’ quarters.

From the Secretariat-General