On the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the first day of the Triodion Period, namely the 27th of January/9th of February 2014, a Divine Liturgy was held in the Greek Orthodox (Rum Orthodox) Community of the Patriarchate in the town of Abud, in the vicinity of Ramallah.
This particular Community numbers approximately 1500 members. Its liturgical center is the Church of the Dormition of Theotokos, which to this day preserves pronounced elements of early Byzantine Architecture. Abud was visited for pastoral reasons by His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, who went on to officiate the Divine Liturgy. Co-officiating were His Eminence Dorotheos, Archbishop of Avila; the Elder Secretary-General, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina; the master of ceremonies, Archimandrite Porphyrios; the Head of the Community, Steward Emmanouel; Archdeacon f. Evlogios, and Hierodeacon Dionysios. The Orthodox parishioners participated in the Liturgy with piety and devoutness.
To this pious congregation, His Beatitude preached the Word of God, referring among other things to the significance of fasting and praying, “the spiritual means of preparation towards controlling and overcoming the will of the flesh, therefore towards achieving purification of the soul and the body, and cleansing of the mind”.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, during the brief reception which was followed by lunch, His Beatitude had the opportunity to listen to topics of concern to the Community from the Priest and Vestrymen, and provide answers towards their settlement and resolution.
From the Secretariat-General