On the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, the 3rd/16th of February 2014, the memory was celebrated of St Symeon the God-receiver, who held in his arms the 40-day-old Lord in the Temple of Solomon, exclaiming: “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, as you have promised…” The feast was observed in the Monastery dedicated to the saint, in Katamonas quarter, within the new Western city of Jerusalem.

Vespers was officiated by Archimandrite Stephanos, the Patriarchal Commissioner in Moscow, and Archimandrite Ananias, Hegoumen of the Holy Monastery of St George Beit Jala. The Matins and Divine Liturgy were led by His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem. Co-officiating were their Eminences, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina and Methodios of Tabor, Hagiotaphite Archimandrites Stephanos, Ananios and Ignatios, Archdeacon f. Evlogios and other hieromonks. Archimandrite f. Efsevios, the head cantor at the Church of Sts Constantine and Helen, chanted during the service, in the presence of a great crowd of Greeks from the Greek parish of Katamonas, as well as pilgrims from both Russia and Greece.

His Beatitude preached the Word of God in Greek, with Archimandrite Efsevios translating into Russian.

The Divine Liturgy was followed by the distribution of the antidoron [blessed bread] and a reception for the Patriarchal Retinue and the faithful at the Hegoumen’s quarters, renovated by the Hegoumen of the Monastery of Katamonas, Archimandrite f. Theodoretos.

From the Secretariat-General