THE EPITAPHIOS SERVICE AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On the night of Holy Friday, the 5th/18th of April 2014, the devout and magnificent service of the Epitaphios was held at the All-holy Church of the Resurrection in remembrance of the Burial of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The ceremony was led by His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem. Co-officiating were Hagiotaphite Prelates and Prelates from other Orthodox Churches: the Very Reverend Theodosius, Bishop of Raska and Prizre, visiting from the Patriarchate of Serbia; the Very Reverend Georgios, Bishop of Siemiatycze, visiting from the Church of Poland; and Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and priests visiting from other Churches. Attending the service were Mr Georgios Zacharoudiakis, the Greek Consul-General to Jerusalem, former Greek Ambassador to Jordan, Mr Heracles Asteriades and Mr Petros Panagiotopoulos, former Consul-General to Jerusalem. A great crowd of Orthodox faithful, Greeks, Russians, Romanians and Cypriots prayed during the ceremony, while Archimandrite Aristovoulos, Head Cantor of the Church of the Resurrection, chanted with his choir.
The devout ceremony of the Epitaphios included the Canon “On a sea wave”, a procession along the holy shrines and ascent on the Horrendus Golgotha, the reading out of the Evangelic pericope of the Crucifixion by the Patriarch and a rotation thrice around the Apokathelosis (Deposition) with the heileton. The Gospel of the Apokathelosis was read out by the Patriarch and followed by rotation thrice around the Holy Sepulchre and the three Stases of the Engomia (Praises).
The speech of the day was delivered by the Elder Secretary-General, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, in Greek.
The service was concluded with Doxology within the Holy Bema.
It was a pious service performed in order and harmony, despite the fact that it lasted until 3:00 am of the Holy Saturday.
From the Secretariat-General