The third Sunday after Easter, on the 13th/26th of April 2015, also known as Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, the Patriarchate celebrated the deposition of the Lord from the cross by his secret disciples, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, as well as the anointment of His body with aloes, its wrapping in a winding sheet and burial in a new tomb “where no one had ever been laid” (John 19, 41).
Α. In Remle – Ancient Arimathea
This event was commemorated by the Patriarchate in present-day Remle, the ancient Arimathea where Joseph hailed from.
In this big town, the Greek Orthodox Arab-speaking community numbers approximately 3.000 faithful.
On the morning of the feast, His Beatitude Theophilos was welcomed to the town by Archimandrite Nephon, Hegoumen of St Joseph Monastery, the Community President Ms Frida Manase and members of the Community Council.
Patriarch Theophilos led the Divine Liturgy. Co-officiating were the Archbishops of Joppe, Constantina and Lydda, Archimandrite Nephon, Hieromonks, priests from Joppe, Archdeacon Evlogios and deacon Dionysios. In attendance was the representative of the Greek Embassy in Tel Aviv, Mr Gennimatas, as well as a big crowd of Community members.
To this pious congregation the Patriarch preached the Word of God in Greek.
The Divine Liturgy was followed by a reception at the Hegoumen’s quarters whilst Archimandrite Nephon and the Community Council hosted guests to lunch at noon.
During lunch, His Beatitude praised Archimandrite Nephon and made a donation towards the continuation of restoration works at the school, the Monastery and the Church.
B. At St James Cathedral
The feast of the Myrrhbearers was also observed in St James Cathedral, at the chapel of the Myrrhbearers.
The Divine Liturgy was led by Archbishop Theodosios of Sebaste, as Archimandrite Aristovoulos sang in Greek and St James Choir sang in Arabic in the presence of the Greek Consul-General, Mr Georgios Zacharoudiakis. In attendance was the Arab-speaking congregation of the Church but also members of the Greek Parish, nuns and pilgrims.
During Communion, Archbishop Theodosios underlined the dedication and bravery of the Myrrhbearing women, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, the Lord’s disciple by night.
After His Eminence’s speech, Mr Ibrahim Salphiti presented the charitable activities of the Cathedral and of the “Myrrhbearers Association” on behalf of the Church Board.
On the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence and the congregation were hosted to a reception in a hall recently renovated at the expenses of Mr Noura Korte, where addresses were made on the occasion of the feast.
From the Secretariat-General