On the morning of Thursday, the 14th/27th of August 2015, the rite of the “Engomia” [Lamentations] or of the “Epitaph” [Bier] of Theotokos was performed at her Tomb in Gethsemane.

This ceremony in honour of the Dormition of Theotokos is performed specifically by the Church of Jerusalem, with Prelates and Hierarchs walking from the Gate of the Patriarchate, headed by Patriarch Theophilos, at 7:30 am.

The procession walked through the Via Dolorosa, passed by the Monastery of St Charalambos, the Praetorium, Sts Joachim and Anna, and St Stephen, before reaching the Hegoumeneion in Gethsemane. There, priests wore their festive vestments in order to welcome the Patriarch.

In the Court of the Church of Gethsemane, the Patriarch blessed the Holy Entrance, upon which the procession entered the Church as the Apolytikion was sang “In giving birth, you preserved your virginity in birth…”

At the center of the church, in front of the Tomb of Theotokos, His Beatitude blessed the Entrance and rose to the Throne, followed by Priests and Prelates. Then, priests went on to bring the Epitaph on which lay the icon of the Dormition of Theotokos.

Once the icon was placed at the middle of the Church, the ceremony of the Engomia began in three Stases.

The Patriarch and Prelates went on to venerate the icon of the Body of Theotokos, which was followed by Doxology, before priests carried the Epitaph, by means of stairs, to the Church Entrance.

There, His Beatitude made a supplication for goodness in the entire world and prosperity of our Genus.

Then priests carried the Epitaph behind the Tomb of Theotokos, for the faithful to venerate.

On the conclusion of the service, Archimandrite Nektarios hosted guests to a reception at the Hegoumeneion in Gethsemane.

From the Secretariat-General