On Sunday, the 14th/27th of September 2015, the Patriarchate celebrated the feast of the glorious Elevation of the Holy Cross.

The feast commemorates the elevation, in the year 326 AD – upon the ceremony of the Inauguration of the Church of the Resurrection – of the Lord’s Cross, found by Archbishop Makarios of the Church of Jerusalem and Empress Helen. On that day, the crowd that gathered to see the elevated cross had exclaimed “Kyrie eleison” [Lord have mercy] several times.

  1. On the evening

On the evening of the feast, the Great Vespers was led by H.B. Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Once the Ninth Hour was recited at the monastic Church of Sts Constantine and Helen, Patriarch Theophilos was welcomed at the Holy Apokathelosis [Deposition from the Cross] and went on to venerate along with the Primates.

The veneration continued at the Holy Sepulcher, while the “Lord, save your people” was sang by the Head Cantor of the Church of the Resurrection, Archimandrite Aristovoulos, aided by Archimandrite Alexios and Mr Takis Pantelis, Hieropsalt from Cyprus and President of the “Friends of the Holy Lands” Association.

Entrance to the katholikon followed, as the Patriarch gave blessings and rose to the Throne and Primates and Members of the Synod venerated at the Horrendous Golgotha. Once the censing was performed by Hierodeacons, Vespers began as Hagiotaphites and visiting Primates prayed. The service was concluded with the Glorifying Apolytikia, the Crucifixion Troparia, the Great Entrance and the Breaking of bread.

On the conclusion of Vespers, officiants returned to the Patriarchate amidst bells ringing.

  1. On feast-day

On Sunday morning, the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood walked in procession to the Church of the Resurrection.

After venerating at the Holy Apokathelosis and the Holy Sepulcher, the Patriarch gave blessings, put on a mantle, and rose to the Throne, whereupon the priests approached and Primates embraced one another.

The divine Liturgy at the katholikon was led by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem. Co-officiating were Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias, Metropolitan Panteleimon of Xanthe, Greece, Metropolitan Varsonofy of Petersburgh, visiting from the Patriarchate of Russia, Metropolitan Barnabas of Trimithounta, Cyprus, Metropolitan Amfilochios of Adrianoupolis and other Hagiotaphite Primates, namely: Archbishops Theophanes of Gerassa, Dorotheos of Avila, Aristarchos of Constantina, Theodosios of Sebaste, Demetrios of Lydda, Makarios of Qatar. Also in attendance were Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and visiting priests, Archdeacon Evlogios and deacons Dionysios, Markos, Anastasios and Synesios. Present at the service were representatives of the Consulate-General in Jerusalem, and a crowd of Orthodox from Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Bulgaria.

After the divine Liturgy, a procession began, terminating at the Chapel of the Discovery of the Holy Cross. There, the Cross was elevated to the four points of the horizon amidst supplications and singing the troparia.

The procession continued thrice around the Holy Sepulcher before reaching the Golgotha, where the Cross was elevated once more to the four points of the horizon, to sanctify the entire universe. The Cross was then placed upon the Altar of the Golgotha where it was venerated by the Patriarch, Primates, the representative of the Greek Consul-General, Mr Koinis, priests and the faithful.

On the conclusion of the service, the Patriarch, Primates and Mr Koinis walked to the Patriarchate, where His Beatitude addressed guests in Greek.

From the Secretariat-General