THE FEAST OF ST DEMETRIUS IN THE HOLY LAND
- IN JERUSALEM
On Sunday, the 26th of October/8th of November 2015, the Patriarchate observed the feast of St Demetrius the glorious martyr and myrrh-bearer at the Church dedicated to his name, within the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood. Also named in honour of St Demetrius is the “Agios Demetrios” Arabic-speaking School, intended for the children of the Patriarchate’s congregation.
The feast of St Demetrius of Thessaloniki, the city’s patron saint and protector of those honouring him – the “one who had encouraged Nestor to slain the arrogant Lyaeus in the arena” was celebrated at the aforementioned church.
Vespers was led by the Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, Archbishop Demetrios of Lydda, having as concelebrants Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and deacons. Archimandrite Aristovoulos sang during Vespers. Novice monk Demetrios Lykoudes sang during the divine Liturgy on the right, along with students from the Patriarchal School of Zion, with Archimandrite Alexios, Hegoumen at Saints Theodores Monastery of the Old City of Jerusalem, singing on the left. Hagiotaphite Fathers, nuns, students and teachers from the Patriarchal School of the Holy Zion and of Agios Demetrios School attended mass. Students from Agios Demetrios School hosted Primates to a reception accompanied by a short performance in honour of St Demetrius.
- IN RAFIDIA, NABLUS
On the same day, Sunday the 26th of October/8th of November 2015, the Patriarchate observed the feast of St Demetrius the glorious martyr and myrrh-bearer at Agios Demetrios Church in the town of Rafidia, built at the heart of the Old City of Nablus, Samaria, at a short distance from Jacob’s Well. This particular church, in all likelihood built by Patriarchate Kyrillos of Jerusalem circa 1850, is today the second church of this small Community, next to the magnificent Church of the Annunciation of Theotokos at the centre of the New City of Nablus.
The divine Liturgy in honour of Demetrius, who had suffered a martyr’s death for Christ, was led by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem. Co-officiating were Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina; Metropolitan Joachim of former Zambia; Archimandrite Ioustinos, hegoumen at Jacob’s Well; Archimandrite Ieronymos, Archdeacon Evlogios and deacon Synesios, as Hieropsalts sang in Arabic and Greek under the direction of Archimandrite Aristovoulos.
During Communion, His Beatitude preached the Word of God in Greek.
Several among the faithful received the Holy Communion, during which the Patriarch read the prayer of the kollyva, namely consecrated wheat, in honour of St Demetrius.
On the conclusion of the service, the Community hosted the Patriarch and those accompanying him to a reception followed by lunch at noon, during which the hosts extended thanks to His Beatitude for His pastoral contribution that strengthens their lives and coexistence in the region’s multi-faith environment.
From the Secretariat-General