On the evening of Friday the 5th/18th of March 2016, the Patriarchate celebrated the First Stasis of the Salutations of the Most Holy Theotokos.

The First Stasis of the Salutations was read in the context of the Small Compline service and of the Canon “I shall open my mouth” at the katholikon of the Church of the Resurrection, under His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Patriarch Theophilos was accompanied by the Patriarchal Commissioner, the Most Reverend Isychios, Metropolitan of Kapitolias; the Elder Secretary-General, His Eminence Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina; His Eminence Demetrios, Archbishop of Lydda, the Most Reverend Joachim, Metropolitan of Zambia, the Elder Kamarasis, Archimandrite Nektarios, and other Hagiotaphite Fathers. In attendance was the Greek Consul-General to Jerusalem and members of the Greek parish and of the Patriarchate’s Arabic-speaking flock.

In the context of this pious service, His Beatitude preached the Word of God in Greek, saying inter alia:

“The Most Blessed Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary became the vessel of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, through which every man that comes to the world is enlightened and blessed. St Gregory Palamas calls the Holy Theotokos “a border between the built and unbuilt nature” and explains that no one could approach God than through her and the mediator born of her, and none of God’s gifts could be given to either angels or humans than through her”. […]

“The pure and ever-virgin Theotokos stands apart as the par excellence paradigm of obedience to the will of God, which in this case signifies fasting, namely the submission of our will to the will of God. It also signifies repentance and confession of our transgression and sins. “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6, 37) says the Lord. To the question of the Apostle Peter, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18, 21-22). […]

From the Secretariat-General