On Sunday, the 21st of March/3rd of April 2016, the Patriarchate celebrated the veneration of the Holy Cross at the Church of the Resurrection.

The feast of the Veneration of the Cross has been established by the Church to be observed on the Third Sunday of the Great Lent, so that through it the faithful may become strengthened in their spiritual fight for fasting and asceticism before welcoming the Holy Easter.

The feast was observed by the Patriarchate as great Parrhesia.

A. Vespers

Vespers began from the afternoon of Saturday by reading the Ninth Hour at 13:35 pm at the monastic church of Sts Constantine and Helen.

Subsequently, amidst bells tolling, the Patriarchal entourage proceeded to the Church of the Resurrection and venerated at the Holy Apokathelosis and the Holy Sepulchre.

Members of the Synod and the Primates went on to venerate at Golgotha, whilst deacons censed the shrines. The Great Vespers was led by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, the Primates concelebrating. Archimandrite Aristovoulos sang on the right, with the Most Reverend Joachim, former Metropolitan of Zambia on the left, as pious monks, nuns and pilgrims participated in mass.

On the conclusion of Vespers, the Patriarchal Entourage returned to the Patriarchates.

B. On feast-day

On the morning of the feast, after venerating at the Apokathelosis and the Holy Sepulchre, and once the Patriarch and Primates were dressed in sacerdotal vestments, the divine Liturgy was performed at the Holy Sepulchre, Patriarch Theophilos officiating. Co-officiating were Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias; Archbishop Vincent of Ploesti, Romania; Archbishops Dorotheos of Avila, Aristarchos of Constantina, Theodosios of Sebaste, Demetrios of Lydda, Philoumenos of Pella; Joachim, former Metropolitan of Zambia, and Hagiotaphite Hieromonks led by the Elder Kamarasis, Archimandrite Nektarios. In attendance was the Greek Consul-General to Jerusalem, Mr G. Zacharoudiakis, Consul Mr V. Koinis, and other members of the Greek Consulate-General, as well as praying monks, nuns and pilgrims.

On the conclusion of the divine Liturgy, a procession took place around the Holy Sepulchre and the Sites of Veneration.

After the Parrhesia, the Patriarchal Entourage walked to the Patriarchates, where His Beatitude addressed guests in Greek, extending thanks to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour for allowing participants the joy to venerate the Holy and Life-giving Cross on the very site where He had treaded. “This site”, the Patriarch said, “is the All-holy Church of the Resurrection, wherein lies the place of Christ’s martyrdom, Crucifixion and three-day burial. To this holy site we have come, clerics and laymen, and performed the divine Liturgy with Parrhesia, by proclaiming the great sacrament of piety, namely our faith to Christ Crucified and Resurrected from the dead”.

The holy services were broadcast live from the Church of the Resurrection and the Holy Sepulchre on the Patriarchate’s radio station: http://www.radio.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/

* A larger gallery with images from the Great Parrhesia of the Veneration of the Cross may be reached at the Patriarchate’s Central Website: http://www.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/eng and the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/JerusalemPatriarchate/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums and


From the Secretariat-General