THE FEAST OF PASCHA AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Holy Saturday night, March 25/April 8, 2018, at 23.00 (Church time) the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood under His Beatitude and our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos left the Patriarchate in procession towards the All-holy Church of the Resurrection.
In the Catholicon the Canon of Holy Saturday was sung while the Patriarch, the Archbishops, Priests and Deacons were putting on their Paschal liturgical vestments.
The Litany three times around the Holy Sepulchre followed. This dawned the Easter Sunday, March 26/April 8, 2018, and His Beatitude read the Gospel of the Resurrection before the Holy Sepulchre and started chanting “Christ is Risen”, accompanied by cheerful repetitions of the large crowd of faithful in their languages, Greek, Russian, Arabic, Romanian and others.
The Matins of Pascha began, singing the Canon of the Resurrection by St. John Damascene “It is the day of the Resurrection, let us be radiant”. The Matins was followed by the Divine Liturgy inside the Sacred Edicule, led by His Beatitude, with co-celebrants the Most Reverend Archbishops Thophanes of Gerassa, Aristarchos of Constantina, Theodosios of Sebastia, Demetrios of Lydda, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis, other visiting Archbishops from the Orthodox countries of Serbia and Poland, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, with first in rank Elder Kamarasis Archimandrite Nectarios, Hierodeacons and many visiting Priests from other Orthodox countries. The choir was formed by the choir leader of the Church of the Resurrection Archimandrite Aristovoulos and the left choir singer, Mr. Constantinos Spyropoulos, while the service was attended by the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos and an extremely large crowd of faithful from many nationalities but under one Orthodox faith.
Before the end of the Divine Liturgy, Geronda Secretary-General Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina read His Beatitude’s Paschal Message (see link: http://www.jp-newsgate.net/en/2018/03/30/38747)
and the Paschal Sermon by St. John Chrysostom.
Once the faithful had received the Holy Communion in Paschal joy, there was the dismissal of the service and the entourage of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood returned to the Patriarchate, where at the Epitropikon His Beatitude offered them cheese and Easter eggs along with His wishes.