THE LAMENTATIONS OF THEOTOKOS AT THEOTOKOS’ TOMB
The Service of the Lamentations of Theotokos at Her Most Sacred Tomb was held on the Forefeast of the Dormition on Tuesday August 14/27, 2019.
For this Service the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, led by its Hegoumen His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, marched in procession from the Patriarchate Headquarters to Gethsemane, through Via Dolorosa, and was welcomed by the Hegoumens of the Monasteries of St. Charalambos, Praitorion, the Holy Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, and St. Stephen.
In Gethsemane, after a short break at the Hegoumeneion, the Patriarch’s welcome and entrance in the Church of Theotokos’ Tomb was done under the chanting of the Apolytikion of the Dormition.
Once the Patriarch, the Archbishops and Priests were dressed in their liturgical vestments, the service of the Lamentations began, and the Epitaph was moved from the place of the icon of Platytera in the middle of the Church. The three stasis of the Lamentations were chanted, the first by His Beatitude and the other two by the visiting Archbishops from the Church of Greece; the second stasis b the Most Reverend Metropolitan Panteleimon of Veroia, Naousa and Kambania and the third by the Most Reverend Metropolitan Theologos of Serres, while the myrrh was distributed by the Most Reverend Metropolitan Timotheos of Thessaliotida and Fanariofersala, at the presence of the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos.
After the Blessings and the Praises, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Theologos of Serres delivered a Sermon.
After the Praises and the Doxology, the Epitaph was transferred to the entrance of the Church where a special prayer was read and then the Epitaph was returned to its original place for the thousands of faithful to venerate.
At the end of the service the Hegoumen Most Reverend Archbishop Dorotheos of Avela refreshed the Patriarchal Entourage and the people with a reception at the hegoumeneion.