THE FEAST OF THE ENTRY OF THEOTOKOS AT INTO THE TEMPLE AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Wednesday, November 21/ December 4, 2019, the Patriarchate celebrated the commemoration of the Entry of Theotokos into the Temple at the Central Monastery of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood with the participation in prayer of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and at the Holy Monastery of Megali Panagia which is dedicated to this feast and is adjacent and an extension of the Patriarchate Headquarters.
On this feast the Church commemorates the event that Theotokos’ parents, and Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, fulfilling their promise to God, that if He grants them a child they would dedicate it to Him, brought our Most Holy Lady at Solomon’s Temple at the age of three years old, where she remained in the Holy of Holies, being fed by the Angel, until the age of fifteen years old, when they entrusted her to Joseph her Betrothed, in Nazareth. There she received the annunciation from Archangel Gabriel, the incarnation of the Son and Word and our Saviour Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.
In this 4th century historic Monastery, where the Hagiotaphite Fathers lived initially in the 6th century, A.D. and where twenty Nuns live at present, Vespers in the afternoon and the Divine Liturgy in the morning of the feast were officiated by the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, with co-celebrants the ministering Priest of the Holy Monastery Archimandrite Makarios and other Hagiotaphite Fathers, among whom where the Archimandrites; Ignatios, Ieronymos and Demetrios, Priest Yusef and HieroDeacon Eulogios. The chanting was delivered by the Novice Monk Constantine Spyropoulos and Mr. Vasilios Gotsopoulos with the help of the Patriarchal School of Zion students, as the services were attended by a congregation of the Nuns of the Monastery and pilgrims from Greece, Russia and Romania.
During the Divine Liturgy in the morning, His Beatitude with His Entourage visited the Monastery for veneration.
His Eminence the Archbishop of Constantina delivered a Sermon before the Holy Communion to this noble congregation.
His Beatitude, the Episcopal Entourage and the congregation were offered a reception at the Hegoumeneion and the courtyard of the Monastery by the renovator of the Holy Church Abbess Melani.