THE FEAST OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Thursday, May 15/28, 2020, the Patriarchate celebrated the Feast of the glorious Ascension of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ into heaven.
On this Feast the Church commemorates the event that after His many appearances to His Disciples, the Resurrected Lord was ascended gloriously into heaven on the Mount of Olives, forty days after His Resurrection. He was ascended surrounded by the wings of the Angels who confirmed the Disciples that “ this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
This event was celebrated by the Patriarchate with the participation of a limited number of faithful Christians at the place where it happened, on the Mount of Olives, where the footprint of the immaculate feet of the Lord is being preserved.
There, after the sanctification service of the Holy Altar, since it is an outdoor space, Vespers was held under the lead of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of Lydda, at the chanting of the Byzantine Choir Leader Hierodeacon Simeon and Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, Mr. Vasilios Gotsopoulos with the help of the Patriarchal School of Zion students in Greek, and Mr. Rimon Kamar in Arabic. The Service was co-celebrated by Priests of St. James’ Cathedral and was attended by members of the Greek Consulate. Finally, the Service of the Compline was read, and a procession followed at the Monastery of Galili Viri, which marked the end of the Compline at the Shrine.
On the day of the Feast, the Divine Liturgy was officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of Lydda, while during the Service H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos came to venerate and afterward visited the neighbouring Imam, the Nunnery opposite the Shrine of the Ascension which is led by Monk Achilios and the Monastery of Galili Viri, where He was hosted by the Hegoumen Archimandrite Anthimos.