SAINT STEPHEN’S FEAST AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Saturday, 27 December 2020/ 9 January 2021, the Patriarchate celebrated the commemoration of the Holy First Martyr and Archdeacon Stephen.
On this feast, the Church commemorates the narrative according to the book of Acts of the Apostles (chapter 7), which reads that Stephen was one of the seven deacons elected by the Apostles, “to wait at the tables” (Acts 6:2). Stephen was full of Godly zeal, preaching Jesus to be the Christ when the Sanhedrin convened a meeting and summoned him for confession. Then Stephen referred to the history of the Jews, concluding that he sees the Son of God sitting at the right side of the Creator. For this confession, Stephen was led to a place in Gethsemane and was stoned to death, while he was praying for those who stoned him; “and they laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul” (Acts 7).
In honour of Saint Stephen, at the beautiful Church which is built at the place of his stoning, Vespers was held in the afternoon and the Divine Liturgy in the morning of the Feast. The Services were led by Elder Kamarasis Archimandrite Nectarios, with the co-celebration of Archimandrite Makarios, Fr Hader Baramki and Archdeacon Mark, as the chanting was delivered by the Hegoumen Archimandrite Epiphanios. At the end of the Liturgy, there was a supplication at the rock of Saint Stephen’s stoning. Only a few faithful attended the prayers, and everybody was offered a reception after dismissal, by the Hegoumen Archimandrite Epiphanios.