THE FEAST OF THE ENTRY OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS INTO THE TEMPLE AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Saturday 21 November/4 December 2021 the Patriarchate celebrated the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple.
On this feast, the Church commemorates the offering of the Theotokos to the Temple by her parents, the Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna. She was only three years old when she entered the Temple in the Holy of Holies where she remained being fed by an Angel and preparing for the great redeeming work of the conception by the Holy Spirit and the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This feast was celebrated:
- At the Monastic and Patriarchal Church of Saints Constantine and Helen with the participation in prayer of H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos who chanted the Katavasiae of Christmas, “Christ is born, give ye glory…”
- At the Nunnery of Megali Panagia which is located on the southwest side of the Patriarchate. Vespers on Friday afternoon and the Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning were officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa with co-celebrants the ministering Priest of the Monastery Archimandrite Makarios, and other Hieromonks and Deacons, among whom the Elder Dragoman Archimandrite Mattheos, the Hegoumen of Beit Jala Archimandrite Ignatios, the Hegoumen of the Monastery of Joachim and Anna Archimandrite Meletios, Priest Hader and the Hierodeacons Eulogios and Simeon. The chanting was delivered by Mr Gotsopoulos, Monk Dositheos and the Patriarchal School students and the services were attended by the Nuns of the Monastery, other Nuns and faithful from Jerusalem and the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr Evangelos Vlioras.
During the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos came for veneration, accompanied by Hagiotaphite Fathers.
The Patriarchal and Episcopal entourages along with the full congregation were offered a rich reception by the Abbess of the Monastery Reverend Nun Melani, who has renovated the Church and has had the restoration work of the icons completed in it.