1

THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM CONDEMNS THE ISRAELI POLICE AGGRESSION ON HOLY FIRE SATURDAY

23.04.2022

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem condemned the practices of the Israeli police in the Old City of Jerusalem during the Holy Fire Saturday celebrations.

The Patriarchate said in a statement that the police, deprived thousands of Christians of their natural right to worship freely, through military checkpoints it had deployed in the vicinity of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the form of security cordons, all the way from the gates of the old city leading to the church. These barriers prevented worshipers and those celebrating the feast from reaching the church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Patriarchate also affirmed its complete rejection of the violence practiced by the police against worshipers and the unethical behavior conducted by Police personnel at the checkpoints, especially those located in the vicinity of the Patriarchate headquarters and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Patriarchate reiterated its complete rejection of the restrictions that the Israeli police is attempting to impose through courts or negotiations, as the Patriarchate stressed that it will not succumb to pressure from the police or any other party regarding the number of worshipers in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and its vicinity. Furthermore, the Patriarchate expressed its refusal to surrender to a numerical limit to worshipers allowed into the church because this constitutes complicity in regards to the crime of depriving worshipers from access to their places of worship.

 




STATEMENT BY THE JERUSALEM PATRIARCHATE REJECTING THE PROPOSED RESTRICTIONS ON THE HOLY FIRE CEREMONIES

2022.04.21

 

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem officially informed the Israeli police yesterday through a letter addressed to its District Commander it’s rejection of any restrictions on the number of celebrants on Holy Fire Saturday inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, its courtyard, its surroundings, its roof, or the entrances leading to it. The letter was signed by the Secretary General of the Patriarchate, Archbishop Aristarchus, in which he refuted the police’s arguments for placing restrictions on the number of worshipers and limiting them to 1,700. The Patriarchate rejected this offer on principled grounds that it doesn’t accept any infringement to the right to freedom of worship.

The letter stated that the number of worshippers in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher annually on Holy Fire Saturday ranges between ten thousand and eleven thousand people, which is the normal capacity of the church. The letter argued that over the past years there has not been any incident that endangered the safety of worshipers, so the police’s argument that restricting the number of worshippers due to “public safety” concerns lacks any logical basis. The Patriarchate asked in its letter: If the pretext of public safety is a reason for reducing the number of worshipers inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, then why are there restrictions on in its courtyard, rooftop, adjacent neighborhoods, or even the entrances to the Old City? Especially at the main entrances to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Christian Quarter.

The patriarch made it clear that it will proceed as usual with its normal procedures related to Holy Fire Saturday and that it will issue invitations as it deems appropriate and without any limits. It also confirmed that all priests will in the Patriarch’s procession will not carry any badges, as the patriarchate affirmed the right of all worshipers to access The Church of the sepulcher, especially the participants in the morning prayer at the adjacent Church of St. Jacob, without any obstacles.

In the letter, the Patriarchate demanded the police not to put up barriers in the alleys of the Old City, as they impede the access of worshipers and priests from different monasteries to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Furthermore the Patriarchate demanded the police facilitation to freely transfer the Holy Light to the airport in order to transport it to different parts of the world, as is the custom on this important holiday, which is at the heart of the Christian faith.




TIMETABLE FOR THE HOLY WEEK AT THE MONASTIC CHURCH OF SAINTS CONSTANTINE & HELEN

From April16 to April 24, 2022

 Palm Sunday;

Matins and Divine Liturgy of St Chrysostom at 5.00

Vespers at 15:30 

Service of the Bridegroom at 18:15 

Holy and Great Monday;

The Hours and the Pre-sanctified Liturgy at 06.30 

Great Compline at 15:30 

Service of the Bridegroom at 18:15 

Holy and Great Tuesday;

The Hours and the Pre-sanctified Liturgy at 06.30 

Great Compline at 15:30 

Service of the Bridegroom at 18:15 

 Holy and Great Wednesday;

The Hours and the Pre-sanctified Liturgy at 06.30 

Small Compline – Holy Unction at 17:00 

Holy and Great Thursday;

Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great at 04:30 

Service of the Passion at 18:15 

 Holy and Great Friday;

Royal Hours at 08.00 

Service of the Epitaph at 18:30 

Holy and Great Saturday;

The Hours and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great at 08:00 

Holy Pascha;

Matins & D. Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at 0:40 am – after midnight

 Monday, after the Day of Pascha;

 Divine Liturgy at 08:00 

 

The Typikon Keeper of the Monastic Church

Archimandrite Alexios

 

 




TIMETABLE OF SERVICES AT THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE ON THE HOLY WEEK

From April 16, to April 24, 2022

 

Lazarus Saturday

Patriarchal Vespers: 15:00

Palm Sunday

Patriarchal Divine Liturgy: 08:00

Service of the Bridegroom: 18:15

Holy and Great Monday

Pre-sanctified Liturgy at the Horrendous Golgotha: 09:00

Service of the Bridegroom: 18:15

Holy and Great Tuesday

Pre-sanctified Liturgy at the Horrendous Golgotha: 09:00

Service of the Bridegroom: 18:15

 Holy and Great Wednesday
Pre-sanctified Liturgy at the Horrendous Golgotha: 09:00

Holy and Great Thursday

Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great at St. James Cathedral: 06:30

The Service of the Sacred Washing of the Disciples’ feet at the Holy Courtyard: 09:00

The Service of the Passion 18.15

Holy and Great Friday

The Royal Hours at the Horrendous Golgotha: 10:00 am

Patriarchal Vespers: 15:00

The Epitaph Service: 21:00

Holy and Great Saturday

The Service of the Holy Light: 13:00

The Service of the Resurrection: 12:00 midnight

Easter Sunday

The Service of the second Resurrection: 13:00

 

The Master of Ceremonies of the Patriarchate 

Archimandrite Bartholomew

 

 




STATEMENT BY THE ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM FOR EASTER 2022 

 
Jerusalem 4.11.2022
 

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem congratulates its congregations and all the people of the Holy Land on both sides of the Jordan River for the occasion of Easter and Saturday of the Holy Light, and at the same time we affirm our strong and renewed commitment to our natural right to celebrate our holidays along with our communities, families and to participate together in prayers at our churches in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the basic right of all our communities to access the Church of Holy Sepulchre and its vicinity during Easter festivities including Holy Light Saturday. Our communities have been exercising this divine right freely throughout the ages and different rulers, regardless of the circumstances that the Holy City went through in history.

For many years, participating in prayers and even having access to churches in the Old City, especially during Easter holidays, has become very difficult for our congregations and our people in general, due to police unilaterally enforced restrictions and its violence against believers who insist on exercising their natural divine right to worship. Previously, we had cooperated with different Christian bodies and leaders to bring our case to the international, domestic and judicial levels, and we also coordinated with the police themselves, with the aim of preventing the police from continuing their unacceptable practices, but unfortunately the promises were great and what actually took place on the ground was not even remotely close to those promises.

Instead of reversing its habitual unacceptable practices on Easter and Holy Fire Saturday, the police have recently informed the Patriarchate of additional new unilateral measures that increase restrictions on Holy Fire Saturday, to the effect that the police will only allow one thousand people to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on this great day, although it is customary to many thousands of worshippers to enter the church in celebration on that day. Furthermore, the police said that they will allow only five hundred people to enter the Old City and reach the Patriarchate yards and the overlooking roof of the Holy Sepulchre Church. The Patriarchate believes that there is no justification for these additional unjust restrictions, and affirms its explicit, clear and complete rejection of all restrictions. The Patriarchate is fed up with police restrictions on freedom to worship and with its unacceptable methods of dealing with the God given rights of Christians to practice rituals and have to access their holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Accordingly, the orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem has decided, by the power of the Lord, that it will not compromise its right to provide spiritual services in all churches and squares. It also announces that prayers will be held as usual by the Patriarchate and its priests, hoping that believers are able to participate. This position of the Patriarchate stems from the basis of divine right, heritage and history. The police must stop imposing restrictions and violence that, unfortunately, have become part of our sacred ceremonies. We also urge our congregations to uphold our historical heritage through participating in the rituals and celebrations of Easter and Holy Fire Saturday this year in the Church of Holy Sepulchre and its vicinity.

 



AN APPEAL FOR PRAYER BY THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM HIS BEATITUDE THEOPHILOS III

 

Appeal for prayer

 




STATEMENT BY THE PATRIARCHS AND HEADS OF LOCAL CHURCHES OF JERUSALEM ON THE ILLEGAL SEIZURE OF THE LITTLE PETRA HOTEL

 

PDF file: Statement of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem on the Illegal Seizure of the Little Petra Hotel

 




STATEMENT BY THE PATRIARCHS AND HEADS OF LOCAL CHURCHES OF JERUSALEM ON THE RECENT OUTBREAK OF VIOLENCE

 

PDF file: Statement of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem on the Recent Wave of Violence

 




A STATEMENT REGARDING THE TRESPASSING OF ‘LITTLE PETRA HOTEL’ BY A RADICAL GROUP

The seizure of the Little Petra Hotel by the radical extremist group Ateret Cohanim is a threat to the continued existence of a Christian Quarter in Jerusalem, and ultimately to peaceful coexistence of the communities of this city. The Heads of Churches have repeatedly warned of the illegitimate actions of extremists, who have followed a pattern of intimidation, violence, and lawless action to drive Christians and Muslims from the city that we share.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem engaged in good faith negotiations with the Israeli government to settle the status of these Christian heritage properties that sit on the Christian pilgrim route, and through the committee headed by Minister Elazer Stern. We were assured that there would be no changes to the facts on the ground in the Christian Quarter while these negotiations are ongoing. The actions of Ateret Cohanim this week violate that assurance.

In occupying the Greek Orthodox Church’s property, the Little Petra Hotel, Ateret Cohanim has committed criminal acts of break-in and trespass. They act as if they are above the law, with no fear of consequences.

This issue is not about the individual properties, but about the whole character of Jerusalem, including the Christian Quarter. The Little Petra Hotel stands on the pilgrim route for the millions of Christians who visit Jerusalem each year. It is our heritage, and speaks of our very existence in this place.

Israeli radical extremist groups like Ateret Cohanim are already targeting and hijacking our beloved old city of Jerusalem and imposing their illegitimate and dangerous agenda on all sides. We refuse this and we say: this will lead to instability and tension at the time when all are trying to de-escalate and build trust, to build towards justice and peace. Acts of coercion and violence cannot lead to peace.

We demand that this criminal group immediately cease their trespass and get out of our heritage property. We demand that they halt their criminal activities on the Christian pilgrim route and in our beloved Old City.

 

 

 




CONDOLENCES

On the forty days after the memorable Professor Constantine Manafis slept in the Lord, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem expresses its sincere condolences to his wife, daughter and close academic associates and denotes that the departed was a distinguished Byzantine Scholar in the department of Byzantine studies at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens. He also worked as a teacher of Hagiotaphite student Fathers and a close associate of the Library of the Patriarchate, and also exchanged the “Yearbook of Byzantine Studies” with the Journal “New Sion”.

The Patriarchate prays at the Horrendous Golgotha for the repose of his soul in the land of the living.

From Secretariat-General