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THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EPISCOPAL OFFICE OF METROPOLITAN KYRIAKOS OF NAZARETH

On Sunday, 11/24 October 2021, Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Synod (AD 787), who restored the holy icons, His Eminence Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth celebrated the anniversary of thirty years of prosperous, fruitful and under good oath Episcopal Office in the Metropolis of Nazareth.

On this occasion, the Episcopal Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Shrine of the Holy Church of the Metropolis dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos. The Liturgy was officiated by the celebrating Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth. His Holy Beatitude, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos was represented by His Eminence Archbishop Methodios of Tabor, who came from Jerusalem, and co-celebrated at the Liturgy along with His Eminence Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis. Co-celebrants also were, Elder Kamarasis Archimandrite Nectarios, the Hegoumen of Tiberias Archimandrite Parthenios and Hierodeacon Eulogios, the Hegoumens of the Holy Monasteries of Galilee, the Priests of the Shrine of Nazareth and other Priests from the neighbouring communities. The Service was attended by the President of the Nazareth Community, the caretakers of the Church, Mr Caesar Marjie and a large congregation.  

During the service His Eminence Methodios read the address of His Beatitude as per below:

“To His Eminence, Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth, brother in Christ and co-celebrant to Our Mediocrity, a holy greeting in Christ Jesus.

Through this Patriarchal writing, we joyfully participate in the gleeful day of your dearly beloved holiness, on the completion of a prosperous thirty-year ministry in the Holy Shrine of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, and your God-pleasing pastoral care in the God-redeemed Holy Metropolis of Nazareth of our Rum Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, congratulating you with all Our heart.  

It is indeed right that our reverend flock in Nazareth honours your holiness, for which you have given yourself in your Episcopal Office in this Metropolis, defending as a genuine Hagiotaphite Father the irrefutable privileges and rights of the Patriarchate in the Holy Land and this is in praise and benefit of our Holy Congregation and our Rum Orthodox Patriarchate.

Congratulating again your dearly beloved holiness, and wishing many happy returns in health and strength, for the benefit you the flock that has been entrusted to you, we offer you the holy osculation from the All-holy and Life-giving Sepulchre and remain.”

At noon, His Eminence Metropolitan of Nazareth offered a meal and thanked His Beatitude and all who honoured him as follows:

“Your Eminence, Archbishop Methodios of Tabor, Representative of His Holy Beatitude,

Your Eminence, Holy brother Joachim, Metropolitan of Helenoupolis,

Reverend Archimandrites,

Beloved Fathers and Brethren,

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the intercessions of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and all the Saints, especially of my patron Saint our Holy glorious Father Kyriakos the Anchorite, have deemed us worthy to be present today in the gathering of the Eucharistic Doxology, on the occasion of the completion of thirty years since that blessed day of my entrance in the Holy city of Nazareth as a Metropolitan.

I owe special whole-hearted thanksgiving to His Beatitude, our Father and Patriarch Theophilos, for His Patriarchal support and care about the needs and the difficulties we face in the course of our humble Episcopal ministry in Nazareth, as well as for His Patriarchal blessing today, which is expressed through the presence of two dear brother Bishops, His Eminence Archbishop Methodios of Tabor and His Eminence Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis.

I also thank warmly the President and the members of the Community Council for their good cooperation and precious help in the mission of the Metropolis, and also the President and the members of the Committee of the High Council.

Especially and gratefully, I thank for their love my beloved Priests, who unceasingly day and night serve our communities without complaint, these special and blessed people of Nazareth, and in this manner, we walk down the same path, in prayer, patience and love, in our feeble strength, but nevertheless, amidst God’s Providence. To Him belongs all glory, honour and worship, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

From Secretariat-General




PRIEST’S ORDINATION FOR THE ARAB-SPEAKING FLOCK AT THE PATRIARCHATE

On Sunday morning, 10/23 October 2021, during the Divine Liturgy at the Horrendous Golgotha, His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina officiated the ordination to Priest of Deacon Elias Spyridon Awad, who has been appointed to serve at the Arab-speaking flock of the Patriarchate in Zdeide, a town of the Acre-Ptolemais district in northern Israel.

Co-celebrants to His Eminence were, the Patriarchal Representative in Acre-Ptolemais Archimandrite Philotheos and Priests from Acre, the ministering Priests of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Archdeacon Mark. The chanting was delivered by Hierodeacon Simeon and the Service was attended by faithful Christians from Jerusalem and pilgrims, the wife and children of the newly ordained Priest, and members of the Zdeide Community.

Before the ordination His Eminence addressed Fr Elias as follows:                 

“Most devout Deacon Elias,

Beloved Brethren in Christ,    

At the holiest place of the world, the Horrendous Golgotha, the place of the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and at the All-holy Sepulchre, the place of His Resurrection from the dead, do we observe at this hour the most Holy Sacrament of the Church, the Eucharist, and within it, the Sacrament of your ordination to Priest.

The Church of Jerusalem, the Mother of Churches, by the decision of H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and the Holy and Sacred Synod, calls you today to receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit and be placed at the second degree of Priesthood.

It is a great honour that the Church gives you, but also great is the responsibility it places upon you because it has appreciated the simplicity and the humility of your manner of living as well as the stability of your repentance. From henceforth, the Church places its trust on you to officiate the Baptism, so that new people will become its members, the Holy Eucharist, to give the Body and Blood of Christ, the Unction, and all other Sacraments, so that the people will find healing in their bodies and souls and be sanctified and saved.  

For the success of your Priestly ministry, you should apply the Lord’s words, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (Matt. 26:41), and “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life” (John 5:39). Study the Holy Bible and preach it to the faithful, like it is explained by the old God-bearing Fathers of the Church, such as Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Theologian, and more recent ones, like Saint Nectarios.

The Church draws your attention so that you do not deviate either to the right or to the left, but to walk the straight path of Orthodoxy, keeping in fear and great attention the consignment that will be given to you in a few minutes.

At the hour of your ordination as well as during the full course of your priestly ministry, be sure that you will be accompanied by the prayers of H.H.B. the Patriarch of Jerusalem and of my mediocrity, of the Patriarchal Representative in Acre Archimandrite Philotheos and other co-celebrant Priests who are your brethren, of your blessed father Presbyter Spyridon, your wife and children, who you brought up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4), the representatives of Zdeide Community, which has been appointed as the place of your ministry, and all who honour you with their presence.

In fear of God and trust, kneel and pray to receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit and become a chosen vessel of God, a new man and preacher of His wonders.”              

After the Dismissal of the Divine Liturgy, the newly ordained Priest paid his respect to His Beatitude, while His Beatitude admonished him in fatherly and spiritual words for the encouragement of his ministry in the Zdeide community.

From Secretariat-General




HIS BEATITUDE THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM VISITS THE HOLY MONASTERY OF ABBA THEODOSIOS THE CENOBIARCH

On Sunday 4/17 October 2021, His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and His Entourage visited the Hegoumen of the Monastery of Abba Theodosios the Cenobiarch, Archimandrite Ierotheos, to which him for his name day. Archimandrite Ierotheos has exceeded the ninetieth year of his life and has been serving the Patriarchate for more than forty years. His Beatitude wished him to have many more happy returns and complete his ministry.

From Secretariat-General




NINTH-DAY MEMORIAL SERVICE OF THE BLESSED ARCHBISHOP THEOPHYLAKTOS OF THE JORDAN

On Sunday 4/17 October 2021, at the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos officiated the memorial service for the repose of the soul of the blessed Archbishop Theophylaktos of the Jordan, who was the Patriarchal Representative in Bethlehem.

Co-celebrants to His Beatitude were their Eminences, Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, Archbishop Methodios of Tabor and Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis, along with Dragoman Archimandrite Mattheos, Elder Kamarasis Archimandrite Nectarios, the Arab-speaking Priests of the Shrine, Spyridon, Issa Thaljie and George Jakaman. The chanting was delivered in Greek and Arabic by the choir of the shrine and many faithful of the Arab-speaking community participated in the prayer.

After the memorial service, there was a memorial reception at the Hegoumeneion where many people offered their condolences to His Beatitude.

From Secretariat-General




DEACON’S ORDINATION FOR THE RUM ORTHODOX ARAB-SPEAKING FLOCK

On Saturday morning, 3/16 October 2021 at the Horrendous Golgotha His Eminence Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias officiated the ordination to Deacon of Elias Spyridon, son of the blessed Presbyter Spyridon from Abelin, a town in Northern Israel, the Acre-Ptolemais district.

Co-celebrants to His Eminence were, the Patriarchal Representative in Acre-Ptolemais district Archimandrite Philotheos and Arab-speaking Priests from northern Israel, along with the wife and children of the ordained and many faithful Christians.

According to the decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod, the newly ordained Deacon will be ordained a Priest after the appointed time for his preparation, to serve at the community of Zdeide in northern Israel.

Before the ordination, His Eminence delivered the following pastoral words about the office of Priesthood:

كلمة متروبوليت كابيتولياس إيسيخيوس الجزيل الإحترام في رسامة الشماس الياس إسبيريدون عواد

يشرفني أن أكون حاضراً بينكم في هذا اليوم المميّز. فلقد شعرت بفرح عظيم عندما كلفني صاحب الغبطة كيريوس كيريوس ثيوفيلوس الثالث والمجمع المقدس بان أناب عنه في هذه الرسامة المقدسة.  “وألا ما احسن وما أجمل أن يسكن الإخوة معاً”. فهذا فرح  عظيم في السماء وعلى الأرض, حيث يُسام خادم جليلٌ للعلي.

إن العلي قد إختارك أيها الشماس لتخدم رعيته وتقود شعبه الى برّ الخلاص. فرسالتك عظيمة بما أن القدير ذاته قد إختارك. “فاحفظ الوديعة” التي سلمك إياها الرب الإله. إعرف جيداً أنك ستواجه الأخطار في هذا العالم, لكنك ستتخطاها وتحظى بالنصر الإلهي “لأن الله معنا”. إتخذ أباك المرحوم المغبوط إسبيريدون عواد قدوةً, فهو مثال للراعي الصالح الذي “يبذل نفسه عن الخراف”. ورغم هذه المهمة الصعبة لا تخف أبداً, “لأنه يوصي ملائكته بك ليحفظوك في جميع طرقك”, حيث سيهبك الرب الصبر والقوة على هذا الحمل الثقيل.

يبارك لك صاحب الغبطة كيريوس كيريوس ثيوفيلوس الثالث وكافة أعضاء المجمع المقدس هذه الرسامة الأولى. نبارك أيضاً لعائلتك ولذويك وللجليل الأعلى هذا الإبن البار, الذي “حمل الصليب كالنير وتبع المسيح عن أيمان”. لهم منا كل التقدير والإحترام. فليحفظك وليحفظهم الثالوث القدوس ولتحل بركته عليكم كافةً.

متروبوليت كابيتولياس إيسيخيوس

The ordained heard attentively these words and humbly kneeled to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, through the placing of the Metropolitan’s hands.

After the Liturgy, the new Deacon and the Episcopal entourage went to the Patriarchate Headquarters to thank His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos for this honour and His Beatitude admonished him as a Father and blessed him for the prosperity of his ministry.

The Deacon replied to His Beatitude’s words as follows:

بإسم الآب والإبن والروح القدس آمين

غبطة البطريرك كيريوس كيريوس ثيوفيلوس الثالث بطريرك المدينة المقدسة أورشليم وسائر فلسطين والأردن والسادة المطارنة الأجلاء وجميع أعضاء المجمع المقدس المُوقر.

يا صاحب الغبطة, بعد تقبيل أياديكم الطاهرة أتقدم لغبطتكم بالشكر والإحترام لقبولكم رجعتي الى أحضان طاعتكم والكنيسة الواحدة كالإبن الذي كان ضالاً ورجع الى أبيه تائباً. وعلى قراركم المقدس لمنحكم لي بركتكم وموافقتكم على سيامتي شماساً في هذا اليوم ومن ثم في الأسبوع القادم سيامتي كاهناً في مطرانية عكا. فأتوجه بطلب من غبطتكم طالباً صلواتكم وأدعيتكم المستجابة بأكن أكون عند حسن ظن غبطتكم وطاعتكم وأقوم بواجبي بكل محبة وصبر لخدمة الكنيسة والرعية على أتم وأحسن وجه, وأكون مطيعاً لقرارت غبطتكم والمجمع المقدس.

من خلال نعمة الروح القدس التي إنسكبت عليّ بوضع أيديكم الطاهرة في هذا اليوم أدعو لغبطتكم بدوام الصحة والعافية وأن يزيدكم الرب القوة والحكمة والقداسة, آمين.

وأتوجه بالشكر أيضاً لقدس الأرشمندريت فيلوثيوس الوكيل البطريركي في مطرانية بتوليماييس في مدينة عكا وجميع أخوتي الكهنة الذين رافقوني اليوم مع جميع الحضور الكريم. وأشكر أيضاً زوجتي وأولادي الذين رافقوني وسيرافقوني الى كل الأيام.

أشكركم جميعاً وأشكر الله بربنا يسوع المسيح أولاً وآخراً الذي رتّب لهذا اليوم المبارك. آمين

From Secretariat-General




DEACON’S ORDINATION AT THE PATRIARCHATE

The ordination of the Monk Anastasios Kirmitzakis to Deacon was observed at the All-night Vigil at the Holy Sepulchre on 1st/14th October 2021.

He has been serving at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as a novice monk and having been tested and proven worthy, the Holy and Sacred Synod approved his joining of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood through the Monk’s tonsure, and consequently his receiving the first degree of the Priesthood as a Deacon.

His ordination to Deacon was officiated by the Geronda Sacristan of the Holy Sepulchre, His Eminence Archbishop Isidoros of Hierapolis.

Before the ordination, His Eminence delivered the following spiritual words regarding Priesthood:

“Most devout subdeacon Anastasios,

Our Holy Church, a little while ago, prayed through my hands to your head and begged the Holy Spirit to claim you with the following gifts:

First: To love the dignity of the house of God.

Second: to stand guard at the gates of the Temple and to light the lamp, that is, the candle on the tabernacle of the Glory of God,

and third: to settle down and take root within the Church and to be cultivated within it, like an olive tree, producing fruits of righteousness, until you are perfected by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and receive the reward that is due to those who please the Lord.

It is certain that you loved the dignity of the house of God because you already serve and take care of the universally unique Holy Temple, the All-holy Church of the Resurrection, which contains the All-holy and Life-giving Sepulchre of our Lord and the Horrendous Golgotha.

The grace of the Holy Spirit led your steps and took you on a journey from the city of Saint Demetrius, the Holy See, the capital of our Macedonia, Thessaloniki, and brought you to the Holy Land.

It made you worthy to stand at the gates of the Holy and Life-giving Tomb and to receive the pious Pilgrims, just as the Angel received the Myrrh-bearers and to announce to them the joyful message that Christ is Risen!         

You have already remained vigilant and participated in chanting in the Divine and Holy Liturgy, leading the candle of the Holy Gifts at the Great Entrance, as the prophets preceded and prepared the coming of the Lord God and Word.

The obedience, which you showed, your patience in the difficult times of temptation, your meekness, your willingness to perform your ministry, the love with which you surround your brothers, did not pass unnoticed.                           

His Beatitude, our Father and Patriarch Theophilos III has been watching your course for a long time and having appreciated your spiritual progress, He decided together with the Holy and Sacred Synod to place you in the bosom of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood as a Monk, and promote you to the office of the Deacon soon afterwards.

From your new position of the Deacon, you are invited to enter the Holy Altar, to stand next to the Holy Table and to serve the Holy Sacraments.

In your ministry, you will have the living example of the First Deacon and First Martyr Saint Stephen. Just like him, you will find yourself in the midst of various temptations and you will be in danger. For this reason, we ask the Divine Grace to fill you with Faith and spiritual power, so that you may be able to overcome any temptation.     

His Beatitude, our Father and Patriarch, the Holy and Sacred Synod and all the Hagiotaphite Fathers will support and help you in this new state, to stand firm in this spiritual struggle to the end with the help of God.

The grace of God will cover you and the Holy Light, which gushes through the Holy and Life-giving Tomb will enlighten you and dissolve the darkness of this world.

And now, bow down your knees and humbly accept the coming of the Holy and Ritual Spirit, Who will alter you and turn you into a vessel of His election.”

The Divine Liturgy and the ordination were attended by Hagiotaphite Fathers, Monks, Nuns and pilgrims, who exclaimed the “Axios” at the ordination.

After Dismissal, Geronda Sacristan, His Eminence Archbishop Isidoros of Hierapolis offered a reception for the ordained and those who honoured him at the Sacristan’s Office.

In the morning, the newly ordained Deacon paid his respect to His Beatitude and asked for His blessing.

From Secretariat-General




THE FUNERAL SERVICE OF BLESSED ARCHBISHOP THEOPHYLAKTOS OF THE JORDAN

The funeral service of blessed Archbishop Theophylaktos of the Jordan, according to our previous announcement, took place at the Holy Church of Saints Constantine and Helen at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday 26 September / 9 October, the day of the commemoration of the Translation of the Holy, Glorious Apostle and Theologian John.

The funeral service was officiated by H.H.B., our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, with the co-celebration of the Hagiotaphite Archbishops and Hieromonks, and the participation in prayer of Monks and Nuns and the honourable presence of the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr Evangelos Vlioras, the Ambassador of Georgia Mr Lasha, members of the Russian MISSIA, the Order of the Franciscans in the Holy Land, the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem, the Syriac Church in Jerusalem and members of our Greek Community and flock, especially from Bethlehem.

The eulogy was read by Geronda Secretary-General, His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina as follows:  

“Your Beatitude Father and Master

Your Eminences Holy Archbishop

Your Excellency Consul General of Greece,

Reverend Fathers,

Dear Brethren in Christ

It is in deep grief that we stand before the dead body of our beloved brother, blessed Archbishop Theophylaktos of the Jordan. We are obviously sad about the separation, thinking we will not live with him anymore, we will not see him again in this present time. However, our sorrow is not turned into disappointment and despair, because we know that our Lord wept before the tomb of His four-day dead friend Lazarus, and then He raised him from the dead, “confirming before His Passion our common resurrection”. The words of the Apostle of the Nations also are of comfort, as he urges us: “that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thess. 4:13-14).

            In the firm faith in Christ, who “trampled over death by death” and the hope of the resurrection to life eternal, today we accompany our beloved brother to his last dwelling place on earth and his course to heaven, remembering that he came from Kozani and had graduated from the Ecclesiastical School of Xanthi. He came to the Holy Land in 1972 and joined the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood. He was sent to study Theology in Leningrad of Russia, where he excelled and then returned to Jerusalem and served with zeal and devotion in various ministries of the Patriarchate. Among those, we recall his position as the Boarding School Manager of the School of Zion, as a member of the Finance Department, as Hegoumen at the Holy Monastery of Saint Simeon in Katamon and as Hegoumen at the Tomb of Theotokos in Gethsemane. Moreover, he had been the Patriarchal Representative in Moscow and served at the Dependency of the Holy Sepulchre there for many years, enhancing a strong bond between our Patriarchate with that of Moscow. When he returned to Jerusalem, he was appointed as a member of the Holy and Sacred Synod and as Geronda Sacristan of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He defended the rights of our Brotherhood and supervised the preservation of the icons of the Holy Altar in the Catholicon of the Church.

 

Out of all his ministering positions he was especially distinguished as the Patriarchal Representative in Bethlehem, where had been serving since 2005, appointed by His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, Who leads the funeral service today. During his fifteen-year ministry in Bethlehem, he uncompromisingly defended the rights of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood and of our nation at the Basilica and the God-receiving Cave. He diligently supervised the ongoing project of the preservation and renovation of the roof of the Basilica. He philanthropically dealt with the needs of our Rum Orthodox flock of the Bethlehem Community.  In collaboration with the University of Thessaloniki, he established a Centre for the Teaching and Learning of the Greek Language. By his own funding and the donations of the pious pilgrims who used to flood the Shrine until recently, he made a complete renovation of the Hegoumeneion, which is the house of residence for each respective Patriarchal Representative, of the rooms of the fathers who serve in the shrine and of the halls on the ground floor, joining them in a big reception hall, suitable for the official events of the celebration of Christmas and other holidays.

He honoured his ministry as the Patriarchal Representative until the end, when two months ago, weakened by liver disease he fell in his house and suffered great wounds in his face and fracture of the cervical vertebrae. He was taken the same day to Hadassah Hospital, where he underwent neck surgery and then a tracheotomy. Nevertheless, he had no full recovery for the last two months of his hospitalization, during which he was often visited by His Beatitude, Hagiotaphite Fathers and his devoted assistant the Rum Orthodox Jandallah Masri. After many efforts on the part of the Patriarchate, he was finally admitted to the Loewenstein Rehabilitation Centre in RA’anana, where he slept in the Lord yesterday morning.

The Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, where our departed Brother has been a special and productive member, thanks those who honour his memory by their presence today, and prays to our Righteous and Philanthropic Judge, our Lord Jesus Christ, to remember his good works and patience during his illness, and forsake any voluntary or involuntary sin of his, counting his soul among the righteous and the holy in the land of the living. May his memory be ever-lasting!”           

From the Central Monastery, the departed was accompanied to Bethlehem by a delegation under the lead of His Eminence Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa.

In Bethlehem, the departed was taken to the Basilica of the Nativity, where he had been serving for the last fifteen years. A memorial service followed, and the Priests with the Community members honoured him.  

Finally, the Bethlehem Scouts lead the procession to the cemetery of the Monastery, where His Eminence Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa read the Trisagion and buried blessed Archbishop Theophylaktos.

May his memory be ever-lasting!

From Secretariat-General

 

           




THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FIRST MARTYR THECLA THE EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES AT THE PATRIARCHATE

On Thursday 24 September/7 October 2021, the Patriarchate celebrated the feast of the Holy First Martyr Thecla, the Equal to the Apostles, at the holy chapel dedicated to her, inside the central Monastery of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood.

On this feast, the Church honours Saint Thecla, who came from Ikonion of Asia Minor and was taught the truth about Christ by Saint Paul at the age of eighteen. She followed Saint Paul and preached Christ in many areas and suffered a lot for Him, before concluding her life in her hometown at the age of ninety.

In honour of Saint Thecla, Vespers on Wednesday afternoon and the Divine Liturgy on Thursday morning were observed by the ministering Priests of the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, under the lead of the Typikon Keeper and caretaker of the Chapel, Archimandrite Alexios. His Holy Beatitude was present in prayer, along with the Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and the other Fathers. The chanting was delivered on the right by the Byzantine choir leader of the central monastery, Archimandrite Eusevios and Mr Gotsopoulos, and on the left by Hierodeacon Simeon and Archimandrite Artemios. The Services were attended by many faithful.

After Vespers, according to the custom, boiled wheat with wine and dry bread were offered at the courtyard of the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen.

After the morning Liturgy, boiled wheat and refreshments were offered at the Epitropikon, and His Beatitude wished everybody “many happy returns, in health and blessings, by the prayers of Saint Thecla”.

From Secretariat-General




TONSURES OF MONKS AT THE PATRIARCHATE

On Tuesday morning 22 September/ 5 October 2021, the tonsure of two novice monks was observed by His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos at the chapel of Pentecost in the Patriarchate Headquarters. The new monks are Mr Athanasios Kirmitsakis, who has been serving at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the last two years, and Mr Elias Konidis, who arrived recently from Greece.

Through their tonsure the new monks became members of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood.

After the tonsure service, His Beatitude admonished the new monks, underlining the importance of the monastic ministry for the safeguarding of the All-holy shrines, the reception and care of the pilgrims and the pastoral care of our Rum Orthodox flock.

From Secretariat-General




THE FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS AT THE MONASTERY OF THE CROSS

On Sunday 20 September/3 October 2021, the first Sunday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, this feast was celebrated again at the Holy Monastery of the Cross, near the Jewish Knesset, in West Jerusalem.

The order of the Church of Jerusalem celebrates the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in this Monastery one week after the actual feast date, due to the old ecclesiastical tradition that Lot planted there the three-composed wood of palm, cypress and cedar branches, from which the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ was made, and on which He willingly suffered for the remission of our sins.

The Patriarchate kept the famous Higher School of Theology in this Monastery between the years 1845-1909, from which established scientists, clergy and laity graduated.

At the Ancient Church of the Monastery, which is decorated with wonderful murals and mosaic floor, the feast was celebrated with Vespers on Saturday afternoon and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning by His Eminence Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastia with the co-celebration of the Hagiotaphite Archimandrites Mattheos, Meletios, and the representative of MISSIA Archimandrite Dometios and Archdeacon Mark. The chanting was delivered by Archimandrite Eusevios and the services were attended by many faithful Christians from Jerusalem and the occupied territories, as well as the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr Evangelos Vlioras.

During the Divine Liturgy, H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos visited the Monastery for veneration.

The Divine Liturgy was followed by the service of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at the place where Lot had planted the wood, which is now a chapel behind the Holy Altar of the main Church.

After the Service of the Exaltation, at noon, the Hegoumen, His Eminence Archbishop Philoumenos of Pella offered a meal to His Beatitude, Mr Vlioras and others.

From Secretariat-General