March 2015

On Saturday the 8th/21st of March 2015, the Name Day of Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem was observed one day earlier than usual, on the commemoration of the Holy Forty Martyrs who had suffered a martyr’s death in Lake Sebaste of Caesarea, Pontus. The feast was observed as a Small Parrhesia.

A’ Vespers

The feast began on Friday afternoon with the Ninth Hour at 1.45 pm in the monastic church of Sts Constantine and Helen, followed by a procession to the Church of the Resurrection, where the Patriarch venerated at the Holy Apokathelosis. The Patriarchal Retinue then walked to the Holy Aedicula, where Patriarch Theophilos blessed the incense.

Veneration was followed by entrance into the katholikon, where Hierodeacons performed a censing along the holy shrines.

The Head Cantor of the Church of the Resurrection, Archimandrite Aristovoulos, sang on the right and the Typikaris [head of church rituals] of the monastic church of Sts Constantine and Helen, Archimandrite Alexios, sang on the left alongside f. Joseph of Mount Athos.

The service of the Fourth Stasis of the Salutations of the Akathist Hymn was held toward the end of Vespers and followed by the procession of the Hagiotaphite Fathers to the Monastery of their repentance.

B’ On feast-day

On the morning of Saturday, at 7:00 am, the feast began with an official procession to the Church of the Resurrection.

After entering the katholikon, Patriarch Theophilos rose to the Throne, then proceeded into the Holy Bema with the Primates.

Once the Patriarch, the Primates and Priests had put on their sacerdotal vestments, the Divine Liturgy began in the katholikon led by the Patriarch. Co-officiating were: Metropolitans Kyriakos of Nazareth, Isychios of Kapitolias, Timotheos of Bostra, Benedictus of Philadelphia, and Nicolaos of Mesogea and Lavreotiki, visiting from the Church of Greece; Archbishops Alexios of Tiberias, Dorotheos of Avila, Damascene of Joppa, Aristarchos of Constantina, Methodios of Tabor, Theophylaktos of Jordan, Theodosios of Sebaste, Demetrius of Lydda, Nektarios of Anthedon, and Philoumenos of Pella. Also in attendance were Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and Presbyters, Priests visiting from other Churches, the Exarch of the Holy Sepulcher in Athens, Archimandrite Damian, Archdeacon Evlogios, and the Greek Consul-General to Jerusalem, Mr Georgios Zacharoudiakis. A great crowd of faithful participated, as Archimandrite Aristovoulos sang, aided by Archimandrites Philotheos and Leontios, as well as Mr Panagiotis Pantelis of Cyprus and Mr Lycoudes of Greece.

This magnificent Liturgy was followed by Doxology on the occasion of the Patriarch’s name-day.

On the conclusion of mass, guests proceeded to the Patriarchate, where the Elder Secretary-General, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, addressed His Beatitude on behalf of the Holy and Sacred Synod and the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood.

The Greek Consul-General to Jerusalem also addressed Patriarch Theophilos, as did Hagiotaphites speaking on behalf of the flock, or representatives of other Orthodox Churches.

Patriarch Theophilos replied in Greek to the festive addresses.

The event at the Patriarchate was followed by meatless lunch.

From the Secretariat-General