JERUSALEM: 14 October 2020
The feast day of St Hariton the Confessor Lavra is quietly celebrated
On September 28/October 11, the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of St Hariton the Confessor. The monastery of St Hariton, built around the caves of the first “Lavra” in Palestine was founded by St Hariton.
This monastery belongs to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. This year the commemoration fell on a Sunday. Unfortunately, due to the coronovirus quarentine, the national park “Ein Pirat,” where the monastery of St Hariton is located, has been closed, depriving pilgrims and worshippers the opportunity to attend Divine Services.
The Head of the Mission, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), along with Archimandrite Vasily (Druzhinets) from the Holy Ascension Monastery on the Mount of Olives, received special permission to conduct Divine Liturgy at the monastery. They were greeted by Monk Hariton (Burov) inhabitant and restorer of the monastery. Fr Vasily began proskomedia in the cave church as Fr Roman blessed water at the burial site of St Hariton. Divine Liturgy was served by the two clerics as Fr Hariton chanted. They were joined by Fr Hariton’s helper, Brother Valentine, who acted as altar-server. Although there were no worshippers, the Liturgy was very prayerful and solemn. Afterwards a moleben was served at the grave-site of St Hariton where the clergy prayed for all those that are unable to attend church services during these days of the pandemic, hoping that next year’s feast will be attended by pilgrims so that they may receive the blessings of our Lord through the prayers of St Hariton.