JERUSALEM: April 29, 2021
Lazarus Saturday in Russian Bethany
“This day Bethany foreshadows the resurrection of Christ the Life-Giver, rejoicing with the rise of Lazarus” (Troparion of the canon).
In the Palestinian city of Bethany (modern al-Azaria), the feast day of the Resurrection of Lazarus was celebrated at the Russian Orthodox Community of the Resurrection of Christ. On Friday evening great compline with matins were served in the upper church of the Holy Righteous Lazarus of the Four-days, Martha and Mary. At compline, the touching canon of St Andrew of Crete was heard: “After four days dead my Savior raised Lazarus.” At the polyeleos, the saints of the patronal feast were glorified by the singing of the “Magnification.”
After all-night vigil, the monastics, children of the boarding school along with the worshipers went to visit the tomb of Righteous St Lazarus not far the monastery. Before entering the tomb, the Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), read the story from the Gospel of St John about the resurrection of Lazarus.
In the morning after the Small Blessing of Water, Archimandrite Vasily (Druzhinets), Archimandrite Innokenty, Deacon Vyacheslav (Batalsky) greeted the head of the Mission at the outside chapel which was erected before the chapel of the “Meeting of Jesus Christ with Martha and Mary.” Divine Liturgy was served with spiritual joy with the gathering of many pilgrims.
After the service, Fr Roman greeted the abbess of the convent, Mother Elisabeth (Smelic) with the feast and also congratulated the elder sister of the sisterhood and headmistress of the school, Mother Maria (Wall), on the feast of her patron saint – St Maria of Bethany.