JERUSALEM: 9 May 2024
Pascha in the Holy Land

On May 4, 2024, Great Saturday in the Orthodox Christian calendar, the Holy Fire miraculously descended in the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem, after which it was delivered to the Ascension of the Savior Convent on the Mount of Olives. Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia), and the monastery’s head, Abbess Varvara (Novikova) received the holy relic with the words "Receive the Light from the Unfading Light," as all the sisters passed the flame to their own candles, and then, entering the church, walked around the Holy Shroud with the singing of "Thy Resurrection, O Christ the Sun.”

The Paschal matins in the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Equal-to-the-Apostles, in the convent of the same name in the Garden of Gethsemane, were led by Archimandrite Roman. His Eminence was co-served by the clergy of the monastery and pilgrims in the priesthood.

At 12 o'clock that night, during the singing of the sticheron "Thy Resurrection to Christ the Savior," the clergy and sisters, led by Abbess Elizabeth (Schmelz), and worshipers emerged for a procession of the cross. Coming to the closed gates of the church, the clergy and worshippers heard the sacred words for the first time this year: "Christ is Risen!"

Entering the church, they began to serve the Bright Paschal Matins, during the singing of the canon, the clergy repeatedly announced the resurrection of Christ in various languages with the greeting "Christ is Risen", the sisters, pilgrims and parishioners enthusiastically replied "Truly He is Risen!"

Immediately after matins, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated. At the service, the Gospel narration was read in six languages. Communion was offered from four chalices. After the ambo prayer, the artos was consecrated.

After the service, all those present broke their fast in the monastery refectory.

On Bright Monday, Fr Roman prayed at the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cross Church of Emperor Constantine and Helena, Equal-to-the-Apostles. At the end of the service, His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine, together with the bishops, clergy and worshipers, went to the large reception hall of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

There, together with the Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem (Moscow Patriarchate), Archimandrite Vassian (Zmeev), Archimandrite Roman congratulated His Beatitude on the Pascha of Christ and presented him with Paschal greetings from the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York.



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