On Holy Friday, April 30, 2021, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Epitaph Service in the Patriarchal Cathedral, accompanied by Metropolitans Meliton of Philadelphia, Eirinaios of Myriofyton and Peristasis, Chrysostomos of Myra, Andreas of Saranda Ekklisies and Ioakeim of Birsa.
The procession of the Epitaph took place inside and outside the Patriarchal Church.
The Consul General of Greece in Constantinople, Georgia Sultanopoulou, along with her spouse, Ambassador Ioannis Raptakis, the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and a small number of pilgrims, attended the service.
Service of the Descent from the Cross was celebrated solemnly in the Phanar
In the morning of the same day, the Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Service of the Great Hours and the Service of the Descent from the Cross, accompanied by the aforementioned Metropolitans.
The Divine Word was proclaimed by the Grand Protosyncellus, Theodoros.
The procession of the Epitaphios, which was a piece of embroidery depicting the Body of Christ, took place in the Church. Protosyncellus Andreas and Archimandrite Vissarion put it on the ciborium, which was decorated with flowers in the centre of the Church.
The Ecumenical Patriarch was the first to pay his respects, followed by the co-celebrating hierarchs, the clergy of the Patriarchal Court, the Archons of the Ecumenical Throne, to whom the Ecumenical Patriarch distributed the flowers.
On Holy Friday, the Ecumenical Patriarch went to the Monastery of the Mother of God at the Spring in Balukli and paid his respects at the tomb of his predecessor, Patriarch Dimitrios, laid flowers and offered a Trisagion for all the Patriarchs that rest in the monastery.
On the occasion of Holy Week and the Glorious Resurrection of the Lord, the Ecumenical Patriarch accepted the cordial wishes of the former President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos. The Ecumenical Patriarch thanked the former president for the love and respect he has for the Great Church of Christ and sent his blessing to him, his associates and relatives. He hoped that the Risen Christ would bring good health and strength to everybody and especially to all those, who are going through the trial of pandemic.
The Ecumenical Patriarch has a telephone conversation with Deacon Bosporios, Undersecretary of the Holy Synod, who has been infected with COVID-19 and is hospitalized in Constantinople, and wished him a speedy recovery.