On Sunday, July 26, 2020, Sunday of the Holy Fathers and of the Synaxis of Archangel Gabriel, as well as of the commemoration of St. Stephen of St. Savvas Lavra, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Monastery of St. John the Baptist at the West Bank of the River Jordan, conforming to the protective guidelines against COVID-19.
This Monastery was half-destroyed during the six-day war in 1967, but it has been preserved, renovated and projected again as a marvellous shrine by the Patriarchate, with the funding of the memorable Hegoumen of Sarantarion Mount Archimandrite Gerasimos, under the supervision and intensive care of the Hegoumen and Master of Ceremonies Archimandrite Bartholomew.
In this first Patriarchal Liturgy at the Monastery, co-celebrants to were Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias and Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, Archimandrite Meletios, Hieromonk Onuphrios, Hierodeacon Eulogios, while the Hegoumen of the H. Monastery of St. Gerasimos of the Jordan, Archimandrite Chrysostom also participated in the prayer. Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis delivered the chanting and the service was attended by some nuns of the desert and the Architect Mr. Theodosios Mitropoulos.
Before the Holy Communion there was a Memorial Service for the repose of the soul of the memorable Archimandrite Gerasimos and the Primate of Jerusalem read a Sermon.
After the Divine Liturgy Dismissal the Hegoumen Archimandrite Bartholomew hosted a reception.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem