On the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, April 7, 2019, according to the mobile cycle of Triodion feasts, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation according to the stable cycle of the feasts in the book of Minaion.
This feast was celebrated at the place where the Annunciation took place, at the town of Nazareth in Galilee. In this town, according to St. Luke the Evangelist (Luke 1:26-37) the Archangel Gabriel visited Virgin Mary and addressed her with the words “Rejoice thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee” and announced that “the Holy Spirit will come down on her and the power of God will overshadow her, and she will bear in flesh the Son of God”.
The Angel’s words became a fact and Mary then said “behold the maiden of the Lord let it be done unto me according to thy word”. Then as it is written in the Akathist, “along with the bodiless voice the Lord took a bodily form” and “the Word became flesh” and Mary became a chosen vessel of God and Theotokos [Mother of God].
This supernatural event of God’s Providence for the salvation of humankind was celebrated at the place it actually happened, in Nazareth, on the aforementioned day, with the Festal Divine Liturgy that was celebrated at the historic Church of the Annunciation of the Patriarchate.
The Divine Liturgy was officiated by Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, with co-celebrants the Most Reverend Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth, the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, the Most Reverend Archbishop Methodios of Tabor, and Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, with first in rank Archimandrite Ieronymos, and many Arab-speaking Priests from the Galilee district and visiting Priests from other Churches, Archdeacon Mark and other deacons.
The service was attended by the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos and the full congregation of the local faithful of Nazareth and its outskirts and pilgrims from various Orthodox countries.