On Sunday, March 19, 2023, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrated the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross, for the gaining of strength and help in order to continue the Great Lent which is already halfway toward the Holy Pascha.
This feast was celebrated according to the Status Quo. On Saturday afternoon the 9th hour was read at the Holy Church of Saints Constantine and Helen and then the Brotherhood went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The members of the Holy Synod venerated the Deposition Slate, the Holy Sepulchre and the Horrendous Golgotha and Great Vespers began at the Catholicon with the incense offering and the blessing of bread. The Service was presided over by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem with the co-prayer of Hagiotaphite Hieromonks. The chanting was delivered by the Typikon Keeper of the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen Archimandrite Alexios on the right, and by Vasilios Gotsopoulos on the left, at the attendance of monks, nuns and pilgrims.
In honour of the Precious and Life-giving Cross, the Divine Liturgy was officiated on Sunday morning at the Holy Sepulchre by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, with the co-celebration of Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias, the Archbishops, Theophanes of Gerassa, Aristarchos of Constantina, Theodosios of Sebasteia, the Archbishop Ioannis from the Patriarchate of Serbia, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and Deacons. The chanting was delivered by the Typikon Keeper of the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen Archimandrite Alexios on the right, and by Vasilios Gotsopoulos on the left (with minor help from Hierodeacon Simeon due to illness), as the service was attended by the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Evangelos Vlioras, Christina Zaharioudaki and other members of the Consulate along with the congregation of faithful Orthodox Christians.
The Divine Liturgy was followed by a litany, three times around the Sacred Edicule and then around the Shrines, under the chanting of the Apolytikion of the Holy Cross.
Finally, there was the return at the Patriarchate Headquarters, with a reception and the Patriarch’s blessing to the pilgrims.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem