For the sake of a special service to the Life-Giving Cross on the day of Lenten Mid-Wednesday, the feast of the Holy Forty Martyrs was celebrated a day earlier – March 8/21. His Eminence Mark, Metropolitan of Berlin and Germany officiated at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at the Holy Ascension Monastery on the Mount of Olives. His Eminence was co-served by Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, Abbot Jonah (Galishnikov), Hieromonk Gerasim (Kotovsky) and Archdeacon Ipatiy (Moisei). Abbess Barbara (Novikova) and the sisters of the convent prayed in the church.
At the meal, traditional “larks” were offered, specially baked for the holiday.