This year the feast of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker fell on a Sunday. At the community of the Resurrection of the Lord in Bethany, the patronal feast is celebrated in the cave church near the place where our Savior Jesus Christ met Martha and Mary on the way to the tomb of St. Lazarus “of the four days” and announced that He is “the resurrection and the life”.
On Saturday evening, the Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), served the All-night Vigil in the presence of the abbess of the Convent of St. Mary Magdalene – Mother Elisabeth (Smelic). The elder sister of the sisterhood, nun Maria (Wall), led the singing on the kliros. Hierodeacon Amfilohy (Mazur) concelebrated with Fr. Roman. The children of the boarding school at the monastery fulfilled the duty of altar girls.
Before the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Roman performed the “small consecration of water”. During the Liturgy, the sisters, children and pilgrims which gathered from different parts of Palestine received Holy Communion. A procession was held about the grounds of the monastery and the territory was blessed with holy water.
After the service, everyone advanced to the assembly hall of the school where a meal was offered. There the children performed a short performance where they recited poetry and sang songs.