The head of the REM, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), performed the rite of carrying out the Holy Shroud during Vespers of Great Friday in the Church of the Ascension of the Lord on Olivet. Father Roman was co-served by the clergy of the monastery. In his sermon, the Head of the Mission drew attention to the spiritual feeling that Orthodox Christians experience at this sacred moment, and so that we should at least a little bit, keep this mood for the whole year, remember the reasons for the suffering and death of our Savior, all of his free will and try as much as possible to restrain ourselves from sin.
At Compline, Fr. Roman read the canon “Lament of the Virgin”.
In the evening, Archimandrite Roman led the Saturday Matins in the monastery of St. Mary Magdalene. The clergy of the monastery and the pilgrim priests read the “lamentations” i.e., prayerful texts at the “burial” of the Savior. The pilgrim Metropolitan Joseph (Maslennikov) was present and prayed at the divine service. Following to the Great Doxology, a procession was made with the Shroud around the temple, symbolizing Christ’s descent into hell.
Saturday morning Vespers was celebrated with the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Among the features of this service, 15 proverbs are read and after the apostolic reading, while singing “Rise, God judge the earth,” the clergy’s vestments are changed from black to white, because the following Gospel reading tells believers of the resurrection of Christ.
During Vespers, the Vice-Premier of Belarus, N.G. Snopkov visited the convent to venerate the holy relics. The abbess of the monastery mother Elisabeth (Smelic) and the Head of the Mission greeted the distinguished guest who was soon to leave to get to the descent of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Resurrection of the Lord.
Following the Liturgy, bread and wine were blessed to strengthen the faithful for Easter services.