May 12/25 of this year the nuns of the Holy Ascension Monastery on the holy Mount of Olives celebrated their patronal feast. The monastery was built by Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin +1894) next to the historical and grace-filled place where the God-man Jesus Christ ascended to heaven in human form and sat down on the right side of His Father.
This year, for the sake of the feastday, a pilgrimage from Germany was held, led by Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany and Bishop Job of Stuttgart.
On the eve of the holiday, before the all-night vigil, the head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), with the clergy of the Mission and with pilgrims in holy order, met Vladyka Mark, who was accompanied by the Abbess of the monastery, Matushka Varvara (Novikova), at the entrance to the temple. In the middle of the church, the sisters dressed the Metropolitan in small vestments on the kathedra where Vladyka stood and prayed until the small entrance. Bishop Job came out for the litya and blessed the five loaves. On the polyeleos, both laudatory psalms were sung by “two choirs”; the sisters of the convent and the choir of the clergy in the altar. The gospel was read in two languages – Church Slavonic and German.
The next morning, after midnight service, holy water was consecrated. Vladyka Mark was greeted, and after vesting, the Divine Liturgy began. The temple was overflowing with worshipers. The abbesses of the Gethsemene Convent – mother Elisabeth (Smelic) and – mother Ekaterina (Chernisheva) of the Gorny Convent both prayed at the service.
After Communion, His Beatitude, Theophilus ӀӀӀ, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine arrived at the convent accompanied by Metropolitan Hesychius of Capitolia and Archbishop Aristarchus of Constantine with the patriarchal Archdeacon Mark and others. The Patriarch congratulated Metropolitan Mark, Bishop Job, Archimandrite Roman, Abbess Varvara with her sisters and pilgrims on the feast. In his speech, His Beatitude emphasized the importance of personal spiritual missionary work in order to profess the true faith in these difficult days in which enemies try to tear the Robe of the Orthodox Church. Vl. Mark thanked the Patriarch of Jerusalem for coming and for his good wishes, and then many years were proclaimed for the Patriarch, at which time the sisters sang the “Patriarchal” Many Years.
After the departure of the Patriarch, a prayer service was served with a procession around the church and with the sprinkling of holy water.
The Ascension of the Savior Monastery stands at the highest point of the Holy City of Jerusalem. And above the monastery there is the bell tower “the Russian Candle” with an Orthodox cross. May the holy cross of Christ overseeing the City of the Lord, bless everyone with the beautiful ringing of bells.
Tags: Archim. Roman (Krassovsky), Ascension, Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany, Mother Ekaterina (Chernysheva), Mother Elisabeth (Smelic), Mother Varvara (Novikova), Patriarch Theophilos III, patronal feast, pilgrimage, procession