Festal services were held at the Gethsemane convent of Equal-to-the-Apostles St. Mary Magdalene on the day of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the eve of the feastday, the head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), led the solemn all-night vigil, co-served by the clergy of the Mission – Hieromonk Theodore (Kirike), Priest Roman Gultyaev and Deacon Vyacheslav Batalsky. At Vespers, the stichera of the feast “O Wonderful Miracle” were intoned to the melody of the Kiev-Caves Lavra. After singing the “Magnification” of the feast and the reading the Gospel story about the meeting of the Mother of God with Elisabeth in the hill country, the abbess of the monastery, mother Elisabeth along with the sisters of the convent approached and venerated the image of the feastday and were anointed with holy oil.

On the very day of the feast, the head of the Mission was greeted at the entrence of the church before the Divine Liturgy. Hieromonk Misail (Minaev) joined the clergy for the Liturgy. The head of the Mission of the Russian Federation to the Palestinian National Authority, Gocha Levanovich Buachidze, attended and prayed at the service. Towards the end of the Liturgy, the glorification of the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos took place along with St. Roman the melodist, the patron saint of singers, who’s commemoration is celebrated on that day as well. Fr. Hieromonk Misail said a greeting to the Head of the Mission as it was also the day of his heavenly patron. “Many Years” was sung for Archimandrite Roman, priest Roman and all the singers of the convent. Fr. Roman thanked everyone for their warm congratulations and love.

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