Sunday 24 March 2019

We started the day with Divine Liturgy at midnight at the Tomb of Christ. There were 40 priests and five deacons. What a blessing and honor it was for me,not only to serve, but also to be the second deacon.

The bus fetched us at 23:15 and we arrived in Jerusalem at 23:40, one minute after getting pass the check point.  It would had been quicker to walk to the check point.  Jews are not allowed to enter Palestine at Bethlehem.

After arriving, we went into the Altar and later went to get our vestments.  Stoles were handed out to the priests and when I showed the priest my orarion, that was sufficient.  When I saw the other deacons vesting, I went to the presiding priest and received the blessing to vest.

I was invited to serve in the Tomb.  The other deacons stayed outside.  There just was not enough room.  The two priests who came with our group did not serve.  So I was extremely fortunate.

During the Liturgy I finished the exclamation at the end of the Trisagion and I did the Litany before the Lord's Prayer and accompanying dialogues.  The people from my group told me that they were really excited when they heard my voice.  I also assisted at both entrances by swinging the censer. 

Matushka Olga gave the tour since Fr. Roman was not feeling well this day.

In the city the lower level was the shops and the upper level was the homes of the shop owners.

Tradition clearly says that the Theotokos was born in the City.  They belong to the city people and it is reasonable to assume that this is true.

In the Holy Land there are often places which belong to one church but other churches are allowed to come and pray there. We clearly saw this at the Tomb of Christ.
 

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Divine Liturgy at the Tomb of Christ

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I think that Fr. Deacon is Romanian.

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Fr Deacon is from Czech Land and Slovakia.  He was in our hotel.

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