On Saturday, 26th March/8th April 2017, Lazarus Saturday was celebrated by the Patriarchate at the south-east top of the Mount of Olives, in memory of the resurrection of Christ’s friend Lazarus, who was dead for four days. The Lord resurrected Lazarus who was buried for four days, and escorted him from his tomb to his home town Bethany, sympathizing to the point of tears with our death, due to our fall, and thus confirming the common Resurrection of all people in His glorious second coming.
On Friday, 25th March/7th April 2017, the feast of the Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos was celebrated in Nazareth.
At this feast, the Church commemorates that fact that in the last days, God fulfilled the long foretold mystery of the incarnation of His Only Begotten Son and Logos. To this cause, He sent Archangel Gabriel to a pure virgin in Nazareth and announced to her that by the power of the Holy Spirit, she was to conceive and bear in flesh the Saviour of the world.
On Friday, 25th March/7th April 2017, the feast of the Annunciation of our Most Holy Theotokos was celebrated in Gethsemane at her Tomb. The feast with Matins and the Divine Liturgy was led by the Most Reverend Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastia, with concelebrants the Priests of the Sacred Shrine Archimandrites Meletios , Parthenios and Euphosynos and Deacon Anastasios, at the singing of the choir singers of the Shrine and with the participation of monks, nuns and pilgrims from the Community of Jerusalem.
Theophilos III by the Mercy of God Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine to all members of the Church, grace and mercy and peace from the All-Holy and Life-Giving Sepulchre of the Resurrected Christ.
“Christ is risen from the dead, The fristfruits of those that sleep: The firstborn of all creation and maker of all created things!” (Stichoiron of Paschal Praises tone 3)
It was deep dawn on that day, the first of the Sabbaths, the first of the Week, after the crucifixion and the burial of Lord Jesus. The women surrounding Mariam, who had escorted Christ from Galilee and had become witnesses to His Cross and burial, ran in haste on that dawn, wondering to themselves who would remove the big stone at the entrance of the tomb, so that they would be able to anoint the body of the crucified and buried Lord Jesus Christ with myrrh, according to the custom of the Jews.
His Beatitude Theodoros II, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa on being briefed about the heinous terrorist bomb attacks on Christian Churches in Egypt, made the following statement: -We are on the side of the Egyptian people. The second blast occurred at a relatively short distance from our Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, in the Manseia district of Alexandria, where the See of the Coptic Church is situated, outside the Cathedral of St Mark. Let us hope that Jeus Christ who is going to His voluntary Passion, will ease the pain of the families who so unfairly lost their family members and will bring His peace to blessed Egypt.