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.
With The Grace of God and the blessings of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, His Eminence Meletios Metropolitan of Carthage, paid his first pastoral visit from 29th March to 3rd April 2017, to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the fourth country of his Province and for the first time after almost a decade he conducted the Divine Liturgy as well as other services and holy sacraments for the small Orthodox flock in that country.
The large-scale “Paschal Ribbon” missionary campaign will begin this year on Holy Saturday and continue throughout Bright Week. As many as 50,000 satin ribbons bearing the words of St. Seraphim of Sarov, “My joy, Christ is Risen!” will be handed out, beginning when Muscovites go to have their Paschal baskets blessed throughout the day on Holy Saturday, reports patriarchia.ru. This is the fifth consecutive year of the event organized by the Commission for missions and catechesis of the Moscow Diocesan Council.
On 4 April 2017, a regular session of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church took place at the Laura of the Caves in Kiev. The session was chaired by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, who informed members of the Synod about the last events of church life.