JERUSALEM: September 2, 2021
The Feast of Dormition in the Garden of Gethsemane
“Bury My Body in Gethsemane” (Exapostilarion).
The request of the Theotokos was fulfilled and her most pure body was buried in the Garden of Gethsemane. Today, just above her tomb at the foot of the Mount of Olives stands the Russian “Royal Church” of St. Mary Magdalene, where the feast of the Dormition was solemnly celebrated. The shroud of the most-pure Virgin, decorated with flowers, lay in the center of the church.
Divine services were led by the Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky).
At Divine Liturgy Fr. Roman was joined by members of the Mission: hieromonk Feodor (Kirike), hieromonk Misail (Minin), priest Roman Gultiaev and visiting priest Fr. Vadim Sally. Joining the abbess of the convent, Mother Elisabeth (Smelic) along with the monastic sisters were a large number of worshippers who received Holy Communion.
Following breakfast, all walked in procession to the large stone at the bottom of the convent’s territory where tradition states that the Virgin Mary appeared to the apostles and announced to them that she will be a supplicator before her Son on their behalf.