JERUSALEM: 28 April 2023
A Liturgy for children is celebrated in Russian Gethsemane

On Bright Saturday, 22 April, 2023, the Convent of St Mary Magdalene, Equal-to-the-Apostles, the traditional Divine Liturgy for children was celebrated. Priest Roman Gul’tyaev of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia led the service on an altar table set upon excavations of the ancient road upon which the Lord entered Jerusalem on a donkey before His Sufferings.

The unique quality of such divine services is that children actively participate. “We did everything on our own in the service, no one had to tell us what to do,” said the 11-13-year-old acolytes joyfully. Girls age 10-12 carefully prepared the warm wine and prosphoras, understanding the most of all they were to warmly greet the communicants and congratulate them with partaking of the Holy Gifts of Christ. The eldest singer was 18 years old, singing along were girls age 10-15, their clear young voices bringing joy to all the worshipers. Naturally, adults also participated in Liturgy. Men supported the choir with their baritones and oversaw the altar boys. Women helped organize the Liturgy. It is important during the children’s Liturgy to emphasize that the word “Liturgy” means “communal service to God.”

At the end of Liturgy, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), Chief of the REM, delivered a sermon during which he reminded the children and parents of the meaning of Pascha, the sacrificial love of God for mankind which should be reflected in parent-child relations. After the festive trapeza luncheon that followed and the performance of the Paschal prayers, the children ascended the bell tower and rang the bells.



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