Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren has undertaken a pilgrimage in the Holy Land, where he is going to participate in celebrations of the Feast of Resurrection of Christ.
On Lazarus Saturday the Bishop visited Bethany, where he concelebrated to Patriarch Teophilos of Jerusalem during the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the church built on the place of Lazarus’ home. In the afternoon the Bishop and many pilgrims in the Holy city participated in the solemn procession from Bethphage to Jerusalem in memory of the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem. On Palm Sunday Bishop Teodosije concelebrated during the Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Beatitude Patriarch Teophilus of Jerusalem in the great church of the Resurrection of Christ.
His Holiness Irinej celebrated on Palm Sunday, the feast dedicated to the Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem , the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy at Belgrade’s Cathedral church. The Patriarch was concelebrated by many priests of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovci. Children’s choir of the First Belgrade Ensemble sang responses.
After the Holy Liturgy Serbian Patriarch Irinej received a delegation of the Orthodox Military Mission led by Mr. Igor Jevgenyevich Smikov, the head of the Mission and advisor to the head of the Russian Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, served on the Saturday, Lazarus’ Saturday, the Holy Divinel Liturgy in Belgrade’s Cathedral Church. Today’s feast is also the slava (patron saint’s day) of Serbian Patriarch Irinej.
His Holiness was concelebrated by his Vicar Bishop Jovan of Ulpiana and many priests.
The same day, Serbian Patriarch also met with H.E. Mr. Gordan Markovic, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia, who expressed his condonelences to His Holiness on the occasion of passing away of Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb-Ljubljana.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch received His Excellency Mr. Masafumi Kuroki, Ambassador of Japan and Mr. Wataru Yokohama, Adviser, at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade yesterday, on 9 April 2014.
The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the earliest Christian feasts, and was already being celebrated in the fourth century. There is a painting of the Annunciation in the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome dating from the second century. The Council of Toledo in 656 mentions the Feast, and the Council in Trullo in 692 says that the Annunciation was celebrated during Great Lent.
The Greek and Slavonic names for the Feast may be translated as "good tidings." This, of course, refers to the Incarnation of the Son of God and the salvation He brings. The background of the Annunciation is found in the Gospel of St Luke (1:26-38). The troparion describes this as the "beginning of our salvation, and the revelation of the eternal mystery," for on this day the Son of God became the Son of Man.
There are two main components to the Annunciation: the message itself, and the response of the Virgin. The message fulfills God's promise to send a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15): "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel." The Fathers of the Church understand "her seed" to refer to Christ. The prophets hinted at His coming, which they saw dimly, but the Archangel Gabriel now proclaims that the promise is about to be fulfilled.