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Phanar: The Vespers Service of the Apokathilosis at the Patriarchate

On the morning of Great and Holy Friday, 3 May 2024, at the venerable Patriarchal Church of Saint George in the Phanar, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiated during the Service of the Vespers of the Apokathilosis (Taking of Christ down from the Cross), and was joined also by Their Eminences, Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia, Metropolitan Irinaios of Myriophytos and Peristasis, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Myra, Metropolitan Theoliptos of Iconium, Metropolitan Ioakeim of Bursa and Metropolitan Theodoros of Seleucia.

During the Vespers the holy sermon was delivered, according to church order, by the Grant Protosyncellus Archimandrite Gregory.

Afterwards, in an atmosphere of great emotion, the hand-made embroidered Epitaphios, with the immaculate body of the Lord, was carried around the Church and placed inside the flower-decorated Holy Kouvouklion, which was placed in the centre of Soleas, by the Grand Syncellus Archimandrite Iakovos and Archimandrite Kaisarios Chronis Archivist of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Photographs: Nikos Papachristou

The Ecumenical Patriarch was first to venerate the Holy Epitaphios, followed by the Holy Hierarchs, the Clergy of the Patriarchal Court, then by the Ambassador His Excellency Mr. Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece in Constantinople, and Archons of the Great Church of Christ, to whom His All-Holiness distributed the blessed flowers from the Kouvouklion, as well as, subsequently, to all the churchgoers.